The White House criticized Republican senators who have broken with Donald Trump over his statements against a Hispanic judge, noting that they are holding up a vote on a Supreme Court nomination.
“I guess I would just point out that it’s a little ironic for Republicans in the Senate who say they have concerns about the Republican presidential nominee’s views as it relates to judges to also say that they’re not going to confirm any judges to preserve the ability of the Republican presidential nominee to potentially make those appointments,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.
Several Republican Senators have condemned Trump’s suggestion that Judge Gonzalo Curiel cannot preside over his Trump University lawsuit in an unbiased manner because of his Mexican heritage, including Senate Majority Leader. Mitch McConnell. Soon after Justice Antonin Scalia’s death, and before the president announced his nominee chief justice Merrick Garland, McConnell issued a statement pledging the Senate would not consider any nominee President Obama puts forward to make room for a potential Republican successor to nominate someone.
“It is additional evidence of the uncomfortable position that Republicans have tried to adopt here when it comes to not doing their job on considering the president’s Supreme Court nominee,” Earnest said, adding that it applies to other federal judges as well.
Earnest also suggested that the American people will pay attention to the positions of Republicans in light of Trump’s statements on Curiel as well as the nominee’s statements.
“I guess I find the reluctance of current Republican officeholders disavowing their endorsement totally unsurprising. This is not an exception, this is the rule,” Earnest said. “It’s an unfortunate one and yes, it’s one I do think that people across the country will notice.”