Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley is responding to criticism from Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over his refusal to consider President Brack Obama’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee.
Grassley, a Republican, chairs the committee that reviews court nominees and he says the next president should fill the vacancy. While campaigning in Wisconsin on Monday, Clinton said Grassley is ignoring the 65 million Americans who voted in 2012 to reelect Obama.
Grassley says the midterm election of 2014 is also a key factor. “Yeah, the president was reelected, but the president also said when we had the biggest change-over in the United States Senate since the 1980 election that that election was a referendum on his programs,” Grassley says. “There’s a whole new Senate that has a mandate from the grassroots of America to be a check on the presidency.”
Grassley says the voters in November of 2016 deserve a voice in the future of the nation’s high court, adding, the Senate is doing what it has the “electoral mandate” to do.
Grassley says, “That is to withhold and let the people have a voice, based not upon some Republican determination that that’s what we ought to do at this time in history, it’s based upon what a lot of Democratic senators have said in like situations when we had a Republican president.”
Speaking in Madison, Clinton said Grassley should “step up and do his job” and “hold a hearing.” Clinton told the audience Grassley’s tactics are “not high-minded principles, they are low-minded politics.”
Grassley, who is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded to the Democratic front-runner. Grassley says, “I would look at Hillary Clinton’s statement as a person who very dramatically lost primaries in three states, she’s up for investigation on her email, she’s going to possibly be questioned by the FBI and she wants to take attention away from her political troubles and put the focus someplace else, so she has chose Chuck Grassley.”
A statement Monday from the Iowa Democratic Party suggested Grassley is avoiding the public because of the issue, saying he attended no public events in Iowa last week to “shield himself from Iowans’ strong opposition to his Supreme Court obstructionism.”
Grassley says he was invited to speak at a Garner factory last week where he faced many more people than he typically encounters at a town hall meeting. “So, I would ask the state Democratic Party, isn’t it better for Chuck Grassley to do a Q-and-A meeting with 250 employees in Garner at a factory as opposed to 30 people at the town meeting?”
Grassley held two open town meetings on Monday — in Ocheyedan and Rock Rapids — and a third this morning in Orange City.