Biden: Obama wants nominee with GOP support

President Obama is searching for a consensus Supreme Court nominee who can attract support from Republicans in the Senate, Vice President Biden said in an interview Thursday.


“The Senate gets to have a say. So in order to get this done, the president is not going to be able to go out — nor would it be his instinct anyway — to pick the most liberal jurist in the nation and put them on the court," the vice president told Minnesota Public Radio.

"There are plenty of judges who are on high courts already who have had unanimous support of the Republicans,” he added.

Biden’s comments open the window further to Obama’s selection process as he chooses a replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last Saturday at 79.

Republicans are also showing signs of division over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellNAACP president presses senators on voting rights: 'You will decide who defines America' Sununu says he skipped Senate bid to avoid being 'roadblock' to Biden for two years 'All or nothing' won't bolster American democracy: Reform the filibuster and Electoral Count Act MORE's (R-Ky.) call for Obama not to nominate a new justice.

Biden, who is in Minnesota touting the administration's 2009 economic stimulus plan, also lashed out at Republicans for their position.

"To leave the seat vacant at this critical moment in American history is a little bit like saying, 'God forbid something happen to the president and the vice president, we're not going to fill the presidency for another year and a half,’ ” Biden said.

McConnell announced his position over the weekend, but other Republicans, such as Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.), have said blanket opposition could make the GOP look obstructionist to voters.

Top Democrats have been pushing Obama to put forth a highly qualified nominee who has received support from Republicans in the past.

The White House has declined to list potential Obama replacements. But two possible picks who fit the criteria are Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Appeals Court D.C. Circuit, who was confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate in 2013 by a vote of 96-0, and Judge Jane Kelly of the 8th Circuit, whom Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyBig Tech critics launch new project Senate antitrust bill has serious ramifications for consumers and small businesses Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two MORE (R-Iowa) backed in the past.