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Pence admits he’s not sure Republicans have the votes for Kavanaugh

After Democrats spent the week grilling Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — and even presenting evidence that he may have committed perjury — at least one prominent Kavanaugh supporter seems worried about the extremist judge’s chances of being confirmed.

On Sunday morning’s edition of CBS News’ “Face the Nation,” host Margaret Brennan asked Vice President Mike Pence, “Do you think you need to cast the deciding vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh?”

In the case of a tie in the Senate, the vice president casts the deciding vote.

Pence paused, then replied, “Well, we hope not.”

Pence tried to stammer out another line about “the American people,” but Brennan interrupted.

“You’re not sure where you are on vote count yet?” she asked.

“We’ll see where we are,” Pence said.

Pence later tried to walk that back, claiming he had “every confidence” that Kavanaugh would be confirmed.

But Pence seemed to have been caught off guard by Brennan’s question, and may have accidentally shared his real thoughts on the matter before retreating back to his talking points.

Pence’s uncertain initial response stands in stark contrast with what White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on “Meet the Press” Sunday morning.

Conway dismissed Kavanaugh’s disastrous hearing as a “spectacle,” and declared, “Brett Kavanaugh will be confirmed later … this month, and he will be seated before the October 1st Supreme Court term.”

Pence’s nervousness might be an encouraging sign that the Kavanaugh hearings have done some real damage to Trump’s chance of seating him on the Supreme Court.

During those hearings, Kavanaugh very publicly snubbed the father of a victim of gun violence.

He used the attacks of 9/11 to defend his view that presidents shouldn’t be investigated, and was suspiciously evasive under Sen. Kamala Harris’ (D-CA) questioning about the Mueller probe. Kavanaugh also refused to recuse himself from cases related to the Russia investigation.

In his testimony, Kavanaugh displayed callousness about the prospect of women dying as a result of anti-abortion laws, and demonstrated ignorance and hostility toward reproductive health care by falsely referring to contraceptives as “abortion-inducing drugs.”

Democrats on the committee released a trove of emails that had previously been marked “committee confidential” and not to be released to the public. Those emails suggested that Kavanaugh may have lied to Congress during his earlier confirmation hearings.

Those emails also showed Kavanaugh suggesting that Roe v. Wade is not “settled law,” contradicting the hollow assurance he gave to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) prior to the hearings.

Any or all of those moments could end up being enough to swing two moderate Republicans, like Collins or Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), or any other Republican who is paying attention to what voters think.

Even before the hearings began, Kavanaugh had historically low support. This week’s proceedings don’t seem likely to have improved his standing.

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