By Kyle Drennen
In an interview with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough on Thursday, Today co-host Savannah Guthrie surprisingly held President Obama accountable for opposing Republican Supreme Court nominees in the past while calling on the GOP to approve his now.
After McDonough called on the Senate to “do its job” and allow a vote on Merrick Garland, Guthrie countered: “When it comes to these judicial nominations, perhaps neither side has clean hands entirely. Back when Senator Obama was in office he voted against Justice Robert’s nomination and Justice Alito’s nomination. So is this a case of what’s good for the goose is what’s good for the gander? How does he explain that now?”
McDonough claimed: “…in both of those cases not only did senators meet with and give a hearing to those candidates, but in fact, they voted on them. And that’s exactly the process that we’re asking for here.”
Guthrie promptly corrected him: “But, Denis, President Obama voted to filibuster Justice Alito, which is another way of saying not bring him to the Senate floor for a full vote.”
McDonough argued that because that effort failed the President was off the hook: “Well, in fact, what they did have is a series of hearings and then they had a vote out of committee, then they had a debate on the Senate floor. That filibuster was stopped and he was voted on to the court. That’s exactly the way – ”
Guthrie demanded: “So he doesn’t regret being part of that?” McDonough dodged the question.
Wrapping up the exchange, fellow co-host Matt Lauer wondered if the President had “one firm ally on the Republican side in the Senate that he feels will help him get this to a hearing and confirmation?”
McDonough couldn’t name one and Lauer pressed: “But does the President have a real firm ally on the Republican side?”
The presidential aide declared: “…we heard several, more than a handful of Republican senators agreeing to meet with him [Garland]. We think that’s a good start. But this is not rocket science, here, Matt. All they need to do is do what the Constitution says, give him a hearing, give him a vote, and let’s fill that vacancy.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at newsbusters.org.