Chris Christie: Trump will get votes needed for High Court pick

The Powerhouse Roundtable debates the latest in politics, including the battle over the Supreme Court.
12:10 | 07/01/18

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Transcript for Chris Christie: Trump will get votes needed for High Court pick
????????? Let's bring in our powerhouse roundtable. ABC news political analyst Matthew dowd, Shawna Thomas, we welcome Washington bureau chief for vice news, ABC news cokie Roberts and rmer New Jersey governor and ABC news contributor Chris Christie, welcome all of you. Chris chstie, I want to start with you. You just heard what senator Collins said. This sreme court nominee is so important. She said she could not support anyone who wanted to overturn roe V. Wade. Well listen, I think that everyone going to have their own view on this and don't think you're going to have anybody who's going to be that outright about giving their opinion on that case or any other case. So senator Collins is going to have to do what every other senator is gng to have tdo which is look back at the person's record as a judge on the bench for any kind of long period of time, look at their recordnd writings and everything else and try to figure out what they think might happen. I think in the end what the president is most likely to do is to pick someone who he believes takes the right type of judicial approach but has a dicial temperament that's going to be very difficult to attack. It doesn't seem there's any indication that he's going to oose someone who's more moderate like justice Kennedy. I don't think so. By T way, I kind of laugh about this a little bit as a Republican, like who's the moderate the democratic side that has been selected lately? You might be able to argue justice Breyer every once in a while but certainly not Kagan or Ginsburg or Sotomayor. President Clinton thought Ginsberg was. Good Lu. He was unhappy about that. But I think the notion of Donald Trump judging somebody's temperament is somewhat odd and I'm not sure that that's something he's able to do. I think it's goi to be very much advice coming from people in the senate. Matt, do Democrats ally have any power to defeat trump's nominee? This is an exclamation point of why elections have consequences. Exactly. And the president has a complete rig to nominate a conservative judge to the court. Democrats had that right when they held presidential office. I do think -- but the Democrats have an obligation and a right of advice and consent and to raise concernsnd to generate enthusiasm for what their beliefs are in this. I do think we've come to a point and reflected in your piece of how divided the country is, is that I would hope the president would consider possibly nominating somebody that would get more than 50 or 51 votes because I think that's the problem we're in. Good luck with that though. But I think that's the problem. We ha people -- my own senator from New Jersey, Cory booker, has already said that there's no one the president could nominate that he would vote for, so how do you GE-- He would get killed in the democratic party if he did. I'm not saying it's not smart, just the really of today. The Democrats, they know there's nothing they can do, GHT? So it's how long can we have this conversation about the next time around making sure there are more democratic senators, that kind of tng. All they can do is use it to campaign in 2018 at this point. So I think one of the things is we're noeven going to see any kind of hearings until probably, what, doctor? They will be able to keep making this an issue. That's about it. You'vlooked into what kind of potential cases the court could take up. Yes. This isn't just about roe V. Wade. No, it's not. It's about a lot of little cases that are, windowing their way through theourts right now that deal with abortion, that deal with gerrymandering, that deal with all these things. We saw it on Thursday whenou had senator booker, senator Kala Harris, people in front of the supreme court railing abouthey have to do everything. Wh they can do is keep yelling and talking about it and make sure that people know that some of these cases, like whawe see in Iowa with the 72-hour ban, what we see in Mississippi as well as Louisiana, that people have those cases in mind, that they know that they Ed to go to the ballot box to vote for something and this is a step towards 2020. Really, elections do have consequences when it comes to supreme court minations. I covered the bork nomination. Remind us about that. So what happened was Robert bork W nominated by president Reagan and was very conservative justice and people think that he did himself in in the hearings because he did behave in the heargs in a way that was quite arrogant. I member when he was asked why do you want this J, instead of saying I want to serve the public, all that, said it's an iellectual feast. So it was all about him and that didn't work for hibut the truth is he had lost before the hearings because of the election. And the lessoned learned. He lesned learned there, I remember talking southern moderate Democrat when such things existed and I expected him to say I'm for bork and he sa I was elected by women and blacks. That's who elected me. Who's ainst bork? Women and blacks. Let me wax philosophical for just a second. Oh, no. Oh wo You can jump in later. If we eliminate the expectation that we can't have nominees anymore that can bridge the divide, then we've basically decided the country is to divided that we may not bother anymore. Andoday is the anniversary of gettysburg, right? In a time with incredible divisions, the greatest battle loss of any battle in the history of the country. Lincoln's words at the gettysburg address where he said we a now engaged in a great civil war, testing the idea, the proposition that a country so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. I think if we say there's no way, the count is too divided, this is the way it's going to be, I think there should be an expectation of the president that he nominate somebody that is able to get democratic votes. I think we should keep that expectation. You can wax philosophical all you want. I want to say on this 1500-mile drive, that divide was so stark, PEOP so dug in, it was really eye-opening. It's the greatest danger to our republic. That is the greatest danger -- Wasn't Merrick Garland the example? Yes, and look what happened. Thank god we ha no huge moral issue like slavery. There can be nothing like slavery. We have many moral issues. Immigratiois a moral issue. Agree with you completely but it's not something that we're going to go to war over. Wait a second -- Does Donald Trump take Y blame R this division? Everybody who's involved in public life takes ace. Let's face it, everybody takes a piece of the blame for where we are. I don't think it's just the president, although he's the president so everybody wants to talk about that. Bui also, maybe it's because I'm from new jersebut I do believe that this country was founded on the idea of argument. It was founded on that idea of debate, division at times and people going at each other. But then came together. But I don't believe that 51 votes is not coming together. In the end forhis and for supreme court nominees tt are in thitime where thessues are so stark, you're not going to find that any longer. And I would also -- It wasn't until recently -- it used to be 60 votes. Wait a second. We're talking about -- talk about shooting yourself in the foot. We're talking about 25 years or so, Matt, not a recent delopment since we had that. No. 60 votes in the last six years, five years. Wn they turn the cameras off on the hill and elsewhere, is it different doou sense that it's different? I will say on this trip, the cameras are on, you're fake news, you're this, you're that, but people were so kind to me and welcoming. There were two women -- one woman who absolute loved trump walking with her friend who absolutely loved Hillary Clinton. So the country is divided in some places but are they behind the scenes? I think behind the scenes, especially with senators who have been there a long time, I think they're still somewhat friendly and they still somewhat like each other. I think th want to figure out a better to way to do this but they also when the cameras are on and they're back in their home districts andhey know they have an election coming up, they have to say what they he to say. It's a little different in the use because there's so many new people and we're probably going to have a lot of turnover again. I play in a congressional softball game and on the other side are womenrom congress who are Republicans and Democrats and they enjoy hanging out with eachther. It's ch truer among the women, much truer. Really the last biof bipartisanship in the senate is among the women. By the way, we're focused on the elected officials. I think your point is much more important. Among the American people still like each other. We can have these political arguments and we can have disagreements and it's only the extres in bothides who make this a make or break issue at every cocktail party and every barbecue. I think there's a fear among people and this is totally anecdotal but I see my mom, 70-something years old, in Texas, southern black woman, lived througthe civil rights era and she's scared. Some of this is watching too much MSNBC, don't get me wrong. Pleasstop her. But she is worried about where thcountry is going, more so worried than during the civil rights era which I was not alive for clearly. That worry is going to continue to tear people apart. There's a major consensus -- the thing is the voters are united on many things. There's major consensus on what we should do about immigration, major consensus on what we should do about guns, major consensus on many things like what should do in the economy. The problem is our institutions and polics no longer pays attention to what the major consensus is. We have a practice in politics in Washington where if they went along with what 70% of the country wanted to do, all of these things would be soed, but they don't. Ou see the example in new York's 14th district. Fewer than 5% of the eligible voters turned out vote. What you have then is the most extreme people turning out to vote and then those are the people who are elected. And quickly in New York, big rprise in New York Absolutely. With the 28-yeaold. Yes, but no. In today's environment party primaries are the most dangerous territory for anybody to try to navigate right now. Joe Crowley learned it this past ek. You got to campaign. You have to pay attention. Not only they have to campaign but sometimes in this vironment the most extreme are rewarded and we've seen that in a bunch of differ places. She was much more culturally in line with that district and much has been made about her stance on certain issues. Her stand on medicare for all and her stand on single payer is way more supported by the country than Donald Trump's tax cuts, than Donald Trump's immigratioplan and Donald Trump's stand on guns. Abolish I.C.E., do you think that's a good way to campaign? I mean, that seems to play -- That's crazy. If we want to talk about a state agency, let's look at TSA for all of us who travel. I thinthere are questions being raised. Obviously I.C.E. An the people that work for I.C.E. Are a function of E leadership and a function of what they do is a nction of what they're being told to do and what they're encouraged to do But the point of getting rid -- Don't get rid of it. It's crazy. It's a terrible idea. Hers the problem in our politics today, real quick. She wins the primary by saying abolish I.C.E. So what happens, Kirsten Gillibrand who is posed to be smarter says abolish I.C. Kamala Harris said it and the lemmingtart following down the line because they want to run for president. That's not leadership and that's why people are cynical. Stuff like that, no one thinks wehould abolish immigration customs enforcement. Come on. Okay, and that's going to be the final word. Happy fourth of July to all of you. Thanks forming out today. We'll be right back.ing out today.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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