Tim Kaine takes fighting Trump's court takeover off the table: 'I'm asking Republicans to be true to their word'
Hallie Jackson speaks to Tim Kaine (MSNBC/screen grab)

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said on Monday that drastic measures to stop President Donald Trump's next Supreme Court nominee are off the table because he hopes Republicans will be "true to their word" by refusing to confirm a new justice in an election year.


During an interview with Kaine on MSNBC, host Hallie Jackson noted that some Democrats have suggested using impeachment and other legislative techniques to delay the replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Kaine, however, said that his strategy is based on the "hope" that Republicans will keep their word.

"Would you support impeaching either President Trump or Attorney General Bill Barr as a way to essentially delay the Senate on a vote for the president's court nominee?" Jackson asked the Virginia Democrat.

"Foolish idea," Kaine replied. "I can't see virtually any Senate Democrat agreeing with it."

"OK, so that seems off the table," Jackson said. "What about the idea of, if you win a Senate majority next year and Republicans do get this nomination through, adding more seats to the Supreme Court?"

"I'm not playing an 'if' game," Kaine said. "What I'm doing is asking Republicans to be true to their word. We urged them in 2016, look, let's have a normal process on Merrick Garland. You can vote yes or no. We don't know whether he'll get the votes and they decided that they would announce a brand new rule."

He went on to recall that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) promised not to move forward with a Republican nomination in an election year.

"So, I'm just asking, are there four Republicans that are willing to keep their word to the American public?" Kaine continued. "We shouldn't be pursuing action on any nominee until after Inauguration Day."

"I understand you don't want to talk hypotheticals," Jackson pressed before asking what tactics Kaine would support to fight President Donald Trump's court takeover.

"Hallie, you can me hypotheticals but that doesn't mean I'm focused on them," the senator insisted. "I'm focused on trying to convince Republicans to keep their word to the American public. I don't want Republicans to try to destroy the Senate as an institution or the Supreme Court as an institution."

Kaine predicted that a Republican play for "raw power" would not "work out well for them."

"So I just hope that some of them will keep their word," he said.

Watch the video below from MSNBC.