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

Fox News’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceRepublicans hammer Biden on infrastructure while administration defends plan GOP senator: Two sides 'far apart' on infrastructure compromise Biden economic adviser frames infrastructure plan as necessary investment MORE pressed Sen. Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonOpposition to refugees echoes one of America's most shameful moments White House defends CDC outreach to teachers union Allowing a racist slur against Tim Scott to trend confirms social media's activist bias 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 GinsburgCourt watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement Five hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion 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?” 

The senator made the comments after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016 and then-President Obama nominated Merrick GarlandMerrick GarlandBiden set to flex clemency powers Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say Garland emphasizes national security, civil rights in budget hearing 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 KavanaughConservative justices split in ruling for immigrant fighting deportation Supreme Court weighs whether to limit issuance of exemptions to biofuel blending requirements The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP makes infrastructure play; Senate passes Asian hate crimes bill 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 TrumpCaitlyn Jenner on Hannity touts Trump: 'He was a disruptor' Ivanka Trump doubles down on vaccine push with post celebrating second shot Conservative Club for Growth PAC comes out against Stefanik to replace Cheney 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 McConnellThe Memo: The GOP's war is already over — Trump won Biden: GOP in the midst of a 'mini-revolution' Ernst defends Cheney, calls for GOP unity 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 CoonsUS, Iran signal possible breakthroughs in nuke talks How the United States can pass Civics 101 Americans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to oppose ending filibuster 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.