Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is struggling to sway senators to resist the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Politico reported.
Schumer, the Senate minority leader, would have to keep all 49 Democrats in line and also convince at least one Republican to go against Kavanaugh, the report noted. However, he faces some opposition from Democrats, as well.
“I’ll be 71 years old in August, you’re going to whip me? Kiss my you know what,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., when asked if Schumer could influence his decision on Kavanaugh.
“I’m going to vote the way I’m going to vote regardless of what the leader says,” said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.
“He doesn’t come to me and say: ‘You’ve got to vote with us on this.’ He knows I’ll tell him to take a flying leap,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., the report said.
Republicans are targeting vulnerable Democrats for their ties to Schumer, and if Democrats in red states reject Kavanaugh, they would be accused of doing Schumer’s bidding, Politico’s report said.
“Giving red staters a pass on every tough vote is neither strategy nor leadership. If you care about standing for something, sometimes you have to ask members to do hard things,” said Adam Jentleson, who was chief of staff for former Democratic leader Harry Reid.
Schumer told his leadership team that health care and abortion rights could pull in votes from Republican Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. However, Collins said she would not respond to pressure tactics.
“If the Democrats think that the pressure campaign that they’ve unleashed in Maine… is going to have an impact on me, they are sorely mistaken,” said Collins, Politico reported.
Schumer said Tuesday that he would oppose Kavanaugh “with everything I’ve got.”
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