- The Washington Times - Monday, October 12, 2020

CNN host Jake Tapper fired back at a Joe Biden campaign official Sunday after she repeated a claim by the Democratic presidential nominee that Senate Republicans are acting unconstitutionally by confirming Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

On Saturday, Mr. Biden again refused to answer questions about whether he supports adding more seats to the Supreme Court, known as packing the court. Instead, he accused Republicans of currently packing the court with another conservative right before the election.

“It’s not constitutional what they’re doing,” the former vice president told reporters. “This court is being packed now by the Republicans after the vote has already begun.”

On his show Sunday, Mr. Tapper played a clip of Mr. Biden’s remarks for Kate Bedingfield, the nominee’s deputy campaign manager, and asked, “How is it not constitutional what they’re doing?”

“His point is that the people have an opportunity to weigh in on this constitutional process through their vote,” Ms. Bedingfield responded. “And we are now in the midst of the election. Millions of people have already cast their votes. And you see that the vast majority of people say that they want the person who wins the election on November 3 to nominate the justice to take this seat.”

“That’s a poll,” Mr. Tapper interjected. “That’s not the Constitution.”

“There’s the constitutional process of advise and consent,” Ms. Bedingfield continued. “The American people get to have their say by voting for president, by voting for senators. We are now 23 days from the election.”

“Right, but it’s not unconstitutional,” Mr. Tapper countered.

“Voters are being denied their constitutional right to have a say in this process,” Ms. Bedingfield replied.

“They elected the Senate,” Mr. Tapper fired back.

Ms. Bedingfield continued, “They are trying to ram through a nominee who, by the way, is going to change the makeup of the court. And we see, time and time again, poll after poll shows that most Americans vehemently disagree with this.”

“Again, Kate, that’s a poll,” Mr. Tapper interrupted. “That’s not what the word constitutional means. Constitutional doesn’t mean, I like it or I don’t like it. It means it’s according to the U.S. Constitution. There’s nothing unconstitutional about what the U.S. Senate is doing.”

Mr. Tapper then pivoted to Mr. Biden’s stance on packing the court, saying it’s “bizarre” he won’t say now whether he opposes it when he has vocally opposed it in the past.

“It’s a simple question,” the CNN host said. “And it’s one, frankly, that Trump did not invent. It came from the progressives in the Democratic Party. And I thought it was odd when Vice President Biden said the other day, in response to a reporter’s question, that voters do not deserve an answer on this. Of course voters deserve an answer on his position on every issue.”

“Well, we’re not going to play their game,” Ms. Bedingfield responded. “He’s given an answer. He’s answered the question. I mean, he has probably answered this question 15 times over the course of the last week. The answer is: I am not going to play Donald Trump’s game.”

“I think a serious policy question is not a game, and I don’t think it’s Trump’s game,” Mr. Tapper said. “But, Kate Bedingfield, we always appreciate you coming on the show and answering the questions or deftly sidestepping them.”

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