Fox News "On The Record With Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript


By:  Lindsey Graham
Date: July 14, 2009
Location: Unknown

Fox News "On The Record" - Transcript

Interviewer: Greta Van Susteren


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you just heard Senator Lindsey Graham thinks Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed, but he has worries about her. Senator Graham is back with us. Is that a good description, you have worries about her?

GRAHAM: Yes. Her case -- she's been a judge for 12 years, and when you look at her opinions, she's left of center but within the mainstream. The time she spent on the bench doesn't bother me as much as her speeches. And here's what she said. "I would hope that a wise Latina woman, with the richness of her experience, would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life." And what I was trying to tell the judge, if I had said that, a Republican, white guy from South Carolina, people would be all over me. My career would be over. And that bothers me, what she said. It's OK to say that I think that I have something new to offer and I have a background that will make the Court like America. But to say that my background makes me wiser than someone else is inappropriate.

VAN SUSTEREN: Did you see any evidence in any of her decisions of that?

GRAHAM: You know, quite frankly, at the court of appeals, she's been sort of mainstream left-of-center, what I would expect from Obama in many ways. But these speeches are troubling in the sense that when she gets to be on the Supreme Court -- and you know this better than I do -- on the court of appeals, you're bound by the law set by the Supreme Court. On the Supreme Court, you sit there and you have a chance to make the law, literally, legal policy. You have a chance to change precedent. And I hope she doesn't take what I think is sort of a chip on her shoulder to the Supreme Court.

VAN SUSTEREN: Are you going to vote yes or no?

GRAHAM: I'm going to see what she says. I want her to explain to me what she meant. And I think she ought to apologize for that, quite frankly. I think it was way out of bounds. But my hope is that she will be able to convince me that that doesn't represent how she will be on the Supreme Court, that her 12 years as a judge is a better reflection. Quite frankly, I'd like to vote for her because President Obama won the election. She's a historic nominee. But I'm not going to vote for her if I don't think she's fair.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's sort of interesting. You say that she -- you know, President Obama won the election, so he gets to pick.

GRAHAM: Yes, he did.

VAN SUSTEREN: But when he had the opportunity to vote on...


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I mean, I've actually got it in front of me. He said about Justice Roberts, who he voted no on, he said, "There's absolutely no doubt in my mind Judge Roberts is qualified to sit on the highest court in the land," but then he said that what he was worried about is whether the judge -- the critical ingredient is supplied by what is in the judge's heart.

GRAHAM: I would tell every member of the Senate to ignore Senator Obama. He set a standard that no one could follow. If I'm going to ask her about her heart -- she supported a brief when she was at Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund that said that if you do not allow a low-income woman a federally-funded abortion, you're making a slave out of her. That to me is a radical statement. And am I going to talk about her heart when it comes to the unborn?

What Senator Obama did was he wanted to vote no against Alito and Roberts because he was running for president. And he made a standard up that's never been used before that I -- quite frankly, I think is dangerous. And if I followed his rationale, there's no way I'd vote for her or anybody else he picked.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, the hearings go on. By the way -- cliffhanger.

GRAHAM: Yes...



GRAHAM: We'll see how she does. She could talk me out of voting for her. We'll see if she does.

VAN SUSTEREN: (INAUDIBLE) tease you about a cliffhanger because we sat and listened to all you elected officials today.

GRAHAM: Oh, God. Yes. I wouldn't wish that on the people at Gitmo to have to sit there and listen to 19 senators for three hours!


VAN SUSTEREN: And with that, I'll (INAUDIBLE) You said it! I did not!


VAN SUSTEREN: Thank you, Senator.


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