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

Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceWolf Blitzer will host an evening newscast on CNN's streaming service Audie Cornish hired by CNN, will host show and podcast on streaming service The five biggest media stories of 2021 MORE pressed Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness Sinema scuttles hopes for filibuster reform Republicans threaten floor takeover if Democrats weaken filibuster  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 GinsburgSecond gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House Former colleagues honor Reid in ceremony at Capitol Congressional Progressive Caucus backs measure to expand Supreme Court 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 GarlandNewsom vows crackdown: Rail car looting like 'third-world country' Tlaib blasts Biden judicial nominee whose firm sued environmental lawyer Oath Keeper charges renew attention on Trump orbit 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 KavanaughSupreme Court sides with murder defendant in major evidentiary ruling Ossoff and Collins clash over her past support for voting rights legislation Supreme Court rejects Trump's bid to shield records from Jan. 6 committee 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 TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case 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 McConnellThese Senate seats are up for election in 2022 WATCH: The Hill recaps the top stories of the week Effort to overhaul archaic election law wins new momentum 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 CoonsChris Andrew CoonsDemocrats hope to salvage Biden's agenda on Manchin's terms  Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill Bipartisan lawmakers announce climate adaptation bill 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.