NBC’s Chuck Todd Badgers McConnell About Giving Garland a Vote

With the Senate’s Supreme Court confirmation vote for Judge Neil Gorsuch just days away and the possibly of Republicans nuking the filibuster looming, NBC’s Chuck Todd seemed as though he was in a near panic on Sunday’s Meet The Press. Besides his declarations of the GOP continuing the Senate’s decent down the “slippery slope” of removing the filibuster, Todd pestered Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for the Senate to hold a vote for former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland.

“There is clearly a debate and a fight about how Supreme Court justices are confirmed, how it was handled,” he told McConnell, “Do you have any regrets on how you treated Merrick Garland last year?”

“No. The tradition had been not to confirm vacancies created in the middle of a presidential year,” McConnell explained, “You'd have to go back to 80 years to find the last time that happened, go back to the 1880s to find the last time it happened before that.” He also reminded Todd of the obvious fact that if the roles were reversed, Democrats would have wanted to hold off on a Republican president’s nominee.

Todd continued to whine, “I understand that. But why not-- If that was the rationale that was a rationale to vote against his confirmation. Why not put him up for a vote?” McConnell seemed to find humor in Todd’s insistence that Garland should be given a vote, because he couldn’t help but chuckle as he said: “Look, we litigated that last year.”

McConnell did reiterate why Gorsuch deserved to be confirmed to the Supreme Court:

And what's before us now, Chuck, is not what happened last year but the qualifications of Neil Gorsuch. Unanimously well-qualified by the American Bar Association. 99% of the time in the majority, 97% of his opinions were unanimous. Only one time reversed by the Supreme Court. There's no rational basis, no principled reason for voting against Neil Gorsuch. And that's what's before the Senate this week.

But Todd still wouldn’t let it go, and almost seemed to beg for Garland to get a confirmation vote even if he was rejected. Todd’s comments again drew laughter from McConnell.

“Should that be the policy going forward,” Todd spat before going off the deep end, “Are you prepared to pass a resolution that says ‘in an election years,’ any supreme court vacancy-- and have it to be the sense of a senate resolution-- that say ‘no supreme court nominations will be considered in any even numbered year?’ Is that where we're headed?”

The Senate Majority Leader dismissed the moderator’s silliness, stating: “Chuck, with all due respect, that's an absurd question.” “Why don't we talk about what we're voting on this week and that's this extraordinarily well-qualified nominee for the U.S. Supreme court,” he continued.

<<< Please support MRC's NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

The NBC moderator then moved on to bemoaning that his guest would even entertain using the so-called “nuclear option” to remove the ability for Democrats to filibuster the confirmation. But McConnell reminded him the filibustering nominations was only a recent development in the Senate, which was started by Democrats.

This level of outrage present for the Republican majority by the liberal media was seriously lacking when Senate Democrats were the ones changing the rules when they were in power. It was also missing in 1992 when then Senator Joe Biden created the “Biden Rule” forbidding the hearing of nominations in election years. A massive and blatant double standard. 

Transcript below:

NBC
Meet the Press
April 2, 2017
10:41:16 AM Eastern

CHUCK TODD: Let's move to the Supreme Court. There is clearly a debate and a fight about how Supreme Court justices are confirmed, how it was handled. Do you have any regrets on how you treated Merrick Garland last year?

MITCH MCONNELL: No. The tradition had been not to confirm vacancies created in the middle of a presidential year. You'd have go back to 80 years to find the last time that happened, go back to the 1880s to find the last time it happened before that. Everyone knew including President Obama's former White House council that if the shoe had been on the other foot, they wouldn't have filled a Republican president's vacancy in the middle of a supreme court -- in the middle of a presidential election. So that clearly wasn't going to happen. Even if the roles had been reversed.

TODD: I understand that. But why not-- If that was the rationale that was a rationale to vote against his confirmation. Why not put him up for a vote?

MCCONNELL: Really? Really?

TODD: That is -- look any Senator can have a rationale not to vote for a confirmation. Why not put Merrick Garland on the floor and if the rationale is you know what, too close to an election then vote no.

MCCONNELL: [Laughing] Look, we litigated that last year. The American people decided they wanted Donald Trump to make the nomination not Hillary Clinton. And what's before us now, Chuck, is not what happened last year but the qualifications of Neil Gorsuch. Unanimously well-qualified by the American Bar Association. 99% of the time in the majority, 97% of his opinions were unanimous. Only one time reversed by the Supreme Court. There's no rational basis, no principled reason for voting against Neil Gorsuch. And that's what's before the Senate this week.

TODD: You say it's been litigated last year the Merrick Garland situation. For a lot of Senate Democrats they're not done litigating this, including someone like Tom Carper, a Democratic Senator who is not comfortable with the idea of filibustering, but believes that Merrick Garland was mistreated. Again, what was wrong with allowing Merrick Garland to have an up or down vote?

Sign Up for MRC Newsletters!

MCCONNELL: [Laughter] I already told you, you don't fill the Supreme Court vacancies in the middle of the presidential election that's what John Biden said back in 1992 And he was chairman of the judiciary committee.

TODD: Should that be the policy going forward? Are you prepared to pass a resolution that says “in an election years,” any supreme court vacancy-- and have it to be the sense of a senate resolution-- that say “no supreme court nominations will be considered in any even numbered year?” Is that where we're headed?

MCCONNELL: Chuck, with all due respect, that's an absurd question. We were right in the middle of the presidential election year. Everybody knew that neither side had the -- had the shoe been on the foot would have filled it, but that has nothing to do with what we're voting on this year. Why don't we talk about what we're voting on this week and that's this extraordinarily well-qualified nominee for the U.S. Supreme court.

NB Daily Appointments Judiciary Garland Nomination Gorsuch Nomination Covert Liberal Activists Double Standards NBC Meet the Press Video Chuck Todd Mitch McConnell Neil Gorsuch Merrick Garland

Sponsored Links