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McConnell: My Top Priority Is ‘The Most Important Long-Term Thing We Can Do’ For U.S.

By  Daily Wire News
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WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 28: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) talks to reporters after the weekly Republican Senate caucus luncheon with (L-R) Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) at the U.S. Capitol January 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. Senate Republicans took swings at President Barack Obama and his policies hours before he is scheduled to deliver his sixth State of the Union speech before a joint session of Congress.
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News’s Bret Baier on Thursday night that his top priority is confirming as many pro-law judges to the judicial system to the courts and that it is the most important long-term thing that Republicans can do for America.

“If a Supreme Court seat were to open up before the November election, would you hold that seat open like you did for Merrick Garland to let voters decide what presidential candidates pick the next justice?” Baier asked.

“Let me remind you what I said in 2016,” McConnell said. “I said you’d have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy on the Supreme Court occurring during a presidential election year was confirmed by a Senate of a different party than the president. That was the situation in 2016. That would not be the situation in 2020.”

“I’m not aware of any vacancy, but if you are asking me a hypothetical whether this Republican Senate would confirm a member of the Supreme Court to a vacancy that created this year, we would fill it,” McConnell continued, later adding that he hopes to have filled all vacancies this year.

“My job is to try to set the priorities. I have felt that our judiciary was the most important responsibility,” McConnell added. “We’ve done now 51 the circuit judges in three years. It took President Obama eight years to do 55. I think changing the court system: Putting in place men and women who believe their job is to actually interpret the law as is written is the most important long-term thing we can do for the country and yes, its my top priority.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

BRET BAIER: You heard about the attorney general and his concerns about the president’s tweeting, saying it’s making it impossible to do his job. Your reaction to that?

MITCH MCCONNELL: My reaction is, the president made a great choice when he picked Bill Barr to be attorney general, I think the president should listen to his advice.

BAIER: You have a problem with the president’s tweeting as well?

MCCONNELL: I think that if attorney general says it’s getting in the way of doing his job maybe the presidential listen to the attorney general.

BAIER: Do you think his tweet about his opinion on the Roger Stone sentencing is inappropriate political interference?

MCCONNELL: The attorney general said it’s making him difficult to do his job. I think the president ought to listen to the attorney general, whose an outstanding law enforcement officer, he’s a top person in the country. The president made a wide selection in picking Bill Barr pair they got to listen to him.

BAIER: You precedent. Are you concerned at all that President Trump in his mind has some how politicized of the department of justice or this is become the new normal for him?

MCCONNELL: I hate to keep saying the same thing. … I think the attorney general knows what he’s talking about. I’m not the attorney general but I have confidence in Bill Barr. I think he’s doing a good job and I think he’s told the president, this is not helpful, making it difficult for him to do his job. I think the president will listen to it.

BAIER: If a Supreme Court seat were to open up before the November election, would you hold that seat open like you did for Merrick Garland to let voters decide what presidential candidates pick the next justice?

MCCONNELL: Let me remind you what I said in 2016. I said you’d have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy on the Supreme Court occurring during a presidential election year was confirmed by a Senate of a different party than the president. That was the situation in 2016. That would not be the situation in 2020. I’m not aware of any vacancy, but if you are asking me a hypothetical whether this Republican Senate would confirm a member of the Supreme Court to a vacancy that created this year, we would fill it.

BAIER: Will there be any judicial vacancies left unfilled?

MCCONNELL: I hope not. I hope not.

BAIER: Do you risk criticism if you do the judges but you don’t get those other big things done like prescription drugs, infrastructure.

MCCONNELL: I risk criticism every day. My job is to try to set the priorities. I have felt that our judiciary was the most important responsibility. We’ve done now 51 the circuit judges in three years. It took President Obama eight years to do 55. I think changing the court system: Putting in place men and women who believe their job is to actually interpret the law as is written is the most important long-term thing we can do for the country and yes, its my top priority.

BAIER: Last thing, as you look at the Democratic race right now, a lot of angst on the Democratic side about Bernie Sanders versus a centrist or moderate role. What would it do to the country, do you think, if it was a president Bernie Sanders, if he was elected over President Trump in November if he’s the nominee?

MCCONNELL: You’ve got to worry about a nominee who is so attracted to the old Soviet Union years ago that he and his wife and him went to a honeymoon to Moscow during the Cold War. He’s the real deal. What bothers me more is all the rest of them sound very similar. They just don’t describe themselves as socialists. They may call themselves moderates. If the definition of a moderate in the Democratic presidential primary these days is, they’re not for ‘Medicare For All’ but the public option, the public option there will be only be one insurance company pretty soon, so they’re all heading the same direction, socialized medicine. I think they are all taking far-left positions and even though Bernie Sanders gets some credit for truth in labeling, they are I think all heading in the same direction.

BAIER: You have to have an answer for the health care attack, right? That is coming up time and time again in Iowa, New Hampshire, and there is not a Republican answer yet.

MCCONNELL: You mean on prescription drugs?

BAIER: No, I’m saying overall. You’re fighting in court against ObamaCare and against pre-existing conditions. The president on the State of the Union says he’s going to fight for pre-existing conditions all time. There’s a dichotomy and not a way forward.

MCCONNELL: Look, let’s put it this way, you saw that the Democrats couldn’t even put on a caucus in Iowa, I do not think the country would be better off to put them in charge of our healthcare.

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