Updated at 3:00 p.m. ET
During a Thursday morning radio interview, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) candidly explained that Senate Republicans would take a different approach to a Supreme Court nominee if a Republican president were in office and replacing a conservative justice.
Johnson was asked on Wisconsin radio show “Morning Mess” about Senate Republicans’ refusal to consider President Obama’s forthcoming nomination to the Supreme Court. The host hypothesized that things would be different if Mitt Romney were in the White House.
“It’s a different situation,” Johnson said. “Generally, and this is the way it works out politically, if you’re replacing — if a conservative president’s replacing a conservative justice, there’s a little more accommodation to it.”
“But when you’re talking about a conservative justice now being replaced by a liberal president who would literally flip the court — you know, let’s face it, I don’t think anybody’s under any illusion — President Obama’s nominee would flip the court from a 5-4 conservative to a 5-4 liberal controlled court,” the senator continued. “And that’s the concern, is that our Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms, our First Amendment rights to free speech and religious liberty, will be threatened. And so it’s an incredibly serious moment in terms of what’s the composition of the court going to be.”
Johnson said that confirmation for a Supreme Court justice should wait until after the election.
“Let the American people decide. It’s a very reasonable, I think probably the fairest thing to do,” he said.
Johnson’s campaign reached out after this story was published to provide a statement.
“Ron has been clear from the beginning that we should let the American people decide. Ron did not say what the Senate would or would not do under a hypothetical situation …” Brian Reisinger, the campaign’s communications director, said in a statement.
Listen to audio of the interview from liberal opposition shop American Bridge: