Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) called for Joe Biden to request the resignation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg over his controversial response to the toxic train crash in East Palestine, Ohio.
Rubio charged that while he believed it to be awful, Buttigieg’s response to the train derailment is only one example of the “gross level of incompetence and apathy” he has displayed in his two years serving as Transportation Secretary.
“For two years, Secretary Buttigieg downplayed and ignored crisis after crisis, while prioritizing topics of little relevance to our nation’s transportation system,” Rubio said in a letter addressed to Biden.
“It is painfully clear to the American people that Secretary Buttigieg has little regard for the duties of the Secretary of Transportation.”
Rubio alleged that Buttigieg neglected the disastrous situation, allowing for an even greater catastrophe.
“At no time has that been more apparent than the past two weeks. Secretary Buttigieg refused to acknowledge the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, until his intentional ignorance was no longer tenable,” the letter read.
Rubio sends a letter to Biden urging him to seek Buttigieg’s resignation, citing his handling of the disaster in East Palestine: pic.twitter.com/kXJXrQzFEb
— Andrew Solender (@AndrewSolender) February 16, 2023
“Even after acknowledging the tragedy, he continues to deflect any accountability for the safety of our nation’s rail system. The circumstances leading up to the derailment point to a clear lack of oversight and demand engagement by our nation’s top transportation official,” added the senator.
“Unfortunately, this is part of a two-year long pattern. During historic maritime and surface transportation disruptions in 2021, Secretary Buttigieg was completely absent,” continued the letter. “Amidst an impending possible rail strike last year, Secretary Buttigieg left the country to vacation in Portuguese wine country. Near misses in commercial aviation, as well as recent system failures, including the one that shut down air travel in Florida in January, indicate that serious and persistent problems across the DOT are not being sufficiently remedied. I do not have confidence that Secretary Buttigieg is capable of keeping the American people safe.”
Rubio was not alone in his criticisms of the Biden Department of Transportation diversity hire. Others who have lit Buttigieg up over his alleged incompetence include many Republicans and even Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who demanded he takes action and “address this tragedy.”
The group of conservatives on Fox News’s “The Five” weighed in on Buttigieg’s response to the matter, with co-host Jesse Watters commenting that Pete has no “heart, passion,” or “empathy” and is simply a “technocrat.”
Watters added that Buttigieg saying he would not visit the wreckage at East Palestine in order to “respect the investigation,” is analogous to himself making a mess on the floor, refusing to clean it, and telling his wife, “sorry, I’m going to stay over here and respect the clean up,” after she asks for his help.
“The Five” previously put Buttigieg on blast for his ludicrous claim that “racism” has influenced “design choices” for American infrastructure such as underpasses and highways.