A small group of Senate Republicans is breaking with its party's Supreme Court strategy, with lawmakers saying they're willing to meet with President Obama's pick to succeed Justice Antonin Scalia.
“The White House has asked me to meet with him, and I've agreed to do so,” Collins said. “I've never refused an offer to meet with a nominee to the Supreme Court; that has always been my standard practice. And, so, I have accepted that offer, and it will be scheduled after the recess."
Asked if she thinks Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive takeaways from Florida Senate debate Liberal groups call for delaying cures bill to next year Conservative groups urge against extending energy tax breaks MORE (R-Ky.) will change his mind, the Maine Republican said no.
"I don't see the majority leader changing his mind on this issue. He believes strongly that this should be a decision made by the next president. I don't agree with that decision, but I respect it,” she said. “The irony, however, will be if the next president, whoever that may be, ends up nominating a person who is far more liberal than Judge Garland, who is considered to be a centrist."Sen. Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeReport: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas High anxiety for GOP Five takeaways from final debate MORE (R-Ariz.) also told reporters that he would meet with Garland, saying, "I meet with people. That's what I do."
Cornyn was asked if he's worried about GOP strategy "getting away from" leadership, with some Republicans already saying they'll meet with Garland.
"This person will not be confirmed, so there's no reason going through some motions and pretending like it will happen, because it's not going to happen," he said.
When asked if the administration could do anything to make McConnell change his mind, Cornyn said, "No. We've made a decision, and now I think we have to continue to explain to people the principle involved is not about the personality."
Democrats quickly pounced on Portman and Ayotte's statements, suggesting voters shouldn't believe "their blatant political spin."
“Sen. Ayotte is still choosing unprecedented constitutional obstruction over the interests of Granite Staters, and voters will turn out in November to elect a senator who will actually do their job," said Lauren Passalacqua, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's national press secretary.