Clinton Defends Filibustering Justice Alito: "You Get To Use The Rules"


MSNBC's Chuck Todd asks Hillary Clinton about the contradiction between her support for the current president's potential Supreme Court nominee, and her decision to filibuster one of President Bush's.

"I did, I spoke against him, I voted against [Justice Alito]," she said. "But we had a process. The nomination was made, and we went through the process."

TODD: As you know, President Obama now says he regrets voting to filibuster Justice Alito's nomination. To quote the White House this week, quote: "throwing sand in the gears of the confirmation process was a regret."

You joined 24 other Democrats when you were in the Senate to filibuster Alito's nomination. You ultimately voted against actually both Alito and Justice Roberts. Do you also regret that considering the situation we're in now? Do you wish that you, like that now I think President Obama feels as if, boy, I wish I didn't have that vote, I wish hadn't participated in something like that?

CLINTON: Well, the way I look at it is this. I did oppose Justice Alito and, as you say, Chief Justice Roberts, because after meeting with them, listening to them, I did not believe that their judicial philosophy and approach was one that would be the best for the country.

So I did. I spoke against him. I voted against him. But we had a process. You know, the nomination was made. And we went through the process. And what the Republicans today are saying is you can't vote on anything. We don't want the president to send us a nominee.

I think that is very different. And what am I saying is, number one, the president has the right and obligation under the Constitution to send forth a nominee. And the Senate has an obligation under the Constitution to decide whether to approve or not.

That's very different than on the floor of the Senate making your argument.

TODD: But a filibuster, if you had been successful, then Judge Alito would not have gotten a vote on the floor of the Senate.

CLINTON: But that's the way the Senate operates. You get to have a vote. You get to use the rules, and Harry Reid is sitting here, he's an expert on the rules, a master on the rules, and you get to use the rules.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives