By Jordan Fabian - 03/14/16 09:41 AM EDT
RNC launching task force to stop Obama Supreme Court nominee
The Republican National Committee (RNC) is teaming up with a prominent conservative advocacy group to block President Obama’s effort to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court.
The RNC has formed a task force to launch radio and digital attack ads, petitions and media appearances to back up Senate Republicans, who have pledged not to hold hearings or votes on Obama’s replacement for the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
The campaign is aimed at Democratic presidential candidates Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonCNN: Anchor Wolf Blitzer wasn't celebrating Clinton nomination Clinton, Kaine blast GOP convention Hillary Clinton closes DNC with message of inclusion MORE and Bernie SandersBernie SandersDem anxiety hangs over Clinton Sanders consultants join up with Wasserman Schultz’s primary opponent The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, Democrats running in tough Senate races and party members on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus called it “the most comprehensive judicial response effort in our party's history.”
“We’re going to hold everyone accountable and make sure Democrats have to answer to the American people for why they don’t want voters to have a say in this process,” he said in a statement.
The Associated Press first reported the plan.
It’s the latest sign Obama’s Supreme Court nominee is in for a bruising election-year confirmation fight.
The president is expected to put forth his pick any day, and the White House and its allies are formulating their own public relations campaign designed to pressure Republicans into holding hearings and a vote.
The White House has enlisted a number of former Obama advisers to draw up plans for a media and political onslaught designed to shame Republicans for their Supreme Court blockade.
Still, Obama spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday denounced the Republicans' effort.
"This is exactly what I’ve been saying for weeks now about how this process on the Republican side is all tangled up in politics," he told reporters. "This is Exhibit A of Republicans putting political considerations at the RNC ahead of their constitutional duties.”
RNC task force members will do background research into the nominee to expose any flaws and plan to call out Democrats for their “hypocrisy” on judicial nominations, relying on comments made by Vice President Biden in 1992 suggesting any Supreme Court nomination should wait until after the presidential election and those by other Democrats.
The committee is teaming up with America Rising Squared, an outside conservative group helmed by Republican strategist Brian Rogers.
In addition to targeting the party’s presidential nominees, the effort will be aimed at Democratic senators and candidates in ten states, including battlegrounds such as Colorado, Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada and Florida.
-- This report was updated at 2:22 p.m.