Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said there is “no question” that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump will win the nomination and voters should be scared of someone like Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) serving on the Supreme Court.
PJM asked Reid if he agreed with Lee’s comparison between the GOP not holding hearings on President Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, to Reid ignoring hundreds of bills the GOP-led House sent to the Senate when he was majority leader.
“It’s a rationale but it’s a very, very shallow rationale. The fact is we all have a job to do and everyone knows that the job we have to do is — for example, with the Supreme Court, we have to do that. I’ve talked about the issues that are important today — Merrick Garland, Zika virus, a budget, Puerto Rico, Flint water crisis, opioids, climate change — these are the issues we should be talking about and Mike Lee, was my neighbor when he was a boy, he’s a fine young man, but he is off in some crazy world of trying to be a Supreme Court legal scholar and he’s not on the Supreme Court,” Reid said on a conference call held by the Constitutional Responsibility Project.
“We should just go ahead and do the business at hand and not come up with some of the weird stuff that he and a few others on that side do. There have been some, if you can imagine this, that are suggesting either Mike Lee or Ted Cruz to be on the Supreme Court when Trump is elected. Now, try that one on. If that doesn’t scare you, there’s nothing that I can say that would scare you,” he added.
Stephanie Cutter, Obama’s 2012 campaign spokesperson who is now part of the Constitutional Responsibility Project, said Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has a decision to make at this point.
“Essentially we’re dealing with the Trump-McConnell party now and Sen. Grassley has to make a decision,” Cutter said. “He is holding out for Donald Trump to make the nomination for the open seat on the Supreme Court and therefore dismissing a bipartisan consensus candidate with the most judicial experience of any nominee — that’s what he’s holding out for and he needs to answer that question. Does he think that Donald Trump is going to put forth a better nominee than Merrick Garland?”
Reid said Republican senators up for re-election such as Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Grassley are being hurt by the GOP’s refusal to hold hearings for Garland’s nomination.
“There’s no question Donald Trump is going to be the nominee of the Republican Party. There’s no question about that, and I can only assume Grassley is blocking Obama’s nomination to gamble on whomever Donald Trump would want to choose as a Supreme Court justice. Now that should give everyone pause. I do not know how President Obama could have come up with a more consensus person,” Reid said.