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Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., expressed the same frustration felt by millions of Republican voters when it comes to liberal Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.
In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Gaetz suggested Republicans voters should withhold their votes from Collins and Murkowski in November if the senators will not vote for President Trump’s eventual Supreme Court nominee ahead of the election.
(For what it’s worth, Alaska Republicans voters did oust Murkowski in 2010, only to see her run a rogue write-in campaign to retain her seat.)
“If Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are going to withhold their vote for the president’s nominee, then Republicans in those states should withhold their votes from them,” Gaetz insisted. “What good are Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski if we can’t count on them to fulfill their obligation to advise and consent during the term in which they’ve been elected?”
As to be expected, following the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, both Collins and Murkowski said they opposed nominating a justice to fill the vacancy before the November election.
Gaetz, who’s plugging his new book due out Tuesday, Firebrand, Dispatches from the Front Lines of the MAGA Revolution, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “sure as hell better deliver” on securing the votes to push Trump’s nominee through the confirmation process.
“The court is his legacy,” he said of the Republican from Kentucky. “So if the court is McConnell’s legacy, he sure as hell better deliver on the president’s nominee.”
The interview was published early Monday afternoon, and later that evening, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on Fox News’ “Hannity” to say McConnell does indeed have the necessary votes.
“We’ve got the votes to confirm Justice Ginsburg’s replacement before the election,” Graham said. “We’re going to move forward in the committee. We are going to report the nomination out of the committee to the floor of the United States Senate so we can vote before the election. That’s the constitutional process.”
Interestingly, Gaetz said McConnell and the GOP should have given former President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland, a vote ahead of the 2016 election.
“Republicans should have held that vote. And if they didn’t want to vote for him, they shouldn’t have voted for him,” he said. “And I think there were plenty of reasons to vote against Merrick Garland. But that was a mistake then, and it puts us in a worse position now, and frankly, as we engage in the type of revolution that I think we need in our politics to achieve the full value of the Trump presidency, we need to see a Senate that takes more tough votes on more things going forward,” he said.
Appearing later in the day on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Gaetz repeated his message about voters rejecting Collins and Murkowski, and called on the GOP to stop funding their campaigns.
(Source: Fox News)
“Here we have Murkowski and Collins rejecting the duties they have as senators and if they do that their voters should reject them,” he told host Tucker Carlson. “Trump supporters should not be taken for granted in Maine, Alaska or anywhere else. And if they are unwilling to do their job and take a vote on who the president nominates they should not have the privilege of continuing to serve in the Senate.”
“Mitch McConnell should put pressure on fellow senators,” Gaetz added. “They should lose funding for their campaigns. They should lose committee assignments if they are unwilling to fulfill their duty.”
The Florida lawmaker also highlighted Collins’ hypocrisy.
“Susan Collins herself said the senate should take a vote on Merrick Garland,” he said. “So the Susan Collins of 2020 should certainly agree with the Susan Collins of 2016.”
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