Former GOP strategist Steve Schmidt, who previously worked for Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign, said Wednesday that “Democrats should dig in hard” and “do everything they conceivably can do to block” President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination.
“And for the fabric of our democracy, Democrats should dig in hard here and do everything they conceivably can do to block this nomination, any nomination from going forward until after we see what happens in the midterm election,” Schmidt said in a phone interview on MSNBC.
Schmidt announced earlier this month that he would leave the Republican party and start voting for Democrats.
Schmidt’s remarks come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced that he plans for the legislative chamber to vote “this fall” to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy.
“Mitch McConnell has, as much as anyone, done great damage to the United States Senate as an institution that was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body,” said Schmidt on MSNBC.
“They stole a Supreme Court seat from the Democrats,” he continued.
Democrats are pushing back, saying that McConnell should abide by his own standard and wait until after the midterms to vote on Trump’s Supreme Court nominee.
“Millions of people are just months away [in the November midterm elections] from determining the senators who should vote to confirm or reject the president’s nominee and their voices deserve to be heard,” Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said on the Senate floor, adding that “anything by that would be the absolute height of hypocrisy.”
Schmidt also argued that the GOP is “a minority that is ruling the majority of the country who are opposed to this president,” because Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes in the 2016 election.
“This is also, and I think it is important to point out, a president who is increasingly lawless, who asserts himself to be above the law, who attacks constantly fundamental institutions and pillars in the middle of a criminal investigation that has moved closer and closer and closer to the Oval Office,” Schmidt added.
“The reality is, you have Donald Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million. He won by 78,000 votes across three states,” Schmidt said. “And the Republicans control all three branches of government, the legislative and by Republican nominees on the Supreme Court.”
“So, we have a minority that is ruling the majority of the country who are opposed to this president, and that is extremely unhealthy in a democracy,” he said.
The Hill added:
Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia in January 2017 shortly after taking office.
Gorsuch was confirmed in April 2017 by a 54-45 vote, mostly along party lines, with just three Democrats breaking ranks.
Kennedy, who was nominated by President Reagan in 1988, will officially retire on July 31.