GOP: Biden trying to ‘rewrite history’ with Supreme Court speech

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Republicans quickly slammed Vice President Biden’s Supreme Court speech Thursday, suggesting he was trying to gloss over his past comments.

“No matter how hard the White House tries to rewrite history, it can’t change then Chairmen Biden’s remarks explaining how the President and Senate should handle a Supreme Court nomination arising during a heated presidential campaign,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement.

{mosads}Republicans have repeatedly cited the “Biden rule,” referring back to a 1992 floor speech the vice president delivered as a senator, as they seek to blunt criticism of their strategy to deny Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing or vote.

In that 1992 speech, Biden argued that senators should delay considering a potential Supreme Court nominee until after the elections.

Biden, however, fired back during a speech Thursday at Georgetown University Law Center that Republicans are “quoting selectively” from the speech, saying “there is no ‘Biden rule.’ It doesn’t exist.” 

His Thursday speech is the latest in a weeks-long effort to keep the Supreme Court battle in the spotlight and pressure Republicans to cave on Garland.

But GOP lawmakers appeared unswayed. 

Grassley doubled down on his belief that the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat should remain vacant, saying “the American people should be provided an opportunity to weigh in on whether the court should move in a more liberal direction.” 

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, suggested Biden’s speech amounted to “revisionist history.”

“Double standard plain and clear. Case of do what I say not what I said I would do,” he added.

While Democrats have boiled down their counter argument to a frequently repeated three-word slogan — “do your job” — Republicans say Democrats would have the same strategy if the situation were reversed, under a GOP president.

“Remember when [Biden] said the Senate should consider not scheduling SCOTUS hearings during campaign season?” Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) asked after the speech.

Senate Republicans also circulated a video of Biden’s 1992 speech, while the vice president was speaking Thursday. 

Senators have been locked in a battle over the Supreme Court for weeks. A small number of Republicans are willing to meet with Garland, though most are using the meetings to reiterate that they believe the court seat should remain empty. 

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, also weighed in after Biden’s speech, saying “this is the kind of hypocrisy that has voters so disillusioned with Washington.”

Tags Chuck Grassley John Cornyn

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