Chuck Schumer: Leonard Leo And The Heritage Foundation Have Dedicated Their Lives To Repealing Roe v. Wade

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Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, weighs in on the president's nominee of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, saying the man who prepared the list of potential picks, Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society, has "dedicated his life to repealing" Roe v. Wade.

"I sure wouldn't take a bet on Leonard Leo's hand-picked list to keep Roe, for sure," Schumer said.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Here’s a pitch straight over the plate that David Price might pitch to you, which is, what do you think about pick? What do you think about Judge Kavanaugh?



SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER: Well look, President Trump is fulfilling his campaign promises with the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh. He said in his campaign he would repeal Roe. He would send it back to the states and he said in his campaign he would repeal ACA with things very precious to the American people like pre -- maintaining preexisting conditions and he has now accomplished that. He's had two groups vet these nominees.

One is the Federalist Society run by Leonard Leo.

SCARBOROUGH: Right.

SCHUMER: Leonard Leo has dedicated his life to repealing Roe and it is a certainty that anyone on that list will vote to repeal Roe. We have the Heritage Foundation, which have dedicated their existence …

SCARBOROUGH: Well, can I just stop you on that point?

SCHUMER: Well, I'd like to finish my -- okay, sure.

SCARBOROUGH: Well, I know, but I just to …

SCHUMER: Go ahead.

SCARBOROUGH: … go point by point. You can't really say it's a certainty can you, that Brent Kavanaugh will overturn Roe, when certainly most of us would have said it was a certainty that Justice Roberts would overturn the Affordable Care Act. You never know exactly how those …

SCHUMER: Well …

SCARBOROUGH: … we Republicans or as a former Republican, you never know which direction they're going go.

SCHUMER: Well look, I sure wouldn't take a bet on Leonard Leo's hand picked list to keep Roe, for sure. And the other one is the Heritage Foundation; they have dedicated their existence to repealing ACA, pulling the government out of healthcare. The president promised that in his campaign as well.

So, these are two issues broadly popular with the American people. Women's reproductive rights, keeping healthcare, particularity preexisting conditions, I will oppose this nominee with everything I've got. And I'd make one other point, particularly for you guys, which is this, you are worried about President Trump's overreach, so am I.

This nominee has stood more, both -- certainly before he became a judge, for presidential overreach. He has said the president shouldn't be investigated. He's gone so far as to say, a president, if he declares a law unconstitutional, doesn't have to obey it.

How is he going to react if Mueller needs a subpoena, if Mueller needs some other action? So, for all these reasons, this man should not be on the bench and I believe if we can prove these two points to the American people, that he will repeal Roe and women's reproductive freedom.

That he will repeal ACA and the right to preexisting conditions, or the right to protect preexisting conditions that we will get a majority in the Senate to vote against him. I know it's an uphill fight, but they said we couldn't do it with healthcare and we did.

BRZEZINSKI: I understand that and isn't it also fair to say, Senator, that this nominee is here because Democrats lost the election? Voters, in 2016, there were looking for conservative judges and they worked toward this, the Republicans got what they want, they won, and here we are. I guess my question is, what fight do you really fight.

Do we look toward the mid-terms and try and find a message and try and find a unifying set of leaders or are we going to fight and impossible fight right now because Democrats lost?

SCHUMER: I don't believe it's an impossible fight. They said that with ACA. I believe that if the American people rise up and we've seen lots of that in the last few days, we can win this fight.

And I make one other point, the number one issue for our party, from the red states to the purple states to the blue states, is healthcare, and particularly preexisting conditions, protecting them.

Which is wildly popular and necessary in the reddest of states, this court battle highlights that and so this actually helps us in the mid-terms. Anytime healthcare is highlighted, Democrats win.

SCARBOROUGH: Senator, your task right now seems to be centered around trying to defeat this nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the court. So, how do you balance that fight with the idea of keeping Tester, Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, in the United States Senate? How do you balance that?

SCHUMER: Well, as I said, in those states healthcare is a important issue, as it is in Maine, as it is in Alaska. Obviously we can't win this fight unless we get a Republican. But, I do believe if the American people come to believe this court would overturn women's reproductive freedom and the ACA, we will get a majority of votes. Obviously it would have to be from both parties.

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