WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Seventeen Republican US senators who had privately indicated they were willing to conduct hearings for Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland were afraid to say so publicly, Vice President Joe Biden told a campaign rally in the state of South Carolina on Tuesday.
"After the Republicans said they wouldn’t hold a hearing on the Supreme Court nominee, I called seven Republican senators and everyone said, ‘I know you’re right Joe,’” Biden recalled. “There’s 17 who told me eventually they know I’m right but they were afraid."
Republicans, who hold a majority in the Senate, have refused to conduct hearings and a vote on Garland’s nomination, claiming Obama’s successor should be allowed to fill the vacant court seat.
As a result of next week’s election, Democrats hope to regain control of the Senate, which is responsible for approving presidential nominees.