This morning on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked C. Boyden Gray, former counsel to President George H.W. Bush and head of the conservative group Committee for Justice, why right-wing groups are planning to spend millions of dollars on a Court nominee:
The money that will be spent will be spent to counterbalance what [the other side is] doing. It’s more a defensive measure to support the president, not to try to influence how the president makes his own picks.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT), appearing on Face the Nation, disagreed:
[S]ome of the right-wing groups, of course, are trying to push the president into getting the most conservative person that they can get.
Appearing later on Face the Nation, Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the right-wing group American Center for Law and Justice, bore out Hatch’s view:
This idea that we’ve got to have a consensus candidate I think is ridiculous This idea that the president has to come up with a consensus candidate with the Senate is just wrong.