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Chris Wallace presses Cotton on 'any hypocrisy' between comments on Supreme Court vacancy in 2016 and today

Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace: Democrats 'would need a blue wave' to take back Senate Biden, Trump pen dueling Fox News op-eds Trump calls Fox 'disappointing' for airing Obama speech MORE pressed Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonCotton mocks NY Times over claim of nonpartisanship, promises to submit op-eds as test Barrett fight puts focus on abortion in 2020 election COVID outbreak threatens GOP's Supreme Court plans MORE on Sunday on whether there is “any hypocrisy” between the Arkansas Republican's 2016 comments to avoid a Supreme Court justice confirmation ahead of an election and his current call to “move forward without delay.”

Cotton told “Fox News Sunday” that the GOP-led Senate has a “mandate to perform our constitutional duty” and fill the Supreme Court vacancy after Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgThe truth, the whole truth about protecting preexisting conditions McConnell plans to fill two key circuit court seats even if Trump loses GOP faces fundraising reckoning as Democrats rake in cash MORE’s death on Friday. 

Wallace then replayed Cotton’s remarks on the Senate floor in 2016 in which the Arkansas senator asked, “Why would we squelch the voice of the people? Why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the makeup of the Supreme Court?” 

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The senator made the comments after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 and then-President Obama nominated Merrick GarlandMerrick Brian GarlandWhat a Biden administration should look like McConnell and Schumer's relationship shredded after court brawl Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court MORE nine months before the presidential election. 

“You don’t see any hypocrisy between that position then and this position now?” Wallace asked.

“Chris, the Senate majority is performing our constitutional duty and fulfilling the mandate that the voters gave us in 2016 and especially in 2018,” he said, referring to the midterm elections after Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughVermont secretary of State says Kavanaugh's correction still unsatisfactory Kavanaugh corrects opinion in voting case following Vermont official's objection The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE’s confirmation hearings. 

Wallace also asked Cotton if he would “still think it would be proper” for the Senate to confirm President Trump's nominee to the court if the 2020 election resulted in a new president and a Democratic majority in the upper chamber.

“Chris, as I said, we are going to move forward without delay, and there will be a vote on this nominee,” the senator said.

“But, to the point, Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpStephen Miller: Trump to further crackdown on illegal immigration if he wins US records 97,000 new COVID-19 cases, shattering daily record Biden leads Trump by 8 points nationally: poll MORE’s gonna win reelection, and I believe the Senate Republicans will win our majority back because the American people know that Donald Trump is going to put nominees up for the federal courts who will apply the law, not make the law,” he added. 

Ginsburg’s death has sparked an intense partisan debate on whether Trump should move forward with nominating her replacement with Election Day 44 days away. 

The Supreme Court announced that Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer Friday night. 

Trump has said he expects to nominate a woman to replace Ginsburg, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTop Senate GOP super PAC makes final .6M investment in Michigan Senate race On The Money: McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 | Lawmakers see better prospects for COVID deal after election Overnight Health Care: House Dem report blasts Trump coronavirus response | Regeneron halts trial of antibody drug in sickest hospitalized patients | McConnell says Congress will take up stimulus package at start of 2021 MORE (R-Ky.) has vowed to give Trump’s appointee a vote on the floor, despite blocking Garland’s confirmation vote in 2016.

Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsWhat a Biden administration should look like Bitter fight over Barrett fuels calls to nix filibuster, expand court Ocasio-Cortez: Republicans don't believe Democrats 'have the stones to play hardball' MORE (D-Del.), who spoke on “Fox News Sunday” after Cotton, argued that the election has already begun this year as many Americans participate in mail-in voting and early voting during the coronavirus pandemic.