Recently on ABC’s “This Week,” Cokie Roberts doubted Trump’s ability to properly select a nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.
Partial transcript as follows:
RADDATZ: Let’s bring in our powerhouse roundtable. ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd. Shawna Thomas, we welcome, Washington bureau chief for Vice News, ABC News’ Cokie Roberts and former New Jersey Governor and ABC News contributor Chris Christie. Welcome all of you.
Chris Christie, I want to start with you. You — you just heard what Senator Collins said. This Supreme Court nominee is so important. She said she could not support anyone who wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade.
CHRIS CHRISTIE, CONTRIBUTOR, ABC NEWS: Well listen, I think that everyone’s going to have their own view on this and — and — and I — I don’t think you’re going to have anybody who’s going to be that outright about giving their opinion on that case or any other case.
And so Senator Collins is going to have to do what every other senator’s going to have to do, which is look back at the person’s record as a judge, if they’ve been on the bench for any kind of long period of time, look at their record, their writings and everything else and try to divine from that what they think might happen.
I think in the end, though, what the president is most likely to do is to pick someone who he believes takes the right type of judicial approach but has a judicial temperament that’s going to be very difficult to attack.
RADDATZ: It doesn’t seem there’s any indication that he’s going to choose someone who’s more moderate, like Justice Kennedy.
CHRISTIE: Well, no, I don’t think so. And by the way, you know, I kind of laugh about this a little bit as a Republican, like who’s the moderate on the Democratic side that has been selected lately? I mean, you might be able to argue Justice Breyer every once in a while, but certainly not Kagan or Ginsburg or Sotomayor.
ROBERTS: President Clinton thought Ginsberg was. You know, he was…
CHRISTIE: Good luck.
ROBERTS: He was unhappy about that.
But I think the notion of Donald Trump judging somebody’s temperament is somewhat odd and I’m not sure that that’s something he’s able to do. I think that it’s going to be very much advice coming from people in the Senate.
RADDATZ: And Matt, do Democrats really have any power to defeat Trump’s nominee?
DOWD: Well, this is an exclamation point of why elections have consequences.
DOWD: And the president has a complete right to nominate a conservative judge to the court. Democrats had that right when they held presidential office.
I do think — but the Democrats have an obligation and a right of advice and consent and to raise concerns and to generate enthusiasm for what their beliefs are in this.
I do think we’ve come to a point, and reflected in your piece of how divided the country is, is that I would hope the president would consider possibly nominating somebody that would get more than 50 or 51 votes, because I think that’s the problem we’re in.
ROBERTS: Good luck with that though.
DOWD: But I think that’s the problem.