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tv   White House Briefing  CSPAN  February 15, 2016 11:23pm-12:10am EST

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fault, i happen to be caught up in this situation it in makes it difficult for a family. host: thank you. andt: thanks for calling in i think it's important to understand that here's a person that despite the obstacles put in his way a still pursuing his education opportunities. he will be an engineer with need. it's the most in demand occupation in this country. he is frustrated because all these obstacles are being in his way to hold them back. that is the real problem we have. urging carlos on and helping him in making sure he has the good education and gets a great job in tribute to our economy. if he succeeds in macro for benefit from the results. useead, we kind of mean-spiritedness and spiteful mess.
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racial or ethnic prejudice against people like .im to we should be working to try to help carlos. there are millions of them that are out there that need the kind of support we can provide and and securee enhance the future of our country if hinchcliffe people like carl is our successful. host: >> coming up tomorrow morning,
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three guests from politico. it includes the cofounder john harris, who will talk about his organization. will talkn roberts about the big stories of 2016's election. political reporter will answer questions about how gop candidates plan to win. be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. on c-span. republican chair representative luke messer at the national press club. 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. tuesday, tennessee senator lamar alexander, chair of the
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education committee talks about the new education law and how it differs from no child left behind. that is tuesday at noon here on c-span. road to the white house began in iowa. 1972aucuses date back to and then we moved on to new hampshire. begin to test the candidates and their message. nevada foraucuses in the democrats and republicans, more than likely we will see a number of candidates drop out of the race so the field will narrow. then, early march will be super tuesday. the delegate town will be -- the delegate count will be critical. we will get an idea of whose message is resonating and who is
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on the path to the nomination. announcer: national security advisor susan rice spoke at the white house briefing. afterwards, deputy press secretary eric scholz took questions on the death of chief justice antonin scalia. this is 40 minutes. susan rice: good afternoon,
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everyone. it is great to be with you and beautiful rancho mirage, california. very excited to be hosting the leaders of 10 countries. summit is an historic occasion. it is the first time we have hosted ozzie on leaders here in the united states for this kind of meeting. we have succeeded in doing so and it reflects the return on seven years of sustained investment by this administration in my president obama specifically in the asian pacific and in southeast asia in particular. it demonstrates our continuing commitment to this vital region. it is reflected by this summit will stop relations have never been stronger. with nearly half of europe's population and one third of the europe'silitaries and most critical ecosystems, the asia-pacific region is
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world'sngly the political and economic center of gravity which is why president obama, from the beginning, has prioritized engagement with asian what. recognizing this region is central in the 21st century. this was the impetus he kind our rebalanced strategy, which aims to force a network of partners, throughout asia, to work together to build and sustain a rules-aced regional order. 10-state union, founded on common principles like respect for international laws in strain in peaceful resolution of disputes, is a natural partner for the united states and from day one has been a core focus of the rebalance. our ties with asia have expanded dramatically over the last seven years. 2009, we signed a treaty of
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amity and cooperation. southeast summit and became the first partner to in 2013, we created the young southeast asia leaders which now has over 60,000 vibrant members. economic ties are also booming. quarter trillion dollar trade relationship with 55% since 2009. the asean region is now the largest goods export market for the united states. asean countries 500,000 more than american jobs. alone companies from california exported $11 billion to asean.
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companies from all 50 of our trade withge in asean. u.s. companies have been the argest investor in asean with stock of more than $226 billion, 2008. doubling since asean is also an increasingly important partner in addressing regional and global challenges maritime disputes to climate change, pandemic disease violent extremism, sustainable development to persons, which is why last year during the president's trip to malaysia we partnership with asean to a strategic partnership. much more we can still do together and that's why we're here. next day and a half, we'll discuss our shared invasion in promoting invasion -- innovation and
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entrepreneurship, encouraging peaceful resolution of disputes terrorism,ng pandemic disease, climate change and trafficking in persons. aware that some of our asean partners have a long way to go on human rights but continue, states will as we do everywhere, to stand up people andhts of all i emphasized this point last the white meeting at house with civil society representatives from all 10 asean countries. the president, as always, will stress the importance of good rule of law,he human rights and a vibrant human capable, accountable institutions. settingue and informal we have here will allow leaders more in-depth and candid discussions than is possible at the usual more formal summit meetings so this we look forward to as a rare and tonity for candor
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identify new areas of cooperation that will help prosperity innd this critical asia pacific for our children and grandchildn.grandchildren. y mu i'm happy to take a few questions. pool, do you have any questions for ambassador rice? to --er: with regards [inaudible question] having trouble hearing you. yourter: and what is reaction -- [inaudible question] we hear him? >> jeff, we're having trouble hearing you. if you can repeat that and speak of. better?: is that
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>> much. reporter: sorry about that. is thestion was, what expectations tomorrow about the likelihood for a strong statement from all the asean and the united states with regards to the south china sea and what is your reaction to reports from the region about china having put pressure on some members not sign that? >> i think i heard it. jeff?t reporter: did you hear that? >> yeah, more or less. out.ere coming in and but i think the question was about chinese pressure on some asean partners and the potential statement about south china sea. we will be continuing to work with our asean partners on a potential statement that we might issue together. a wideatement will cover range of topics. it won't be focused primarily on sea.outh china
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and we obviously have issued statements in the past with asean and in it we consistently underscore our shared commitment to peaceful resolution of freedom of commerce and navigation, the rule of law, necessity of disputes being resolved through peaceful legal means. we also have expressed concerns resolveforts to disputes through other means and will continue to do so so i'm confident that among other top takes we will discuss -- will discusse during the next day and a half, this will be an important one. by no means the only one. and i'm also confident that our upholdingmitment to these norms will be reinforced. other questions from the pool? loud. could speak up real
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>> or into the phone. pool?ng else from the a question have about syria. it's been a tough week for in.-backed rebel forces syria, being hit by russian and now we'reo seeing turkey is hitting a lot kurdish forces we have been allied with. the u.s. is doing to back up forces as they're under attack from different specifically your response to what turkey has been doing to attack a lot of the kurdish forces. toondly, what's the plan b cease-fire if this doesn't stop russia from continuing its bombing campaign. >> we continue our strong for moderate opposition
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elements in syria and for the we do sot in iraq and in furtherance of our primary which is to degrade and ultimately defeat isil and progress on the ground in recent weeks and months and we look, obviously, that progress sustained but you're right that this has of intensified bombing particularly in the north of syria. we have condemned that in the terms and we think it runs counter, frankly, to the commitment made in munich on to our shared interest in seeing the violence reduced, civilians allowed to receive humanitarian assistance which is of critical importance and more importantly ultimately achieving aof negotiated peaceful resolution of the dispute which is both for the wellbeing
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of the people of syria and for a to comel transition into effect which reflects the will of the syrian people. it's also essential in our judgment ultimately for the long-term success of the so we'llsil campaign continue our efforts both to support those on the ground who are fighting isil. we'll do our best in partnership with our many allies in the about, turkey remains an important as dor in that effort many others. and we'll stay focused on the weht against isil even as work intensively on the and thel track requisite steps discussed and in principle in munich to achieve a cessation of hostilities in humanitarian access. pool?thing else from the
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question] i couldn't hear that one. could anybody? want to try one more time, a little louder. i don't want to answer a question i didn't hear. that's not smart. >> the question was about your threat -- of the
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[inaudible] increased military intervention to deal with that threat. >> i'm sorry, andrew, you're breaking up and it's really hard for me to hear the question. tohink we're going to come folks in the room. >> there have been several specific attacks at hospitals, schools, unicef facilities, m.s.f. facility there. many of themd, children, we're told, in an area syrianse russians and have been very active. what is your understanding of what happened and who's to blame, who's responsible? i'm not in a position to offer details on what's transpired on the ground. very clear and the state department issued a strong statement today condemning the both of the m.s.f. facility and other facilities in believe werens we present. it appears this was action taken the backinge with
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of its supporters but i can't specific attribution at this point. it concern you that it happened right after president obama had a conversation with vladimir putin saying this stop?ry activity had to >> what concerns us is as violence continues, more and civilians are being impacted. and the pressure on civilians of displacedow persons from areas of residence is why weing and that have put a premium on trying to the violence, enable createarian access and an environment that is conducive get political track to underway. that is the reason for our efforts in that's why we'll be working in the coming days to try to parties toll
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implement the agreements reached at munich and it's why the president will continue his communications with leaders of to stripes who have a role play in this. >> you've been working with some at this countries summit to try to limit their cooperation with north korea militarily, economically. can you be more specific on what you might expect to come out of this on that front? and would you say you're putting pressure on them to do so? also, what effect do you expect that to have on north korea? obviously aea is topic of interest to the entire region, certainly to the united and our allies in japan of korea so wec tol continue our work contain and reduce the threat posed by north korea. the contextboth in of our discussions here on the margins. topic formally on
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urgently asut more we have done bilaterally and trilaterally in our cooperation the korean government in seoul and the japanese as well.t, in new york, we continue to work negotiations on a security council resolution which we expect will contain significant new sanctions progress so we'll be working on ons issue as we have been multiple fronts simultaneously days. coming >> i actually heard andrew's anstion and it's kind of important one so if it's ok, i'll just repeat it. i'll ask it myself. i'd like to hear your answer. what he was asking was there's a libya hascern that become a magnet for foreign his question was, how concerned are you by those reports and also is that concern
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prompting you to weigh more seriously some form of military libya?ntion in >> heard you much better, thank you. obviously, libya is an important concern forrest and us for a variety of reasons. actively engaged in unity to support a government and our diplomatic efforts have been quite thegetic in trying to back u.n. effort there and we've seen modest progress but obviously a difficult and persistent challenge but it's a toessary aspect of trying help to stabilize libya because had competing governments, it's been even more totile ground for extremists exploit than even when it had a weak central government. to the terrorist threat there, this is something we have long been focused on.
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involved in trying situationalur awareness, both of the threat as it's evolved, and to take steps counter that threat which is why the united states has acted against the isil leader in libya with success so we're going to very focused on the isil threat as it relates to libya, we have done in iraq and syria, we will be trying to cut of foreign fighters and financing, look at opportunities to build partnerships with those the ground, and take action appropriate and necessary against isil. i'm not prepared to suggest anything further than that at this point but this is an area, combating isil globally, where the united giving considerable attention along with our partners and allies in europe. more, margaret?
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>> thank you. withpresident obama spoke vladimir putin, did he receive any kind of assurances that russia will stop its ongoing bombing in syria? it would seem that russia says andthing diplomatically then continues to charge ahead with its battlefield dynamic. appear that the u.s. has much leverage here. do you have any reason to think now?it will change >> we'll have to see, margaret. to characterize russian motives. i am prepared to characterize their recent actions as being counter productive and condemned.t we've clearly, the intensified bombing, the displacement, the civilian entities have been hit by the regime and its is of grave concern and it does call into question or abilityllingness to implement the agreements agheevd munich.
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that said, we still believe that russia has the ability, should to, to play a constructive role in restraining the regime. obviously, its own actions, as well. stand ready in cooperation with our partners in support group to do our part to try to bring about cessation and the humanitarian access that's so badly needed. see what russia will do. >> do you think russia can stop the regime but they're choosing to? >> they can. and in the event that the two sides -- meaning the opposition syrian government -- indeed commit to implement the obligedn, they will be to but we will see how events unfold over the coming days. last one. >> last one. that your efforts
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u.n. security council. that -- sanctions against north korea. how can you build support around states? >> china is obviously a critical ander at the united nations it, too, has choices to make. we have had ongoing discussions with chinese in new york. president obama has spoken to xi.ident i think these discussions are progressing but i think it unlikely that china wants to be seen by the international ofmunity as the protector north korea given its recent outrageous behavior in violation international law and u.n. security council resolutions so given that, i expect that they will indeed come on board with significant new sanctions and we're working towards that end. retaliation against japanese
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thatnment, they announced reaction?at's your >> we have been supportive of japan and its efforts to pursue abductions andhe we hope that japan's interests in this will continue to be fulfilled. you. president is hosting terrible human rights records and human rights humanzations including rights watch says it sends a signal that the united states legitimizes these
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leaders to their people and in pivot to asia is about pivot to governments rather than to people and civil society. you respond to that? >> i dispute that strenuously. we deal with countries around world, including in asia, with whom we have serious rights,ments on human on democracy, on corruption. and yet we do talk to them. but at the same time we take every opportunity, both publicly privately, to underscore our grave concerns about human rights. why i made mention of that in my opening statement. that's why i spent an hour and a half last week with leaders of asean civil society to hear points of view, to ensure that their perspectives and intorns were incorporated our thinking and planning for this summit. with the people of astheast asia for many years
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they seek to build more just, more accountable societies. we have been significant societyrs of civil organizations. president's southeast asia is aboutnitiative building ties with the next generation's leaders so just because in asia as elsewhere we withbliged to deal governments including in some with whom weose have significant disagreements on human rights does not mean legitimizing them or their behavior or lessened our democracy, civil rights and human society. thank you. >> thank you, i am going to topics of ay
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domestic nature you might have. again?we try the pool don't. is the pool still with us? jeff, you want to give it a whirl? reporter: i don't have any questions, thank you, eric. mark? >> i'm wondering, eric, whether you can give us any updates at on a time table for the selection of a nominee for the court or any details on who the effort tong vet candidates, anything new that front? i don't have an update on the time table. as we said yesterday, the andident will take the time rigor this process deserves nominee.lecting a i would not anticipate an announcement this week given that the senate is out of recess. but as soon as the senate returns, president was very clear that he is going to
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-- fulfill his responsibility to replace justice scalia and called on the senate to philadelphia its responsiblity. to resist the urge to engage in speculation about but if you are looking to get a sense of the type of jurists the president nominates, i'd urge you to look at the two supreme court the president has already nominated and successfully confirmed to the atch and urge you to look the several hundred judges the andident has nominated successfully confirmed to the lower courts. generally speaking, the president's judicial nominees adhere to a number of basic happy tos which i'm share with you. number one, i'd say the president's judicial nominees all imminently qualified of excellence and
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integrity. tends to nominate individuals who honor constitutional responsibilities, commitment to impartial justice, respect the integrity of the judicial process and adhere to precedent. the president seeks judges who will faithfully apply the law to and lastly, hand the president is also mindful that there are rare cases where we law is not clear and acknowledge that those incidents occur most often at the supreme court. in those times, a judge will have to bring his or her own ethics and moral bearings into a decision. in those instances, the president seeks judges who understand that justice is not theoryout abstract legal this or footnote in a case book but dailye law affects reality in people's lives. look no further at the past year coming outhe rulings of the highest court of the land and you'll see these aren't
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cases just about legal theory they're about the way people go about their daily lives and protectingmeans people's freedoms. michelle? >> with all this now being said, starting hours after scalia's death, by republicans, including the senate majority leader, what on this?ake and do you feel there's any nominee -- a [inaudible] >> the president was clear that hislans on fulfilling constitutional responsibilities and we expect the senate to do the same. describedonsibilities in the constitution are iron clad. does notitution include exemptions for the president's last year in office or when the vacancy could tip the court. of i acknowledge your skepticism because we know this is a republican congress with a lot of practice saying no. this is a republican party
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leadership that shut down the 2013, that brought us to the brink of defunding the of homeland security last year and last week announced they won't have a hearing on the president's not the firsts is time the republicans have come out with a lot of bluster only ultimately sink in. as you'll recall, republicans sequester to keep level funding for the government. raise thetened to not debt limit. they threatened to not export-importe bank and threatened to uphend the deal with iran. they took a hard line and tried ultimatelyitics but were unable to back up their threats so we believe that in fell instances republicans back when their positions aren't only askingwe are members of the united states senate to do their job. some of you were fortunate enough to be with us in springfield where the president talked about the yearning in
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country of leak officials to be able to put aside parties to fulfill the core responsibilities of their job. that's all we're asking for today. ron? >> talking about things you backed off of. does the administration believe there could be consequences for the republicans if they continue this line and what do you think those consequences might be? is the real leverage that you think the president has in trying to make this happen? as opposed to the things where off, what do you think the leverage is that he has and the consequences if persist?ns >> there's absolutely consequences for the court. of cases a number pending before the court this i'm not going to speculate on how this particular affect the rulings of the court. allll say that as you
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understand the effect of a 4-4 decisionto affirm the of the lower court without setting a precedent going forward so a lot of those cases before the court right now, some of them the administration had won, and in other instances the is appealing. but your point is a good one a fully staffed supreme court. that there are indeed a number cases on the docket this year touching a range of important areas of law, many of people's daily lives. this only underscores why it's important for the court have a full complement of justices. argument. a new president ronald reagan was advocating for his nominee, he said, "every day passes without the court at
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impairs theh process." >> in certain swing states where thee -- i'm trying to get point at how -- and what do you is the consequence that the republicans will face if they persist? you that the president is deeply engaged. he's been in touch with his senior team, both those at the white house this weekend and those traveling with him on this. white house officials have been engaged in congressional offices the senate side but republicanat and offices. those conversations are a signal that we plan on conducting robust engagement throughout the process. to resist the urge to talk about politics on this. if you go back to the president's speech in springfield, he talked about
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moments that are too important to >> the president has talked about regretting how divisive washington has become. does he receive this as an opportunity to reach out to the other side? is the white house preparing for a fight to get nominees through? mr. schultz: that is a clever way of asking me to handicap potential nominees, which i will resist the urge to do. if you are looking at who the president would likely select, i would encourage you to go back to the several hundred nominees the president has put forward for federal courts. you are right that the president has called for a better functioning politics and more constructive politics. for the president, that means a federal government that is more responsive to its citizenry.
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we often hear that republicans have said elections matter and that people should have a say in who is on the supreme court. we could not agree more. that is why the president was reelected on november 6, 2012. again, that was november 6, 2012. we have 11 months to go in the president's second term, just under a quarter of our term. and look at the average time span for how long the supreme court justice takes between getting nominated and confirmed, it is about 70 days. we are well within that. particularly politically charged because of the timing and that is impacting the president's own decision-making? mr. schultz: we are in an election year.
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the president is very focused on doing his job. this is not something you have to take my word for. this is laid out in the united states constitution. this is about respecting the rule of law. we expect republicans to do just that. i recall a piece from leader mcconnell in the wake of his hard-fought victory saying he wanted to get congress functioning again. that is all we are asking for too. >> any potential nominee could obviously face a very divisive confirmation fight, one that ,ould be fruitless in the end if we are to believe the leader of the senate. is the president concerned whether the best candidate want to go through that or would reject outright any offer? has the white house talk to anybody with a concern like that? mr. schultz: i have not heard anybody -- any discussions along
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those lines. i would point to a clear precedent in an election year. justices haveurt been confirmed in presidential election years, including three republican a point -- appointe es. another was nominated by republicans and confirmed by democrats. intice kennedy was confirmed 198865 days after his nomination. , every republican voted to confirm justice kennedy. the only distance right now is that obama is a democrat. >> i just want to read something to you. the rest of this president's say this, we should reverse the presumption of confirmation with respect to the
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supreme court, at least. i will recommend to my colleagues that we should not confirm a supreme court nominee. those are the words of chuck schumer in 2007 with 18 months remaining in the terms of president bush. when you read comments like that and compare them to today, is it not hypocritical the way some are trying to play this in saying, we should get this done in a speedy fashion when many of the so-called leaders on the other side did virtually the same thing or participated in the same rhetoric back then? mr. schultz: i have seen a lot of quotes moving back and forth. for the president, it boils down to something simple -- doing his job. we expect the senate to do the same. there is almost a full year until the next president takes office. the 1980's, everyone appointed to the supreme court has been given a prompt hearing.
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justice went from nominee to appointment in 88 days. justice sotomayor or, 67 this. week are -- days. we are asking for the same standard to apply. we believe it would be irresponsible to let a vacancy extend into 2017. fails to act, the supreme court would preside for over a year with a vacancy. it would be wholly unprecedented for the modern supreme court. 1980's, there has never been a vacancy spanning more than one term. we have said that the to taket and -- wanted a little time and go through this process in a thoughtful and rigorous way. i expect when the senate returns, the president will identify a nominee. saying, on what you are
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is it your expectation that the senate, despite the rhetoric, will give an up or down vote on a nominee? the reason i ask is, if you are saying we believe that is a process that should go forward, we believe it is not necessary to fill the vacancy by recess yourntment, it is expectation, i imagine, they will vote up or down? mr. schultz: our expectation is that members of the united states senate will do their jobs. that includes republicans. that includes a number of republicans who take their oath of office seriously enough to do their jobs. thank you. by filibustering a nominee, they would not be doing their jobs. obama6, senator filibustered samuel alito.
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did he not follow his job when he was a senator? mr. schultz: what we have seen over the past 24 hours is something entirely different, bjectlys republicans a objecting to the president putting forth a nominee. we believe we have not seen anything like that. that is why we believe it would be wholly irresponsible to leave ,he supreme court shortstaffed especially considering the case is pending before them. you do not have to take my word for it. president reagan said that for every day the court a short staffed, it impairs the work. let me go back to that.
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what message are you going to deliver at this meeting? will the united states ask asian countries to play a role in the south china sea? statesle is the united expecting them to play? mr. schultz: ambassador rice addressed this earlier and we will have more to say in the next 36 hours. i will not get ahead of the president. our message on this is not particularly different than it has been over the past weeks and months. we support freedom of navigation in that we are going to stand by our partners in the region and make sure that international norms are respected. all right. one more. a follow-up question.
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is why obama decided to hold the summit not at the white house? mr. schultz: the president has used summer land as a relaxed venue where his counterparts from around the world can have a more informal discussion. in washington, there is a little more stiffness. the president wanted to afford world leaders more of an opportunity to have a candid, relaxed discussion. >> when you said that the is standing with advisers on this supreme court issue, is he going over specific list? where is he in the process? again, we are only a few days old here.


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