Thursday, March 30, 2017
Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s running mate in last year’s presidential election, made a flurry of news Wednesday when he announced that due to Judge Neil Gorsuch’s track record on abortion and contraceptives, he would oppose Gorsuch’s nomination.
“After meeting with Judge Gorsuch and reviewing his testimony and past decisions, I’ve observed that he has repeatedly taken an activist approach to cases involving a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her health,” Kaine said in his statement.
“He has made the astounding argument that bosses have an individual right to prevent their company’s female employees from using their own health insurance to buy contraception,” he added.
Later Wednesday, Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC tracked Kaine down for an interview.
She began by noting that Kaine was not among the relatively few number of Democrats to attend Tuesday night’s bipartisan reception for senators hosted by President Donald Trump.
Kaine said he had a prior commitment he had already rescheduled once and was unable to attend.
“There was a shout-out to Chuck Schumer and a call form the president to start working with Democrats,” she said as the image on the screen shifted away from Mitchell and Kaine and to the White House press room where White House press secretary Sean Spicer was taking his place behind the podium.
“Senator, I apologize to you,” Mitchell told Kaine. “We have to go to the White House now.”
“That’s the story of my life, Andrea,” Kaine quipped.
“No, not the story of your life. That’s the story of my life, senator,” she replied.
Spicer began his briefing with the same issue that brought Kaine to the media forefront — Gorsuch’s nomination.
“I want to speak about Judge Gorsuch and the blatantly political obstruction of his nomination to the Supreme Court by Senate Democrats. Yesterday, the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that next Friday the Senate will vote to confirm Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. We welcome this news,” Spicer said.
“Unfortunately, Senate Democrats have begun justifying their opposition to Judge Gorsuch by claiming a 60-vote standard for his confirmation. That standard doesn’t exist and these claims continue to be false. A party-line filibuster by the Senate minority is not a fair up-or-down vote,” Spicer added.
Spicer then quoted comments from Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., made in 2013.
“Some of us may disagree with Justice Scalia on judicial philosophy, but he was a qualified nominee. He received an up-or-down vote and he was unanimously confirmed,” Spicer quoted Udall as saying then.
“Likewise, he said, Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg was considered a liberal. The former ACLU general counsel, many on the other side may have disagreed with her views but there was no filibuster. She was confirmed by a vote of 96-3,” Spicer added, quoting Udall.
Spicer noted that Udall, not a foe of Gorsuch, concluded, “A minority in the Senate should not be able to block qualified nominees.”
“We could not agree more with Sen. Udall,” Spicer said.
What do you think?