YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland was in the Valley Tuesday accusing incumbent Rob Portman and Republicans in the Senate of shirking their responsibilities by threatening to delay choosing a successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
During Vice President Joe Biden’s time as Senate judiciary chairman he said selecting a nominee has to wait, “Action on a Supreme Court nominee must be put off until after the election campaign is over,” Biden said in 1992. At the time, President George H.W. Bush tried to fill a position on the court. Years later, before he became President, Barack Obama tried to block another nomination. When Strickland was asked about all that, he said he couldn’t remember it.
“I’d have to go back and look at all those circumstances, but even if it is as you have described it, two or three wrongs don’t make a right,” Strickland said.
Strickland points to new polling suggesting Ohio voters want to see the vacancy filled this year.
“I would not tell Senator Portman how he needs to vote, but they need to meet their obligations and vote, but they need to meet their obligations and vote and let the American people know where they stand,” Strickland said.
Portman has said he wants to wait until after the presidential race is finished, but his campaign team put out a statement Tuesday rebutting Strickland’s comments:
“The only thing more hypocritical than Ted Strickland talking about jobs and the economy is Ted Strickland talking about judicial appointments. When he was governor, not only did Ohio lose over 350,000 jobs, but Ted was broadly criticized for ‘politicizing justice’ with a ‘blatantly political’ appointment after an Ohio Supreme Court Justice died. It is shameful that the Democrats are so desperate to save Ted Strickland’s floundering campaign that they are willing to do or say anything to paper over his record.”