Transcript for President Obama Not Throwing In Towel for Merrick Garland's Supreme Court Nomination
Good afternoon I'm ABC's John Parkinson here at the White House and this afternoon I'm joined by the principal deputy white house Press Secretary Eric Schultz. So Eric. As you know you've been kind heading up all that Merrick Garland communications with the white house press corps. It's been now I believe he had a 168 days is that right seize the nomination up just over a 160 days soulless thing going on Valium. Well John as you point out it's been over a 160 days this is actually the longest wait for any Supreme Court nominee. History the irony is chief George Carlin brings the most qualifications. To this nomination and an east. How many history so. Chief judge Garland has been busy performing his administrative duties at. We're here in Washington he's also preparing. For his confirmation. Process in the senate even meeting with the number of senate Democrats. And some Republicans. So we hope that when the senate resumes. There's passion and taking its confirmation process really. It's been seven week recess now we had. You know the conventions. We've had this long recess period were members of congress and senate are holding these town hall meetings with the their constituents. Why hasn't this been a bigger issues doesn't seem like we've really heard a lot over the last seven weeks from members of congress on us. We'll have to see what happens when they get out I think it. If you look at public polling you can see the wide majorities of Americans both Republicans and Democrats support before Obama's nominee. This is someone who comes to this. The nomination with the unquestionable. Integrity and qualifications. The American Bar Association which is a nonpartisan independent entity. Quickly takes a good hard look at judicial nominees. For its highest rating chief judge Garland. Chief judge Garland. So. Very few chief judge Garland. If someone they look debt intensely they have. I talked to hundreds of people who know the judge and not one of them could find something negative to say so. We believe the senate should come back to do its job and move forward on this confirmation. Well. You know it's a hot summer out here I think you see the sprinkler is gone and be over ninety degrees today in Washington. Do you think that it you know once the once the congress comes back and weaker two this is something that can is going to be. First and foremost on their student while our viewers this is the senate ought to do its job. And it this is not only consistent with past precedent it's consistent with their responsibilities as laid out in the constitution. President took some time to select someone who he believes the most qualified to be on the Supreme Court. Again this is someone who would either Republicans concede would be a consensus nominee until our belief is that Republicans ought to get back here and do their job and Starwood confirmation hearings when he returns what can Harry reduce. To kind of push this issue. Well I think senate Democrats have been united the chief judge Garland deserves a hearing and about so. We don't think the recalcitrant since been on the outside we can Republicans have been. Unfortunately. Pretty dedicated today in in their obstruction. We're gonna to see we see a handful of Republicans say that they think McConnell strategy in this been misguided. Plus we'll have to see at the end of the day if they're able to convince their colleagues to do what's right. But it seems like they're strategy so far it is 160 plus days is really working out the army and boy you're right there the senator have taken time out of the president has Mellish soon. The progress that we'd like on this nomination. Hot as you point out he's. In waiting the longest and Supreme Court history but we ultimately feel that when. There is a hearing and when there is a vote. If you've just gone deserves confirmation that's going to take our word for it that's Republicans think that's what's wrong Bush Administration officials think. Former Bush Administration attorney general Alberto Gonzales. Chief George Carlin. It's so we believe that. Rational heads should prevail and that's what we think fashion if we have this. So we moved into the shape here's the west wing on the driveway I think you can. We've got a marine standing here looks like the president is is in the west doing right now. He's got you know 74 days until Election Day it's got a 144 days left in his administration. What's the campaign going to be like for him over the next you know 74 days. What's his participation in this process going to look like Shrek. The president's been clear that he wants to be real active participant in in this year's campaign I think you're fairly compelling convention speech delivered in prime time. That's this speech you can spend a lot of time working on. But I think it's a message that you're gonna hear frequently now and Election Day. The president had the opportunity to work closely with Secretary Clinton for four years as the secretary of state. Before that he was also her primary and in the race for president. In 2000. So. President's gotten to know Secretary Clinton key deeply respects to work for judgment temperament. And he comes to this debate would. Unique insight into what it takes this job he's been some sad in the oval office for the past six years making the decisions that a president needs to make. And and that's why we believe that. That's what the president believes she's best suited succeed and then. You know as we think about the president wrapping up as working there you know he's can ready to head off to China next week and into wants allows make historic visit there. But what is the president's like we we really don't look like over those duration of the remainder of his presidency guesses you. French and we've got a long trip beginning next Wednesday and heads to Nevada. So who needs an energy summit penny goes to Hawaii. We're really announce today that we are. When you deserve any large. Area for preservation and what's an area called cutting pronounced Ollie that's my boss. Free for that. So he. That's all and route two China we're on the G-20 years and then of course allows neatly. Asian leaders so it is a busy month for the president after that we have the united nations general Stanley in New York. So we're gonna be able to squeeze and we've been campaigning in September but I expect it picked up significantly ethical. When calendars freeze up. Does the president at all heavily came frustrations though being a lame duck. You know this seems like most of the times that he's actually able to break through into the news cycle a lot of it is either weighing in on file trump his candidacy. Maybe something really tragic like a shooting like that was sought in Dallas or international incidents. You know what what vices was the president at all frustrated that he's not seeing more traction with his own agenda. I don't think so Janet if you see. What we've got in store for the next few months don't think anyone's. This being a lane. President told his team. At the end of the mid term elections last fall this is our fourth quarter of his presidency because when it's well past. He's directed us to make sure that we squeeze every last ounce and in every last minute. That's what we're focused. To be honest yeah. One of his chief. There were responsibilities is now presidencies have the Democratic Party is to make sure that he does work hard. We took a successor. I takes its place once a champion same values that he's been three years. What's on listings that he is hoping to get done you know over the next few hundred plus days you know whether received a funding whether skinny and Garland nomination through. No number these issues they're gonna take. Cooperation from members of congress so are you signaling that fuel. He's poised to take more executive actions in the coming months or you know how will he insure that he's not so much a lame duck once election passes shirt. You're absolutely right we've been disappointed we congress in action. She's takes it's a public health month. Yeah Republicans stood in the way of blocking some common sense funding even our public health sciences. Scientists believe is urgent so it's a shame that Republicans blocked out before they left from a seven week recess maybe when they come back. Town we'll be able to work Democrats. This together it's gone we put up a request for funding back in February. It's now August it's a hot August and unfortunately. Republicans. Blocked. Lock your ability to get to make sure states like for resources. To combat this threat so yes so that is definitely in the top of my. Industry after we also believe the senate should confirm your own. That's something that is. System for their responsibilities. Cleanup in the constitution. Also consistently making sure our staff our Supreme Court is fully staffed. Ronald Reagan said that every day the Supreme Court goes live without having nine justices means they're not able to do their jobs police station in. So we support Ronald Reagan's president Reagan's views on that and that's why we want senate. Alan we've got a hold some other issues. Would like congress to take up the gonna need to pass a budget. That's important. And Craig frankly. Trips partnership this is a deal that was negotiated on other countries it is good for American consumers and. So you spend time here in the west wing every day there's. What is it like you know what's the president's attitude toward right now would smooth feel like. Hasn't always is he of the ABC optimistic. Filling his frustrations. Jack I do not have the pleasure of working. Since 2008 campaign. So I can't compare of the energy and acting my colleagues who have. I think we'll tell you have told me that he is just as fired up right now is it was a their presence seems. Sees tremendous optimism. In our country right now. He loves getting out there are into the country. Talking to people you see us have a round tables and values. Discussions one on one conversations. Are because. His favorite times when he gets to leave the White House grounds really talk to me. So this will be a lot more traveling in the in the coming months but prince absolutely determined to squeeze every last months. Now for the viewers at home that maybe I know this. Derek is from Syracuse and again a little bit of a heads up on this but one of the debates that's been kind of in in the sports world at least. Sense the Olympics is. Kind of how great is Carmelo Anthony right so you one. Three Olympic gold medals he's won an NCAA championship but he never won an NBA title. Now Eric I want kind of put this. Questions you would you consider Carmelo Anthony Johnson went to college and in your hometown then searches. You consider him one of the greatest 25 basketball players and yes it's not a surprise you to hear that I'm huge from going to have. I need from Syracuse didn't answer BC adversity they won the championship. In 2003. That was my first year back in Washington. Here in Washington. For so I was in the White House time. So my only regret is that did not. Win a championship while I was here Josh got his beloved. Kansas City Royals to you this year which can you tell you what's the time of the flight possible. Maybe in the next few years a series of drink and put back together again. That's my successor. I kind of put together my own list of the top thirty years so I'm thinking and mellow you know he's he's probably top fifty player. In my work his way into the top 25 eventually when it's all sudden done. But I just don't know how you get in and set top point five euros on the players. You're putting on this list he got Michael Jordan cream Abdul Jabbar Wilt Chamberlain Magic Johnson LeBron James Oscar rove. Larry Bird Bill Russell Jerry West Tim Duncan and Elgin Baylor Kobe Bryant Moses Moses Malone and Shaq. Hakeem allows one Karl Malone. Julius Erving and Charles Barkley Scottie have been George Mike and George Gergen stepped Perry kept an eye and again I'm just gone Ellis that's like twenty they're. Dirk Nowitzki is now moved into the top six or seven an all time scoring. How does well cracked that if you. Helen and in the NBA championships on I don't think anyone who watches performance down in Rio. Question here is what he brings the corner what he brings to. That mirrored his performance and you refuse to fly people sent from New York Martin. Here and for his appreciation you. Does the president you know like Kelly and intense. How we always welcomes all that championship teams the White House. As you do that for olympians today get to come by here in the past yes we've had whole Olympic athletes on. Unfortunately there's a lag time between their victories when we're able to organize a Trojan White House soon. If present will have an opportunity to actually become weak system. It's no literally. Already powerful we'll see me. Eric Schultz thank you so much for joining us today. I'm John Parkinson you can follow me on Twitter at. 44. Thanks for joining us on the ABC last.
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