WASHINGTON, DC—With remarks that may leave Republicans wondering which party’s nomination he is competing for, Ohio Governor John Kasich told CBS’s John Dickerson that if elected president, he would consider re-nominating Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court.
The interview will run Sunday morning on Face the Nation. Kasich criticized Senate Republicans, who have pledged to hold no hearings and no votes on the nomination until a new president is elected. “Frankly, they probably ought to all sit down and meet with the guy,” Kasich said.
Kasich explained, “My feeling is, at the end of the day, whoever gets elected president should be in a position to be able to pick, you know, who they want, and the American people will either decide by voting for a Republican or Democrat what the makeup of the Court is.”
But then Kasich suggested to Dickerson that if he were elected president, there might not be a difference between the two political parties when it comes to Supreme Court nominations.
Dickerson teed up the point by asking, “As someone who’s talked about unity, would you take a look at Mr. Garland … if you were elected president?”
Rather than give a simple and emphatic “No!” like Ted Cruz did in a recent statement, Kasich answered that he would seriously consider the D.C. Circuit federal appeals judge.
His meandering answer began, “Well, you know, he received, you know, overwhelming support, I think even from Senator Hatch, so of course we’d think about it.” Kasich went on to say that he wanted a “conservative,” leaving open the possibility that he considers the reliably liberal Garland a conservative. He then added the confusing comment, “I don’t care about their peccadillos, you know, 30 years ago.”
The interview will run Sunday, March 19.
Ken Klukowski is legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.