Washington, D.C. - (WALK) A U.S. Senate panel gave its OK to Long Island businessman George Tsunis to be our nation's ambassador to Norway, over the objections of former presidential candidate John McCain and others who described Tsunis as unprepared for the post.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Tsunis by a vote of 12- 6 Tuesday.
Tsunis, 46, of Cold Spring Harbor, was a lifelong republican who reportedly contributed $50,000 to McCain's failed presidential bid in 2008. He later changed parties and raised $988,550 for President Obama's campaign in 2012.
During confirmation hearings in January McCain complained Tsunis showed little knowledge about Norway and its form or government, having mentioned the "president of Norway," when in fact Norway is a consitutional monarchy and does not have a president.
"The question is whether (Tsunis) will embarrass the United States of America while serving as our representative," said McCain. "(Tsunis) has become a mockery within the country (of Norway)," he said.
Tsunis is a real estate developer and founder and CEO of Chartwell Hotels. His nomination next heads to the full U.S. Senate. A final vote is not yet scheduled.