Marc Short, Vice President Pence’s chief of staff, on Sunday dismissed concerns that a rushed vote on President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans ‘should hold the same position’ on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant ‘Fill that seat’ at North Carolina rally MORE’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgJeff Flake: Republicans ‘should hold the same position’ on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant ‘Fill that seat’ at North Carolina rally Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day MORE‘s death will hurt vulnerable GOP senators in light of the Republicans’ position four years ago to block then-President Obama’s nominee.
Host Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperThe Memo: Media accused of using kid-gloves on Biden CNN slammed for soft questions during Biden town hall: ‘The media is broken’ Biden’s team says he views election against Trump as ‘Park Avenue vs. Scranton’ MORE asked Short on CNN’s “State of the Union” if he thinks there is a risk that “this obvious hypocrisy may cost Republicans in competitive races,” referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Trump expects to nominate woman to replace Ginsburg next week Video of Lindsey Graham arguing against nominating a Supreme Court justice in an election year goes viral MORE’s (R-Ky.) decision to block Obama’s nominee to fill a vacancy nine months before the 2016 election.
Short responded that he “rejects the notion” of hypocrisy, adding that the “historical precedent” is for the president to nominate a replacement and for the confirmation process to continue when the same party is in power in the White House and the Senate.
“I don’t think there’s hypocrisy,” Short said. “Regarding the politics of it, the people of America elected Trump in 2016.”
He added that Trump was elected after having put forward a list of who he would nominate to the court if elected.
“As far as the politics of it, I think the American people wanted Donald Trump to make nominations,” Short said.
McConnell vowed shortly after Ginsburg’s death that the Republicans will move to fill the vacancy.
In a statement to her granddaughter that was obtained by NPR, Ginsburg said her “most fervent wish” was to not be replaced “until a new president is installed.”
Tapper asked Short on Sunday if Trump “ever considered honoring Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish.”
Short responded that the decision on when to nominate a justice “does not lie with her.”
The decision to vote on a nominee could place several vulnerable GOP senators seeking reelection in a tough spot with fewer than 50 days until Election Day.
Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsJeff Flake: Republicans ‘should hold the same position’ on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant ‘Fill that seat’ at North Carolina rally Momentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day MORE (R-Maine.) said in a statement after Ginsburg’s death that the Senate should not vote for Ginsburg’s successor before the election.
Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Collins: President elected Nov. 3 should fill Supreme Court vacancy Barrett seen as a front-runner for Trump Supreme Court pick MORE (R-Alaska) also said shortly before Ginsburg’s death was reported that she would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee before the election.
Republicans cannot afford any more than three defections and still confirm Trump’s nominee if all 47 members of the Senate Democratic caucus oppose Trump’s pick.