Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), returned to the Senate on Thursday after aborting his unsuccessful quest for the Republican nomination on Tuesday night. Asked by reporters about President Obama’s Supreme Court nomination, Rubio went beyond the party line to express outright opposition to Judge Merrick Garland.
“I mean, I don’t see the point of it,” Rubio said of the nomination. “I know enough about his record to know I wouldn’t support him and I know enough about the position in general to be able to say, number one, I don’t think we should be moving on a nominee in the last year of this president’s term — I would say that if it was a Republican president — and number two, even if this was the third year of this president’s term, this is not someone I’d support.”
Asked if he’d even be willing to speak with Garland, Rubio replied, “I’d be more than happy to talk to anybody, but I wouldn’t change my position.”
Other Senate Republicans have been nearly unanimous in saying that they would not allow a hearing or a vote on any Obama nominee at all, so as to “give the people a voice,” through the next presidential election. Many have said nice things about Garland, suggesting that they would be open to confirming him should the next president choose him.
But Rubio, without any meetings with the nominee or any confirmation hearings, made it clear that he would never back Garland. Fortunately for the nominee, Rubio’s replacement will take office on January 3, 17 days before Obama leaves office.
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