WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday during an appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” that President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be the next justice on the U.S. Supreme Court was “the right choice at the right time. A promise made and a promise kept.”
Pence began escorting Kavanaugh to the offices of U.S. senators Tuesday afternoon. He said he expected one of those meetings in the coming weeks to be with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin.
“This will be a choice for Senator Manchin, whether he’s going to stand with Chuck Schumer and liberals in Washington, D.C., who are prepared to oppose the most qualified, the most deserving nominee to the Supreme Court today, or whether he’s going to stand with he President’s nominee,” Pence said.
Manchin turned down an opportunity to watch the nomination in person at the White House Monday night. In a statement after the announcement, Manchin said he planned to ask Kavanaugh about where he stands on the issue of pre-existing conditions with the Affordable Care Act.
“The Supreme Court will ultimately decide if nearly 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions will lose their healthcare,” he said. “This decision will directly impact almost 40 percent of my state, so I’m very interested in his position on protecting West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.”
U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, also a guest on Tuesday’s “Talkline,” predicted that Manchin would eventually vote for Kavanaugh’s nomination like he did after Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Court.
“A good, solid respectful-of-the-constitution court is something that I want and I think it’s something that Senator Manchin wants as well,” Capito said.
State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who is running against Manchin in the November General Election, predicted Tuesday Manchin would vote for Kavanaugh purely on political grounds.
“Because he has to–this is political survival for Joe Manchin and I’m predicting it’s ‘when’ not ‘if’,'” Morrisey said on “Talkline.” “We’re going to see classic Joe Manchin here. He’s going to be straddling the fence, probably the next couple of months he’s going to test the political winds, then he’ll act just solely to further his own interests.”
The nation’s largest pro-life lobby, Susan B. Anthony List, held a rally outside of Manchin’s office in Charleston Tuesday.
“He says he is pro-life–so we are once again asking him to confirm another constitutionalist justice and remind him that President Trump won in West Virginia by 42 percentage points,” said Jill Staneck, the organization’s national campaign chair.
Pence, a longtime pro-life elected official, said knowing what he’s knows about Kavanaugh he is “content” with how he would handle the issue if a case challenging the historic Rowe vs. Wade decision comes before the Court.
“He’s known for being a judge who reads the text of the Constitution as written,” Pence said. “This will be a judge who interprets the law, who does set out to make law or make policy, but he will bring that principled commitment to the Constitution of the United States and he will take each case at a time and apply the law and apply the Constitution.”