Senator Mitch Mcconnell (R-ky) Said Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Couldn’t Give Him an Answer on Court Packing | Social Security
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- spoke on the Guy Benson Show to discuss President Biden’s State of the Union Address, the Russia-Ukraine War, and meeting Biden’s Supreme Court candidate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Capitol Hill.
Senator McConnell stated that he asked Judge Jackson about court-packing but did not receive a response, stating,
“I made a point of emphasizing that to her. I thought it was something she could safely address and that people would like to hear about. That’s exactly what Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer stated regarding court-packing. Both of whom stated unequivocally that it was a horrible idea and an assault on the court’s credibility and independence. I didn’t receive an answer, but I’m sure she’ll be asked about it again during her Judiciary Committee hearings.”
Transcript in full:
FOX NEWS RADIO HOST GUY BENSON: Now we have Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican.
Senator, it’s a pleasure to have you on the program. Thank you for returning.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Thank you. Sure. Guy, it’s a pleasure to be with you.
BENSON: You were in the chamber last night, so just your general ideas. On a few occasions, the cameras were trained on you. What were your initial thoughts? You’ve now had almost a day to digest it a little more. What were your key takeaways from the president’s speech last night?
MCCONNELL: I thought the tone on Ukraine was a little too self-congratulatory. I believe we can all agree that the heroic Ukrainian people and their amazing leader are inspiring the rest of the globe with their bravery and have created, you know, clearly the opposite reaction from NATO that Putin predicted.
Who would have thought that the Germans — even in a coalition that includes the Green Party — would completely reverse their policies over the last few decades, not only on energy but also on the direct exportation of weapons to Ukraine, doubling their defense budget and declaring that they want to get to 2% of GDP as soon as possible? Who would have guessed that Finland and Sweden would be suggesting that we join NATO? From a NATO standpoint, I believe Putin has fostered more unity and resolve than any prior administration, regardless of party affiliation.
BENSON: And that concludes the president’s statement on Ukraine and Russia. To use your phrase, there was a lot of unity in the room, albeit a little too self-congratulatory. He then moved on to the rest of the speech, which felt like a mishmash to me, with him bouncing from one issue to another swiftly and with little transitions. And it didn’t feel new, or like he was attempting to turn over a new leaf or turn the page on what has been a difficult first year as president for him. There was a lot of it – more of the same.
It felt like he was giving us a little bit of a reminiscence tour of the best hits that didn’t make it through Congress. Saying, “Well, why don’t you go ahead and pass the Democratic takeover of our elections and major components of Build Back Better?” I’m curious what you make of that, given that it’s not new and seems almost impossible given what’s happened in recent months.
MCCONNELL: You know what I was thinking as I sat there listening to that, Guy, was how Bill Clinton reacted when he got his butt given to him in the 1994 election. This – the next State of the Union address — began with the astonishing statement, “The era of big government is ended.” That is how I define a pivot. Biden ran as a moderate, you know. However, he has not been moderate. And so on — it was more of the same. They’re still advocating the same old crap they sought to pass last year, nothing new there. I believe that was a missed chance for him to suggest that he had heard the voices of the American people. They have been stated, both in Virginia and New Jersey. But I believe the message was that we will stick to our guns.
BENSON: By the way, while we’re on the subject of Virginia, a new poll of Virginia voters was released this week. And, in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Glen Youngkin enjoys a net 22-point popularity advantage over President Biden. On employment approvals, he is plus nine, the governor is plus nine, and the president is minus twelve. So — and this is red. So that helps to provide a picture of the national climate in which this president and his party are operating. Last night’s State of the Union question, Senator, is a two-parter.
The backbencher House of Representatives member on the Republican side who, at one point, heckled the president about American casualties in Afghanistan has received a lot of media attention. Is that, in your opinion, a suitable thing to do, A? And then, B, what do you make of the president’s and his team’s decision not to mention Afghanistan at all during their 70-minute speech?
MCCONNELL: I think they didn’t want to bring up Afghanistan because it was a disaster. Guy, I believe that if we had not abruptly abandoned Afghanistan, Vladimir Putin would not have gone into Ukraine. Thugs like Putin were empowered by the perception of American disengagement and weakness. But I’m not shocked Joe Biden didn’t bring up Afghanistan. It was, I believe, a low point in an already shambolic performance during the year.
BENSON: Do you have any thoughts on the Republican Congresswoman’s outburst?
MCCONNELL: Look, I believe civil behavior in Congress is a good concept. In the Senate, we behave in this manner. I don’t generally give counsel to the House. A courteous response to the State of the Union, on the other hand, appears to be the rule.
BENSON: Earlier today, you had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with President Biden’s new Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brown Jackson of the D.C. Circuit, a highly anticipated meeting due, of course, to your position in the Senate, and it’s always all eyes on a Supreme Court vacancy. We’d be very interested to hear about your impressions of the nominee and how that meeting went if you’re able to talk to us about it.
MCCONNELL: These nominees don’t say much, do they? They’ve all been taught, dating back to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, not to answer any questions. But I believe she is educated and, more than likely, progressive.
The Senate Republican Minority intends to treat the candidate with dignity. I’m not interested in what someone wrote in her high school yearbook, for example. I did emphasize to her that I thought it was something she could simply address, and people would welcome hearing, and that’s what Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer said about court-packing, both of whom made it clear that was a bad idea and was attacked — an attack on the integrity of the — of the court and its independence.
I didn’t get a response to that. But I’m sure she’ll be asked that again at her Judiciary Committee hearings.
BENSON: Setting aside her worldview, I believe she will be confirmed if she gets it to the court, given the math and dynamics. I’m sure I’ll disagree with a lot of her jurisprudence and judgments during the length of her tenure on the court. But, putting everything aside, do you believe she is qualified for the United States Supreme Court based on her resume?
MCCONNELL: Yes, yes. No question about that.
BENSON: Senator McConnell, one last question. There have been some reports in D.C. about some backroom conflict within the Senate Republican Conference this cycle over the NRSC Chairman, Rick Scott of Florida, putting forth, sort of, an agenda that is mainly popular with the American people. However, there is one tax item that would provide Democrats with an opportunity to attack Republicans. And there have been stories that you have been critical of including that in this public agenda that he has put out there, and that there may be some dispute going on behind the scenes.
Without taking anything personally, I believe Republican and conservative voters who respect you and Senator Scott just believe that the Republican Party must not blow it this election season. And there’s a great chance to win, and possibly win large, in the midterm elections. Can they be certain that this type of squabble can be settled swiftly and that the party will be focused and united in November?
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MCCONNELL: Yes, yes, yes. I believe so. It’s critical to remember that this election will be a referendum on the functioning of this Democratic government. And it’s also vital when we start talking about what a new Senate Republican majority would do, to make it clear that we’re not going to raise taxes and that we’re not going to sunset Social Security and Medicare in five years. That would not only be a horrible government policy, but it would also cause it to fail — a referendum on us rather than them.
BENSON: And if it’s just a referendum on them, based on some of the polling numbers I just mentioned a few minutes ago, I believe the Democratic Party is in for a tough night in November. Last time we spoke, you predicted that Republicans would be in control of both the House and the Senate in November. We’ll go over it again in the coming weeks and months once you’re back. Senator McConnell, you are always appreciated. Thank you a lot.