Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said he intends to remain neutral in the U.S. Presidential race for the foreseeable future, is not certain that a Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump match-up is inevitable, and endorses the next President to decide who should be nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, Cotton said he disagrees with the assertion that the Senate’s actions to not consider federal judge Merrick Garland for the nation’s high court is a stall tactic.
“This is not a stall tactic simply to stop President Obama from making a decision, this is a decision to let the American people make that decision.”
Cotton does consider Judge Garland to be left-of-center and thinks that the last two election cycles have sent a mixed message about major decisions impacting the country.
“I think it’s important that we let the American public decide. They’ve rendered something of a split decision in the last two elections. In 2012, they did elect President Obama, in part to nominate justices and judges, but in 2014 they elected me and a net nine new Republican Senators in part to say, ‘Stop. Stop to the Obama agenda,'” Cotton said. “They’ll have a choice in just a few months to fill not just the White House and the Congress, which is rare enough, but also to decide who is going to control the balance of power on the Supreme Court. I don’t think there’s any reason to rush into that decision.”
Cotton said after the election he does not believe the Senate will consider Judge Garland’s appointment. He said the nomination should come from the next President – Republican or Democrat.
Cotton is not certain that a Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump fall election is a foregone conclusion despite both having more delegates at this juncture in the 2016 Presidential campaign.
He said there are plenty of primary contests remaining plus both parties’ conventions. Cotton thinks Clinton will face serious legal problems involving her role using an unsecured email server when she was Secretary of State, a move he says “disqualifies” her from the Presidency.
When asked which of the three remaining GOP candidates – Ted Cruz, John Kasich, or Donald Trump – would be the strongest general election nominee, Cotton said he had no plans to take sides.
“I’ve been neutral in this race throughout and I intend to remain so, in part because Arkansas’ voters have voiced their opinion in our primary and I want to be able to provide a source of policy insights for our party as a whole,” he said.
On the subject of foreign policy and recent terrorist attacks involving the Islamic State, Cotton is calling on Europe to increase its funding for national defense. He says the U.S. is picking up nearly 70% of the tab for NATO, up from 50% during the Cold War period.
“I think NATO is the most successful security alliance in the history of mankind,” he said. “I don’t think the U.S. should cut our spending though, I think we should urge our European allies to increase their spending in part so we can avoid future attacks like we’ve seen in Brussells and Paris, or we can avoid invasion of NATO allies like Latvia and Estonia like we’ve seen in the Ukraine.”
Watch his full interview in the video below.