Todd Grills Schumer for Dems Confirming Bush Judge 11 Years Ago

Recently, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a ObamaCare) on the grounds that since the law’s “tax” was currently at zero it was now unconstitutional. Fresh from whining about it on Sunday Today, moderator Chuck Todd grilled Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer during Meet the Press because he and other Democrats confirmed the Judge after President George W. Bush nominated him back in 2007.

Todd became indignant when he pounced on Schumer with a quote from his former staffer Brian Fallon, who was having a conniption on Twitter because of the ruling:

Let me ask you this about the courts, by the way, Brian Fallon, somebody who used to work for you by the way. He tweeted the following, he said, “The judge who ruled in favor of gutting ObamaCare was confirmed by voice vote. Remember that the next time Democrats cut a deal with McConnell on judges and defend it by saying ‘they were all non-controversial nominees.’”

This judge, by the way, confirmed in 2007 when Democrats were in control of the United States Senate. Do you regret the way you guys voice voted this judge,” Todd chided.

Even though he wanted the ruling “overturned”, Schumer defended himself and Senate Democrats by noting that “you never know how a judge is going to vote ten years later” and blamed the ruling on Republicans’ “forum shopping”. “The Republicans chose this court and this bench because they thought they might get this way out of the mainstream ruling from this judge, who’s done it before,” he claimed.

 

 

But, Todd wouldn’t let it go and demanded to know: “You brushed off this judge issue very quickly. Look, that was part of a deal. You were part of cutting back in '07. Was that a bad deal?

Schumer denied that any deal was made to confirm Judge O’Connor and reiterated that “no one knew how he would rule in the future and, you know, it's an awful ruling. Let's make no mistake about it.”

Todd then started pushing Schumer from the left on whether or not he would support the left’s radical ‘Medicare for all’ push:

Some progressives, as you know -- and maybe even some Senators in your own caucus are going to say, “Okay, here we go again with the Affordable Care Act and it was a flawed enterprise anyway.” Here’s what Adam Green, founder of Progressive Change Campaign writes. He says, “Democrats need to put a bright north star in the sky for 2020 voters showing what Democrats would do with more power, and making clear that we're moving toward ‘Medicare for all’ as a big part of a 2020 electoral strategy. It seems pretty clear the presidential nominee, whoever it is, will support Medicare for all.” Do you think it's time for Democrats to push this?

The Senate Minority Leader tried to dodge the question by talking about how many people in the Democratic Party were for many different solutions for health care. “Where are you,” Todd insisted. “Do you think you should spend more time fixing the Affordable Care Act or launching a new health care proposal?”

After even more weaseling by Schumer, Todd cut to the chase and again demanded to know: “I know you're careful about putting your view here now that you're the leader of the Senate conference there, are you going to support ‘Medicare for all’, Senator Schumer?”

This display was Todd showing off just how far to the left he was.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Meet the Press
December 16, 2018
10:36:32 a.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you this about the courts, by the way, Brian Fallon, somebody who used to work for you by the way. He tweeted the following, he said, “The judge who ruled in favor of gutting ObamaCare was confirmed by voice vote. Remember that the next time Democrats cut a deal with McConnell on judges and defend it by saying ‘they were all non-controversial nominees.’” This judge, by the way, confirmed in 2007 when Democrats were in control of the United States Senate. Do you regret the way you guys voice voted this judge?

SENATOR CHUCK SCHUMER: Look, you never know how a judge is going to vote ten years later. But this was an awful, awful decision and it has to be overturned. There’s also, you know, an element, I don't know how you deal with this but forum shopping. The Republicans chose this court and this bench because they thought they might get this way out of the mainstream ruling from this judge, who’s done it before.

TODD: You brushed off this judge issue very quickly. Look, that was part of a deal. You were part of cutting back in '07. Was that a bad deal?

SCHUMER: No, there was no deal I don't think on this judge. He was a nominee to the District Court. No one brought up anything, no one knew how he would rule in the future and, you know, it's an awful ruling. Let's make no mistake about it.

TODD: Some progressives, as you know -- and maybe even some Senators in your own caucus are going to say, “Okay, here we go again with the Affordable Care Act and it was a flawed enterprise anyway.” Here’s what Adam Green, founder of Progressive Change Campaign writes. He says, “Democrats need to put a bright north star in the sky for 2020 voters showing what Democrats would do with more power, and making clear that we're moving toward ‘Medicare for all’ as a big part of a 2020 electoral strategy. It seems pretty clear the presidential nominee, whoever it is, will support Medicare for all.” Do you think it's time for Democrats to push this?

SCHUMER: Look, Democrats are for universal access to health care, from one end of the party to the other. We want more people covered, everyone covered. We want better health care at a lower cost. People have different views as to how to get there. Many are for ‘Medicare for all’. Some are for Medicare buy in and some are over 55, some are Medicaid buy in, some are public option. We’re going to have to do a lot more on health care. It will be a major issue in 2020 and I believe Democrats will coalesce around the best way to get the best health care for the most people.

TODD: Where are you? Do you think you should spend more time fixing the Affordable Care Act or launching a new health care proposal?

SCHUMER: Well, we first have to undo this awful decision. Because look, we have a Republican president. We have a Republican Senate. They’ve spent a lot of time sabotaging health care. So, that's the first job. But after that, Democrats, as we did in 2018 rather successfully are going to make health care a major, probably the major issue in the upcoming campaigns. And as we act in Congress, we're going to force our Republican colleagues now that this decision has sort of lifted up their hypocrisy to choose a side. Are you for the American people, working people for more and better health care or are you going to continue to cut it? Same with Trump. Same with President Trump, by the way.

TODD: I know you're careful about putting your view here now that you're the leader of the Senate conference there, are you going to support ‘Medicare for all’, Senator Schumer?

SCHUMER: Look, as I said, there are lots of different roots. I'm going to support a plan that can pass and that can provide the best - cheapest health care for all Americans.

(…)

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