Rick Santorum criticizes Trump over Kavanaugh pick: President ‘bowed to the elite in Washington’

Rick Santorum criticizes Trump over Kavanaugh pick: President ‘bowed to the elite in Washington’
CNN contributor Rick Santorum criticizes President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick. "It just seems like Trump in this case just bowed to the elite in Washington. I think that's going to rub a lot of people the wrong way," Santorum said. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

CNN contributor and former Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum criticized President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court pick on Monday night.

What’s the background?

On Monday night, Trump announced that he was nominating 53-year-old Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the nation’s high court.

Kavanaugh worked in the solicitor general’s office in the George H.W. Bush administration, as well as staff secretary, and also was a clerk for Kennedy. He also also worked for former independent counsel Kenneth Starr and helped draft the report that led to the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

Kavanaugh currently sits on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Former President George W. Bush appointed Kavanaugh to that court in 2006. He was approved by the Senate in a 57-36 vote.

Conservatives lauded the choice on the whole, while liberals blasted the pick — with some like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) vowing to oppose the pick at all costs.

On Monday, Schumer said, “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have, and I hope a bipartisan majority will do the same. The stakes are simply too high for anything less.”

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who has been outspoken as a Trump critic, reacted positively to the president’s nomination.

“Brett Kavanaugh is a serious jurist known for careful deliberation,” Sasse said. “This doesn’t matter to many on the left.”

“Sadly, the #Resistance is going to try to bork him by portraying him as a cross between Lex Luthor and Darth Vader,” Sasse added. “This isn’t the apocalypse — this is an opportunity to thoroughly review Kavanaugh’s record, debate this seriously, and celebrate our system of checks, balances, and limited government.”

What did Santorum say?

On Monday night, Santorum told CNN host Chris Cuomo on “Cuomo PrimeTime” that he didn’t believe the president energized “the base” with his Supreme Court pick, despite Trump’s promises that he would.

“[Kavanaugh] is from Washington,” Santorum said of the SCOTUS pick. “He is the establishment pick. He is the Bush pick.”

Santorum added, “It just seems like Trump in this case just bowed to the elite in Washington. I think that’s going to rub a lot of people the wrong way.”

The former senator added that he doesn’t believe Trump’s pick would be a “game-changer,” but he also doesn’t believe that it’s “a ‘Yeah, let’s go get them’ kind of moment'” for the president.