2008 GOPers on Miers
Following Harriet Miers's decision to withdraw her name from consideration for the Supreme Court opening, The Fix received dozens of statements from various politicians.
Most aren't worth mentioning. But given the animosity that had built toward Miers among conservative Republicans, it is worthwhile to see how the GOP senators who are considering a 2008 presidential race handled the news.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Tenn.) did not seem particularly perturbed by Miers's decision, choosing instead to focus on the future. "I respect her decision and appreciate her service to our country," said Frist. "I look forward with anticipation to the President naming the next nominee quickly." No crying over spilt milk for Frist
Sen. George Allen (Va.) was similarly terse about Miers ("I wish her well as she continues to honorably serve our country in the White House") but effusive in his thoughts about the next nominee. Allen called on President Bush to "now nominate a person with a demonstrable, clear, consistent and appropriate judicial philosophy." Allen threw one more piece of red meat to conservatives in his statement, arguing that Miers's withdrawal creates an opportunity "for those of us who want to see a Supreme Court that will adhere to the Constitution and will not attempt to legislate from the bench."
Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) appeared on television to talk about Miers, telling CNBC's "Squawk Box" that he believed the former nominee "would have done just fine" at confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Asked whether Bush's next pick could trigger a potential filibuster fight on the Senate floor, McCain said he "hope[d] not." McCain was the ringleader of a bipartisan group of 14 senators that headed off a showdown over the filibustering of judicial nominees earlier this year, a move that drew derision from the conservative wing of the party.
McCain's reform-minded pal -- Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) -- didn't say whether he believes conservative special interest groups had too much of a say in the Miers withdrawal. But in a conference call with reporters today, Hagel noted that not a single senator had come out against the nominee. He added the obvious -- that today was "a tough day for the president."
Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.), who has been Miers's leading critic among Republican senators, said her decision not to stand was the "right move." Brownback went on to call for "a discussion with America" about the Supreme Court; "I am hopeful the president puts forward a well-qualified, conservative jurist with a clear legal philosophy, just like he talked about during the campaign," the Kansan added.
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