In an interview with Elizabeth Warren, CBS This Morning co-host Norah O’Donnell on Thursday pestered the Democratic senator about her lack of an endorsement for Hillary Clinton. O’Donnell demanded, “Senator, let me turn to the presidential race in 2016. All of your female Democratic senators have endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton. You have not yet made an endorsement. Will you do it before the convention?”
Gayle King plaintively wondered, “What will it take for you to make an endorsement of either candidate? What more do you need to hear?” The question came up three times. O’Donnell questioned, “You know that your lack of an endorsement at this stage, though, has raised some questions.” She connected this to whether “Senator Clinton should release the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs.”
Earlier, Charlie Rose echoed a similar theme, demanding to know if Warren would pledge loyalty to Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee: “Are you enthusiastic in your support of Judge Garland?” After Warren dodged, Rose reiterated, “With respect, Senator, the question I asked was will you support Judge Garland?”
In contrast, the CBS co-hosts lectured Republican Senator Jeff Flake that the “optics” of the Supreme Court battle “look very bad for your party.”
See transcript of the March 17 segment below:
CHARLIE ROSE: Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is calling on her Republican colleagues to schedule a hearing on Judge Garland. She joins us now from Capitol Hill. Senator, good morning.
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN [D-MA]: Good morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Supreme Showdown; Sen. Warren on Battle Over Supreme Court Nominee]
ROSE: Are you enthusiastic in your support of Judge Garland?
WARREN: You know, the way I think of this, filling a Supreme Court vacancy is one of the most solemn tasks undertaken by this government. This isn't supposed to be a circus. The President has done his constitutional duty. He has sent us a nominee. And now it is our job in the United States Senate to hold hearings, to examine his credentials, and then to have a vote on him. That's what the Constitution calls for.
ROSE: With respect, Senator, the question I asked was will you support Judge Garland?
WARREN: But that's the whole point right now, is that we want Judge Garland to come over. I want to meet with him, I want to look at his credentials. I want to see him perform in a hearing. And then I want to be able to have a vote on him. That's what advise and consent means. It's not supposed to be some kind of crazy political process. You know, Senator Toomey said – the Republican from Pennsylvania – said, well, if he had been nominated by a Republican, then, yes, he would be willing to consider him, but not since he was nominated by President Obama. You know, this has just really taken off in a direction that is a direct insult to the President, it is a direct insult to the Constitution, and now it is a direct insult to Judge Garland.
GAYLE KING: But, Senator, the Republicans are now pointing to Joe Biden's comments back in 1992 when he said a nomination should not be put forward in an election year. So why is this different this time in 2016?
WARREN: Well, let's be clear. Just go back and look at the history. Every single Republican – every single Supreme Court nominee to a vacant position has had its hearing and a vote. The only ones who didn't get a hearing didn't get a hearing because they went straight to a vote. That is a hundred years of actual fact.
NORAH O’DONNELL: Senator, let me turn to the presidential race in 2016. All of your female Democratic senators have endorsed Senator Hillary Clinton. You have not yet made an endorsement. Will you do it before the convention?
WARREN: I don't have a time line for this. But I got to tell you, watching what’s been going on the Democratic side really makes me prouder to be a Democrat. We’ve been out there talking about the issues, both Hillary and Bernie, about how it is that young people are going to be able to get an education without getting crushed by student loan debt, how we can better rein in Wall Street, how we can have trade deals that don't just leave workers in the dirt.
O’DONNELL: You know that your lack of an endorsement at this stage, though, has raised some questions. Let me ask you this – do you believe that Senator Clinton should release the transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs?
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Clinton Concerns; Sen. Warren on Candidate’s Ties to Wall Street]
WARREN: Look, I think that our candidates are out doing what they should do in a primary. They are debating the issues. And they answer for themselves.
O’DONNELL: You're not answering my question, Senator.
WARREN: What I'm doing is I'm telling you what I think should be going on right now in this primary.
O’DONNELL: It's a yes or no question. Should she release the transcripts or not?
WARREN: What I’ve told you is I think that the primaries are doing exactly what they should be doing and the candidates are being tested.
GAYLE KING: What will it take for you to make an endorsement of either candidate? What more do you need to hear?
WARREN: I don’t have a timeline. What I'm glad to see is what’s happening right now. And that is that the Democrats are out talking about the issues. I think it makes it very distinct what happens between our side and what is happening over on the other side.
ROSE: Someone said –
WARREN: You know, they’re doing some kind of reality show, we’re out here trying to talk about the issues that affect American people.
ROSE: And so are we. And one of the questions that’s being raised, has the Democratic Party and has Senator Clinton, Secretary Clinton moved from being a Clinton Democrat to a Warren Democrat?
WARREN: You know, what our candidates have told us is what they will stand for as President of the United States. And both of them –
ROSE: Is it moving to the left?
WARREN: I think what it is, is moving to where America is. America's hard-working families, America's middle class is really on the ropes. And what we need is somebody in the White House who is going to be out there fighting for them. That’s what this next election is going to be about. The Republicans make it clear, they are going to keep working for the rich and the powerful. The Democrats are making it clear they’re going to get out there for working families. They’re going to fight to build a future not just for some of our children, but for all of our children. Big difference between those.
ROSE: Senator Warren, so great to have you here. Thank you so much for coming.
WARREN: It's always good to see you.