Barack Obama's senior adviser said on Sunday that if Senate Republicans were to attempt a filibuster on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, it would be a shameful attempt at political retribution.
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union, David Axelrod repeatedly downplayed the opposition to Sotomayor as a "side show" and "diversion" that failed to account for the lengthy and accomplished resume of the appellate judge.
Showed video of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying a filibuster may be on the table because Obama supported the parliamentary procedure in votes on Justices Roberts and Alito, the president's right hand man was even more forceful.
"The question is not whether it could be done it is whether it should be done," said Axelrod. "Based on her record, it plainly should not. She has been confirmed twice by this same United States Senate, once unanimously and another with strong bipartisan support. And what I hear Senator McConnell saying is that for political retribution, that there might be a filibuster and that would be a shame. I don't think, with the serious issues that are facing this country and facing this court, I don't think Americans have much of an appetite for that. Look at her record. Make a judgment on her record. Her record is outstanding and she is a great American story and everyone can be proud of and everyone can have faith in. they ought to confirm her."
The remarks come at a time when Sotomayor's confirmation is looking increasingly likely. A questionnaire filled out by Obama's court nominee did little to damage her chance for confirmation, though Senate Republicans have expressed, in recent days, sustained concern over her now-infamous "wise Latina" comment. Asked if the President knew of Sotomayor's repeated use of this phrase, and whether it affected his opinion of the nominee, Axelrod replied:
"I don't think it's changed his view on that. But the interesting thing is, I think that the Senate was aware of it when they confirmed her for the U.S. Court of Appeals because some of those speeches occurred before her confirmation in 1998."