First Debate Preview: Moderator Chris Wallace To Grill Trump, Biden about SCOTUS

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“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace, who will moderate next Tuesday’s presidential debate, grilled Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) Sunday on his show about the senator’s past comments regarding election-year Supreme Court appointments and how he has since changed his views.

This interview could foreshadow how the veteran news anchor will likely not hold back in his questioning of both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on the contentious issue of replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg following her Friday passing.

“Why would we squelch the voice of the people?” Cotton said on the Senate floor following the 2016 death of Justice Antonin Scalia, in the clip that Wallace played. “Why would we deny the voters a chance to weigh in on the makeup of the Supreme Court?”

After playing the clip, Wallace asked Cotton, “You don’t see any hypocrisy between that position then and this position now?”

Cotton, deflecting, then said, “Chris, the Senate majority is performing our constitutional duty and fulfilling the mandate that the voters gave us in 2016 and especially in 2018.”

(Watch the full “Fox News Sunday” interview with Sen. Cotton here.)

While Republicans have just secured enough senators to ensure that the appointment process will proceed before the election, with Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) announcing his support Tuesday morning via Twitter, the issue remains controversial as Nov., 3 nears. Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are the only two Republican senators to come out in favor of waiting until after the election to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

In the wake of Justice Ginsburg’s death, and of the renewed Supreme Court issue, this interview sends a warning to both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden that they should be prepared to answer for any past statements on the matter.

The debate will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, and is scheduled to air from 9 to 10:30 pm (Eastern Standard Time).

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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