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On ABC’s This Week, Blunt Announces SCOTUS Vote, Talks Inflation, Gas Prices, & Latest on Ukraine

April 03, 2022

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.) joined ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos to discuss the upcoming Senate vote on Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Blunt also talked about how Democrats’ reckless spending has fueled inflation, and discussed the latest developments in Ukraine’s incredible resistance against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.

Following Are Excerpts From Blunt’s Interview:

On the Upcoming Supreme Court Confirmation Vote in the Senate:

STEPHANOPOULOUS: “Senator Blunt, thanks for joining us this morning. Let's start with those issues that I finished up with Ron Klain on, starting with Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Have you made up your mind yet?”

BLUNT: “Well, I have George. And good to be with you this morning. You know, I've thought, initially, my sense is that the president certainly had every good intention and every right in the campaign to talk about putting the first Black woman on the Court. I think it's time for that to happen. I was hoping that I could be part of that. I had a great conversation with her. Really, there are two criteria I said immediately. One is: is the person qualified for the job? And two is: what's their judicial philosophy? She is certainly qualified, got a great personality, I think will be a good colleague on the Court. But the judicial philosophy seems to be not the philosophy of looking at what the law says and the Constitution says and applying that, but going through some method that allows you to try to look at the Constitution as a more flexible document and even the law and there are cases that show that that's her view. I think she's certainly going to be confirmed. I think it'll be a high point for the country to see her go on the Court and take her unique perspective to the Court. But I don't think she's the kind of judge that will really do the kind of work that I think needs to be done by the Court and I won't be supporting her but I'll be joining others in understanding the importance of this moment.”

On Democrats’ Reckless Spending Fueling Inflation:

STEPHANOPOULOUS: “You heard Ron Klain taking on critics of the president's budget, like you, who said it's reckless spending, pointing out that the deficit has come down from the high level of the deficit under President Trump.”

BLUNT: “Well, I think the most reckless thing that the president did in spending is the March decision, on a totally partisan way for the first time in anything we were dealing with COVID, to try to come back and put $2 trillion into an economy that was already well on the way to recovery. Larry Summers said that was a problem. Others have said not only is that a part, but further massive spending on new programs is a problem. The biggest political issue in the country today is clearly inflation. People are seeing not only gas prices at astronomical levels, and they were, by the way, at that unacceptable level long before Vladimir Putin did anything regarding Ukraine. They went up for almost every day beginning not just the day after the president was inaugurated, but the day after he was elected as people were seeing what was going to happen with his energy policies. And commodity prices as high, in some cases, as 20%. All you have to do is go to the gas station, or the grocery store, or pay your winter heating bill to know that something unacceptable has happened. And I think that's an excessive level of spending. The Democrats, all on their own, put $1.9 trillion into the economy in March, and it'll take us a long time to recover from that, and even longer to pay it back.”

On the Need to Get Aid to Ukraine More Quickly:

STEPHANOPOULOUS: “Finally, let me end with you where it began with Ron Klain. Do you believe that Russia is losing this war in Ukraine and what more can the United States be doing right now to support the Ukrainian resistance?”

BLUNT: “Well, I think we should be doing everything we can. We should give them what they need as quickly as they need it. I think, frankly, what the president's done has generally been the right thing, but about two or three weeks slower than it should have been. I've been saying that since we had the sanctions discussion before the invasion. What would be interesting, I think, would be to know whether Putin was more surprised by the incredible resistance of the Ukrainians, the rallying around of NATO to the original and unified purpose of NATO, particularly the German change in attitude, or how poorly his own military has performed. I'm sure he's surprised by all three of those, and, frankly, I think we've been surprised by all three of those. Our Intelligence Committee did a great job of knowing what the Russians were doing, the false flag operations, all of those things incredibly helpful. But I don't think anybody could have anticipated those three big events or those three big items or, frankly, the leadership of President Zelenskyy. I hope he continues to be safe and brave and his country is rallying behind that willingness to be there and be in the fight.”


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