In a recent interview, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos placed the blame for her razor thin confirmation by the U.S. Senate squarely on the shoulders of President Trump and his transition team.
“I think I was under-coached,” she said.
Secretary DeVos accused Trump’s transition team of not providing her with a complete policy briefing in advance of her confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill. She accused the Trump team of being “very circumspect” about the amount and type of information it provided.
“In hindsight, I wish I had a whole lot more information,” she added.
DeVos complained that the transition team gave her what amounted to a gag order, which she said prevented her from expressing her views in her own words outside the glaring lights of the senate chamber, and that it gave her opponents “weeks and weeks” to take shots at her without her being able to defend her views.
DeVos has long been a proponent of giving parents the opportunity to send their children to the non-profit charter school, for-profit charter school or online school of their choosing—and allowing taxpayer dollars to follow them–thereby reducing funding for traditional, on-site, public schools.
Trump’s nomination of DeVos riled Senators in both parties who decried her lack of experience with public and rural education. Needless to say, they were ready to pounce on any DeVos’ misstep during her public confirmation hearings, and she gave them plenty of fodder.
When asked during hear confirmation hearing if she believed states should have the right to decide whether or not to allow guns in schools, she said she would support states’ rights, citing the potential for a bear attack in a Wyoming school as the reason why.
DeVos remains the only Cabinet member in history to have their confirmation decided by a tie-breaking vote from a sitting vice president. To her credit, Devos seems to have been able to take her stumbles in stride quipping that the confirmation hearings had indeed been “a bit of a bear” for her.