Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden wouldn’t say if he would pack the Supreme Court during the presidential debate because he plans to do it.
“He ducked the question. In an election when you duck the question, you know what the answer is. That is exactly what they are up to. That is exactly what they intend to do,” the Kentucky Republican said, recalling the first presidential debate in Ohio on Tuesday night.
He also noted Sen. Kamala Harris, Mr. Biden’s running mate, has said she is open to the call from progressives in their party to put more justices on the Supreme Court as a way to counter the conservative majority.
Some have proposed as many as 15 justices, instead of the high court’s current nine-member court.
The majority leader also jabbed Senate Democrats for saying the debate over the Supreme Court vacancy and President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett isn’t about her qualifications but rather a fight over healthcare.
Democrats have objected to Judge Barrett being rushed through a confirmation process ahead of a case Nov. 10 involving the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. They claim she will destroy healthcare for people with pre-existing conditions.
But Mr. McConnell said they did the same thing with Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., who voted previously to uphold the Affordable Care Act in a different case nearly a decade ago.
“Same old scare tactics. Totally predictable and totally dishonest,” Mr. McConnell said.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, meanwhile, said the Republicans are engaging in a double standard because they wouldn’t move forward with President Obama’s nominee for the high court in 2016, citing the election.
The New York Democrat on Wednesday went after Mr. Trump’s debate performance the night before, saying it was “disgraceful.”
“This president and truth don’t intersect at all,” he said.
Mr. Schumer bashed the president and his party for not condemning the Proud Boys — a far-right group. During the debate Mr. Trump did not condemn white supremacy and told the Proud Boys to stand back and stand by during the Nov. 3 election.
“President Trump demurred,” Mr. Schumer said. “Stand back and stand by? President Obama once wondered how hard is it to say that Nazis are bad. Apparently, for President Trump it’s beyond his capacity,” Mr. Schumer said.
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