After the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court yesterday, Sen. Mitch McConnell said that last year’s vacant seat on the high court played a major role in the election of Donald Trump.
“At the end, this issue more than any other, elected Donald Trump, because, at the end, you had two candidates who were overwhelmingly unpopular.
Nobody was predicting Trump would get 90 percent of the Republican vote just like Mitt Romney did, but he did. And the single biggest reason was, they wanted him to make the Supreme Court appointment, not Hillary Clinton.”
McConnell said that he wasn’t sure blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill the seat last year, would pay off – but was glad he stuck by his plan.
“This call was made in February. We didn’t know who are nominee was going to be yet,” McConnell said, referring to his decision in February 2016 to call for the winner of the November election to nominate a justice, not Obama.
Senate Republicans’ refusal last year to hold a hearing or vote on Garland – Obama’s pick to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia – angered Democrats, who remain bitter over the decision.
Mitch McConnell famously said blocking Obama’s Supreme Court nomination was one of the proudest moments of his life.