John McCain, Statesman

In a talk radio interview in Pennsylvania, where he was campaigning for his pal Pat Toomey, McCain told the conservative interviewer that a GOP senate would block ANY Clinton nominee.

“I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” he said.

He was being pushed because his line was that you need me and Pat on that wall to stop Clinton from taking over the country.  The interviewer asked him point blank “but you weren’t able to stop Sotomayor…?” So McCain’s mouth cashed a check his guts could not actually pay and guaranteed the radio hack that they’d block anybody. Four years of obstruction is my promise to you today if you vote for me and Pat Toomey.  Merrick Garland is only the beginning, we can rationalize not doing our jobs for way longer than just 1 election year.  And isn’t that what the public clamoring for change wants?

McCain’s people, of course, later walked ran that back.

“Senator McCain believes you can only judge people by their record and Hillary Clinton has a clear record of supporting liberal judicial nominees,” spokeswoman Rachel Dean said. “That being said, Senator McCain will, of course, thoroughly examine the record of any Supreme Court nominee put before the Senate and vote for or against that individual based on their qualifications as he has done throughout his career.”

The fact that his campaign had to issue a rational retraction tells you all you need to know about whether he and other GOPers really believe that this issue cuts for them. I’m told that rational voters exist in states like Arizona and Pennsylvania despite the conventional wisdom that those people have been baked by the heat (in AZ) and meth (in PA) and they really don’t like unthinking partisan gridlock.  This won’t even really help them with their base who is all over the Trump Train and are indifferent to McCain who has denounced Trump and Toomey, who has been as slippery on Trump as an eel in a vise.

Toomey is the only U.S. senator running for re-election who has not decided whether or not he supports Trump. This months-long waffling has even caught the attention of  late-night comedians, including Jimmy Kimmel who satirized it on Oct. 13.

Trumpers are vindictive and shortsighted enough (like their hero) to go to the polls and vote for Trump and not vote for those down ballot curs like McCain that have not been sufficiently obsequious to Trump.

For voters of good faith such a gaffe backs up the unprecedented obstruction on Garland, and can only help candidates like Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Katie McGinty (PA), Deborah Ross (NC), Maggie Hassan (NH), Tammy Duckworth (IL) and Jason Kandor (MO) (whose race was upgraded to leans Dem by Nate Silver yesterday).

538 has the Dems getting the Senate by 74.7% today.  If McCain keeps talking that’ll keep going up.

http://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/senate/

Update:

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