ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who was officially announced on Tuesday morning as President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, could be the Left's "greatest ally" in Trump's cabinet, leading social conservative activist Tony Perkins has warned.
There has been much anticipation over the last week that Trump would pick the 64-year-old oil mogul to be nominated to lead the critically important State Department.
But even before the selection was made official Tuesday morning, liberals and some conservatives have spent the last week chastising the potential selection of Tillerson by criticizing his business connections with Russia and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
While some conservatives like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich have praised Trump's pick of Tillerson to run the State Department as an "excellent choice," Perkins, the president of the Washington-based Family Research Council, does not share their view.
Perkins, who initially endorsed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for president and then finally issued his endorsement for Trump at the Republican National Convention in July, took to his "Washington Update" to let his feelings about Tillerson's liberal stances on social issues be known.
"The Left, which doesn't usually need a reason to oppose Trump's choices, won't find many here, since the ExxonMobil executive may be the greatest ally liberals have in the Cabinet for their abortion and LGBT agendas," Perkins wrote. "That should be particularly alarming to conservatives, who've spent the last eight years watching the State Department lead the global parade for the slaughter of innocent unborn children and the intimidation of nations with natural views on marriage and sexuality."
"No sooner had Hillary Clinton taken over the State Department in 2009 than the White House ordered her to use the agency as a club to beat other nations into submission on sensitive cultural issues — a tradition that successor John Kerry has been all too eager to continue," Perkins continued. "Now, after two terms of exporting radical social policy, Americans could finally see the light at the end of the Obama administration tunnel."
However, Perkins explained that by selecting Tillerson to be the nominee for Secretary of State, Trump has appointed a man "who not only led the charge to open the Boy Scouts to gay troop leaders but whose company directly gives to Planned Parenthood is upsetting at best."
Tillerson served as the national president of the Boy Scouts of America from 2010 to 2011. Additionally, he served on the BSA's executive board in 2013 when the BSA voted to lift a ban on gay scout leaders.
"FRC knows Tillerson all too well, having worked for years to put the brakes on his reckless agenda for a scouting organization that was already dealing with staggering numbers of sexual abuse cases," Perkins stated. "Unfortunately, the BSA, under Tillerson, ultimately caved to the pressure of the far-Left, irreparably splitting the Scouts and destroying a proud and honorable American tradition."
Although the New York Times reports that ExxonMobil has been slow, under Tillerson's leadership, to embrace policy changes that would protect gay employees from discrimination, Perkins points out that ExxonMobil's score on thehalted their donations following the release of the Center for Medical Progress' horrific undercover Planned Parenthood video series last year.
"Still, Trump calls Rex a 'world class player and dealmaker,' but if these are the kinds of deals Tillerson makes — sending dollars to an abortion business that's just been referred for criminal prosecution and risking the well-being of young boys under his charge in an attempt to placate radical homosexual activists — then who knows what sort of 'diplomacy' he would champion at DOS," Perkins wrote.
"For groups like FRC, who are tired of the State Department being used as a weapon in the global war on values, the problems run much deeper," Perkins continued. "The agency already has an image problem after almost a decade of failing to respect the traditions and beliefs of other countries. The last thing Americans need is a leader who would continue to advocate (however subtly) the leftist social policy of the Obama years."
In order to actually become the Secretary of State, Tillerson must be approved by the Republican-led Senate. Although Republicans control the Senate by a 52-48 majority, it could be a close confirmation vote as Republicans like Sen.'s James Lankford, R-Okla., John McCain, R-Ariz., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have expressed their concerns about Tillerson and question whether or not his relationship with Putin would present a conflict with American interests.
"While Rex Tillerson is a respected businessman, I have serious concerns about his nomination," Rubio said in a statement. "The next secretary of state must be someone who views the world with moral clarity, is free of potential conflicts of interest, has a clear sense of America's interests, and will be a forceful advocate for America's foreign policy goals to the president, within the administration, and on the world stage."
Lankford wrote on his Facebook page that Tillerson's "philosophy on international religious freedom, Middle East instability, foreign assistance, and relations with countries like Russia and China must be closely examined before confirmation."