LUBBOCK, TX - Texas Tech Chancellor Emeritus Kent R. Hance offered his opinion of the man likely to be tapped as Donald Trump's Secretary of State.
Rex Tillerson, CEO of ExxonMobil, and board chairman, a well known oil tycoon, was the top pick for the position. Hance interviewed him in March 2015, at the Texas Tech Rawls College of Business.
"I had Rex come out and speak to the Boy Scouts fundraiser in Lubbock, plus he met with the Business and Petroleum and Engineering students. And we interviewed him for about an hour on different things and different issues around the world," Hance said.
In the discussion, which lasted nearly an hour, the pair talked about Tillerson's international business experience, and how he maintains relationships with dozens of world leaders.
"I want them to know exactly what I'm going to do at a given time," Tillerson said in that interview, about his business dealings. "I want to be the most predictable person in the room. I don't want them to have to wonder. I want them to know. If they put something on the table, they can expect this kind of reaction."
Hance said that attitude would bode well for his role as Secretary of State.
"I think people will really see that this is probably one of the best appointments this President is ever going to make," Hance said of the energy giant. "I think it's a great appointment. He knows the head of government in over 50 countries, he is a great American, first person in his family to ever go to college. He's an Eagle Scout, just a stand up person."
Hance said he has no concerns about Tillerson's ability to handle international negotiations, particularly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson has known the Russian leader for a decade and a half, he said.
"I don't think you have to worry about him not being able to negotiate well with Putin," Hance explained. "Putin for the last eight years has kind of been able to do what he's wanted to do, and I think this will kind of be a signal that those days are over."
Hance also voiced his approval of Trump's looming appointment of former Texas Governor Rick Perry to run the Department of Energy.
"He's familiar with nuclear programs, he's familiar with wind energy, he's familiar with oil and gas, and I think he's well qualified and he'll be a good person to head up the Department of Energy," Hance said of Perry. "I think that what Trump is doing is what the promised in the campaign, and that is that he's going to drain the swamp, and try to get some people in that have some different views."
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