Sen. John Kennedy said Friday that White House nominee Matthew Petersen, who struggled to answer basic questions about the law during his nomination hearing on Wednesday, should be removed from consideration for a position as a US district judge.
“I’m hoping the White House will pull down Mr. Petersen,” Kennedy told Erin Burnett. “I don’t wanna see him suffer.”
Kennedy, a first-term Republican from Louisiana, was tasked with questioning Petersen during his appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I think he’s whip smart, probably,” Kennedy said of Petersen. “But you can’t just walk into a federal courthouse for the very first time and say ‘here I am, I think I wanna be a judge.’ It just doesn’t work that way.”
Petersen was nominated by President Trump, but his inability to field rudimentary legal questions yielded a collection of awkward moments that have since been circulated widely on social media.
“They’re done in his name,” said Kennedy of the district court nominees, adding “but I don’t believe for a second President Trump interviewed them.”
Kennedy’s comments came on Friday’s episode of “Erin Burnett OutFront,” during which the guest emphasized the importance of legal credibility.
“There’s just certain minimum level requirements, I don’t care how smart you are,” he said.
To further his point, Kennedy referenced the show’s host herself.
“I think you’re smart,” he said of Burnett. “But you couldn’t go do brain surgery in the morning. Experience matters.”