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tv   Senator Mc Connell Press Conference  CSPAN  October 7, 2018 1:31am-1:43am EDT

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the vice president: expressions of approval or disapproval are not permitted in the senate gallery. are there any senators in the chamber who wish to vote or change a vote? if not, on this vote the ayes are 50. the nays are 48. the nomination of brett m. kavanaugh of maryland to be an associate justice of the supreme >> following the senate vote to confirm brett kavanaugh to be an associate justice of the supreme court, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell's vote weekly to reporters. this is about 10 minutes. senator mcconnell: i had a
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chance to talk to justice kavanaugh and congratulate him on his victory, and also the president. this is a good day for america, and an important day for the senate. we stood up for the presumption of innocence, we refused to be intimidated by the mob of people that were coming after republican members at their homes, in the halls. i couldn't be prouder of the senate republican conference. we want to thank senator manchin for helping us. with that i would be happy to take a few questions. reporter: this is been a dark
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period, and you had hoped to turn a page after what we've seen the past few weeks. if it gets to that point -- senator mcconnell sorry to interrupt, but we have seen both sides of the senate during the same time we had this huge argument over the supreme court. we passed an opioid build on on a bipartisan basis, and faa extension we just completed, doing the best job on appropriations in 20 years. so we were both able to have a big, robust fight over something both sides felt deeply about 10 still work together on other issues at the very same time. reporter: people are angry on your side in the democratic side. senator mcconnell: these things always blow over. there may have been some anger expressed during this fight, but
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i said, the very same time, is not really newsworthy for you guys because they won by big margins, but we were doing important things together that had not been done in a long time. reporter: mr. leader, how do you view what effect this is going to have on the court? senator mcconnell i called on the woman behind you. reporter: are you concerned that if democrats take the white house there will be a more partisan judge approved in the future? senator mcconnell: a little history lesson, but the count is was always done on a simple majority basis until bush 43 got elected. always. even though it was possible to filibuster it simply wasn't done.
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so this notion of filibustering executive branch appointments is a relatively new thing, and invented vented ironically by my counterpart, currently the democratic leader of the senate, who began to encourage democrats to use filibusters against circuit court appointments during bush 43's first term. and you saw this evolve through different phases over the next 15 years, leading us right back to where we were before. and there were plenty of contentious nominations when the filibuster was still possible, the most conspicuous example of that, clarence thomas's nomination. it had a negative voye and was confirmed 52-48. and it only takes one senator to get us to 60 votes. nobody did. so we are simply back to dealing
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with the executive calendar on a simple majority basis, as we did for 230 years or so, and i don't think -- and it will advantage the other side at this point, as it did down through history. reporter: what do you think the impact of this will be on the fall election, and you think has this has implications for your party? senator mcconnell: it certainly has a good impact for us. our base is fired up. we finally discovered the one thing that would fire up the republican base, and we didn't think of it and the other side did it. the tactics employed by judiciary committee democratic senators and by the virtual mob that has assaulted all of us in the course of this process has turned our base on fire.
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i was talking to my political advisers yesterday about the advantage that these guys, by their tactics, have given to us going into these red state, competitive races, and we are pretty excited. the only thing they had not figured out to do, the other side has been obviously fired up all your. reporter: are there long-term implications for the way women view the party? senator mcconnell you mean women like senator collins and senator hyde smith and senator ernst and senator fischer? this was about evidence being relevant, not about unsubstantiated charges. reporter: we've heard your colleagues say the country needs to heal, the senate needs deal. -- to heal.
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do you think the country and the senate need to heal after this? senator mcconnell: i just finished reaching john meacham's latest book, which is a trip through american history and some of the most challenging times we've had, and this is nowhere near as challenging as some of the experiences we had in the past throughout our history. the senate and the country will get past this. we always do. the geniuses who put together this constitution knew what they were doing, and we have had plenty of low points in our history. i think this is nowhere near the lowest points we have experienced. the mccarthy era, the rise of the klan in the 1920's after woodrow wilson premiered the birth of the nation in the white house, we've always had low points and we get past them.
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reporter: democrats are now saying senator collins is a top priority for them. senator mcconnell: she's my top priority, too. reporter: someone said under the merrick garland standards, he would not consider a supreme court nominee once the 2020 race has begun. would you agree? senator mcconnell: let's talk about 2016. i'm glad you brought it up your . you would have to go back to 1888, 1888, to find the last time a senate controlled by a different party than the president filled the vacancy created during a presidential election year. i knew full well based on what joe biden volunteered in 1992, and chuck schumer harry reid
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volunteered in 2007 that two controls the senate when you have a vacancy that close to the election makes a big difference. there's no doubt in anybody's mind that if the shoe was on the other foot in 2016 and it had been a republican president taking a nomination to a democratic senate, it would not have been filled. so we will see what happens in 2020. first, if we have a vacancy. second, who is in charge of the senate. reporter: if there was another vacancy, if ruth bader ginsburg were to relieve the court, would you are the president to put another conservative in that seat? senator mcconnell: of course. reporter: will you try to encourage more female republican women on the judiciary committee after all of this? senator mcconnell: that's a good question. we have encouraged several women senators to go on the committee. i intend to do that. their particular priorities,
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there has been no effort to avoid it. i've encourage them to do it, obviously without success, and we would love to have worn of one of our wonderful senators on judiciary. hopefully that will be the case next year. thanks a lot. >> shortly after the senate confirmed him, brett kavanaugh and his family traveled to the supreme court building, where he took the constitutional oath from supreme court chief justice john roberts, and the oath which was administered by retired justice anthony kennedy. this photo of the private ceremony is from the collection of the supreme court of the
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united states. president trump will host the ceremonial swearing-in for supreme court justice brett kavanaugh monday in the east room of the white house. we will have live coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. now, president trump speaks at a rally in topeka, kansas. his remarks follow the senate confirmation vote to make brett kavanaugh the newest justice of the supreme court. this is one hour and 15 minutes. [crowd noise] ♪

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