Dr. Vivek Murthy, a Harvard Medical School physician, told a Senate committee Tuesday that obesity is the defining public health challenge of our time.
Conservatives questioned if Murthy's main credential is a political one, because he founded a doctors' organization that has advocated for the Affordable Care Act and he has tweeted about gun control.
But Murthy said if he is confirmed as the nation's doctor, he won't use the job as a bully pulpit for gun control. Murthy also said the surgeon general is an educator who should help find common ground in improving public health.
Senators haven't yet scheduled a vote on Murthy's nomination.