CBS on Biden’s ‘92 Comments: ‘Memories Are Long in the Senate’ and GOP Not Ready to Forget

A newly-discovered video from 1992 of then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden is helping Republicans who want to delay the decision until the next president

KING: “Republican senators will meet today to gear up for a fight over the open seat on the Supreme Court. A new poll finds that 56 percent of Americans want the Senate to hold the hearings and vote on President Obama’s nominee to replace Antonin Scalia. Jan Crawford is on Capitol Hill where a newly-discovered video is helping Republicans who want to delay a decision until the next president. Jan, good morning.”
CRAWFORD: “Well, good morning. So, I mean, this is going to be a huge fight about one thing is — for sure, a lot of these arguments you have heard before. They were just made by the other side and Republicans did get that big boost yesterday from someone you might not expect.”
[clip starts]
BIDEN: “Action on a Supreme Court nomination must be put off until after the election campaign is over.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “That’s then Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Joe Biden who in 1992 suggested he was just fine with blocking any election year nominees when President George H.W. Bush was in the White House.”
BIDEN: “President Bush should consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not, and not name a nominee until after the November election is completed.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “The current judiciary committee chair, Republican Chuck Grassley, immediately agreed to what he called the ‘Biden rules’.”
GRASSLEY: “In his heart of hearts, he understands why this Senate must do what he said it must do in 1992.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “With President Obama poised to move the court to a liberal majority, Republicans are vowing to block any nominee. Democrats, like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, are questioning their motives.”
REID: “...is a full-blown effort to de-legitimize President Obama.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “But Democrats like Reid and even then Senator Obama have blocked or tried to block Republican nominees when they controlled the Senate. And Republicans who were in the Senate minority cried foul.”
MCCONNELL: “Any president’s judicial nominees after full debate deserve a simple up or down vote.”
CRAWFORD (voice-over): “Here is Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday.”
MCCONNELL: “It is today the American people who are best positioned to help make this important
decision.”
[clip ends]
CRAWFORD: “Now, when Biden made that so-called ‘Biden rule,’ you know, he says that he really left the door open for a compromise. In a statement he said he was talking about a, quote, ‘hypothetical vacancy’ to the Supreme Court. In the White House says that then Senator Obama, well, he now regrets his vote to filibuster Justice Alito. But Charlie, memories are long in the U.S. Senate and Republicans are not quite ready to forget.”

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