https://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/nicholas-fondacaro/2020/10/11/voters-deserve-answer-tapper-grills-biden-spox-court-packing

After Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s Friday declaration that Americans “don’t deserve” to know his position on packing the Supreme Court, some in the liberal media have had enough of his dodging and contempt for the American people. After ABC chief White House correspondent Jon Karl bucked the narrative on Sunday, CNN’s Jake Tapper followed suit and grilled Biden campaign coordinator Kate Bedingfield and shouting: “Of course, voters deserve an answer on his position, on every issue!

Their State of the Union interview started out pretty favorably for the Biden campaign with Tapper allowing Bedingfield to go off on the Trump campaign over the canceled second debate. But things took a turn when Tapper pressed her on Biden’s false claim that President Trump’s nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett was unconstitutional.

“I want to get the idea of adding justices to the court in a second. But he said, ‘it’s not constitutional what they are doing.’ How is it not constitutional what they are doing,” he wondered. Bedingfield responded by pointing to polls saying that people wanted the winner of the election to nominate, but Tapper confronted her on how the Constitution worked and how the Senate was an elected body (Click “expand”):

TAPPER: That is a poll. That is not the constitution.

BEDINGFIELD: By trying to — that is their — there is the constitutional process of advising consent and the American people get to have their say by voting for president, by voting for senators. We are now 23 days away from the election.

TAPPER: Right, but it’s not unconstitutional.

BEDINGFIELD: Millions of votes – Millions of votes — Voters are being denied their constitutional right to have a say in this process.

TAPPER: They elected the Senate.

BEDINGFIELD: But trying to ram through — are trying to ram through a nominee who, by the way, is going to change the makeup of the court. And we see time and time again poll after poll show most Americans vehemently disagree with this —

TAPPER: Again Kate, that’s a poll.

That is not what the word constitutional means. Constitutional doesn’t mean I like it or don’t like it. It means it’s according to the U.S. Constitution. There’s nothing unconstitutional about what the U.S. Senate is doing,” he declared, appearing flustered.

After reiterating that point, Tapper switched gears to focus on Biden’s refusal to answer any question about court-packing. “What is bizarre about it, to me, is that Biden has already answered this question on whether he supports expanding the court,” he said, before playing soundbites of Biden from 1983 and 2019 denouncing court-packing.

Biden opposes adding justices to the court, he has for decades. So, why he is refusing to weigh in on it now,” he pressed her. Despite the lifeline Tapper threw her with the clips, Bedingfield continued to flail and claim it was part of a Trump campaign distraction.

Unfortunately for her, Tapper had to burst her narrative and explain it was not “the Trump people who invented this question,” but “the idea of adding justices to the Supreme Court came from the progressive side of the Democratic Party.”

“And it’s just a simple question. He has long been against adding justices to the court. Has he changed his mind or does he have the same position he’s had since, at least, 1983,” Tapper demanded to know. And with his guest continuing to dodge the issue and blame Trump and Republicans, Tapper went off:

I get it and we asked Republicans those questions but we get to ask Democrats questions too. And this is a simple question and it’s one frankly that Trump did not invent. It came from the progressives in the Democratic Party. And I thought it was odd when Vice President Biden said the other day in response to a reporter’s question that voters do not deserve an answer on this.

“Of course, voters deserve an answer on his position, on every issue,” he exclaimed.

CNN’s snarky chyrons were usually reserved for chiding the President, but Tapper’s were trained on Biden. At one point reading: “Biden says he’ll reveal position on adding justices to the Supreme Court ‘when the election is over.’ What?”

And as he was wrapping up the interview, Tapper took a couple of swipes at her. “All right, I think a serious policy question is not a “game” and I don’t think it’s ‘Trump’s game,’” he said. Adding: “[W]e always appreciate you coming on the show and answering the questions or deftly side-stepping them.”

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

CNN’s State of the Union
October 11, 2020
9:23:31 a.m. Eastern

(…)

JAKE TAPPER: Vice President Biden yesterday again refused to say where he stands on this question of adding justices to the Supreme Court. I want to play what he said.

JOE BIDEN: It’s not constitutional what they’re doing. It’s — the focus on what is happening right now. [Transition] This court is being packed now by the Republicans. After the vote has already begun. I’m going to stay focused on it so we don’t take the eyes off the ball here.

TAPPER: I want to get the idea of adding justices to the court in a second. But he said, “it’s not constitutional what they are doing.” How is it not constitutional what they are doing?

KATE BEDINGFIELD: His point is the people have an opportunity to weigh in on this constitutional process through their vote. And we are now in the midst of the election. Millions of people have already cast their votes. And you see that the vast majority of people say that they want the person who wins the election on November 3rd to nominate the justice —

TAPPER: That is a poll. That is not the constitution.

BEDINGFIELD: By trying to — that is their — there is the constitutional process of advising consent and the American people get to have their say by voting for president, by voting for senators. We are now 23 days away from the election.

TAPPER: Right, but it’s not unconstitutional.

BEDINGFIELD: Millions of votes – Millions of votes — Voters are being denied their constitutional right to have a say in this process.

TAPPER: They elected the Senate.

BEDINGFIELD: But trying to ram through — are trying to ram through a nominee who, by the way, is going to change the makeup of the court. And we see time and time again poll after poll show most Americans vehemently disagree with this —

TAPPER: Again Kate, that’s a poll.

BEDINGFIELD: — that the vote should happen on November 3.

TAPPER: That is not what the word constitutional means. Constitutional doesn’t mean I like it or don’t like it. It means it’s according to the U.S. Constitution. There’s nothing unconstitutional about what the U.S. Senate is doing.

(…)

TAPPER: Again, it’s not unconstitutional. I get you don’t like it but it’s not unconstitutional. But let me talk about the idea of adding justices to the court, which Vice President Biden refuses to give his answer on. What is bizarre about it, to me, is that Biden has already answered this question on whether he supports expanding the court. Take a listen to him in 1983 and again just a year ago.

BIDEN [1983]: President Roosevelt clearly had the right to send to the United States Senate and the United States Congress a proposal to pack the court. [Transition] But it was a bonehead idea. It was a terrible, terrible mistake to make.

BIDEN [2019]: I would not get into court-packing. We add three justices. Next time around we lose control. They had three justices. We begin to lose any credibility for the court has at all.

TAPPER: Biden opposes adding justices to the court, he has for decades. So, why he is refusing to weigh in on it now?

BEDINGFIELD: Because Donald Trump and the Republicans don’t get to set the terms of this debate. This is a distraction they want to throw out – this is a hypothetical they want to throw out right now to distract from the fact they are trying to ram through a nominee who, as I said, is going to change the makeup of the court against the will of the American people.

(…)

TAPPER: It’s not the Trump people who invented this question. Right? The idea of adding justices to the Supreme Court came from the progressive side of the Democratic Party. And it’s just a simple question. He has long been against adding justices to the court. Has he changed his mind or does he have the same position he’s had since, at least, 1983?

(…)

TAPPER: I get it and we asked Republicans those questions but we get to ask Democrats questions too. And this is a simple question and it’s one frankly that Trump did not invent. It came from the progressives in the Democratic Party. And I thought it was odd when Vice President Biden said the other day in response to a reporter’s question that voters do not deserve an answer on this. Of course, voters deserve an answer on his position, on every issue!

BEDINGFIELD: But we’re not going to play their game. He has given an answer. He has answered the question. He has probably answered this question 15 times over the course of the last week. The answer is: “I am not going to play Donald Trump’s game.” I am not going to allow the terms of this debate to shift to a hypothetical that assumes, by the way, that we, the Democrats, are going to lose here. That is really — that is what at the core of this argument they are making. It assumes that we’re going to lose. Vice President Biden does not accept that. He does not accept that. He is focused on turning people out to vote and making sure their voice is heard and making sure they have a say in who the next Supreme Court justice is.

TAPPER: All right, I think a serious policy question is not a game and I don’t think it’s Trump’s game. But Kate Bedingfield, we always appreciate you coming on the show and answering the questions or deftly side-stepping them. Thank you. Appreciate it.

BEDINGFIELD: Thanks for having me, Jake. I appreciate it.

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