tv Your World With Neil Cavuto FOX News February 16, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PST
today. there's good stuff over on the wall, jessica. see this? very quietly, the dow is up. it's now safe to look at your the 401(k). that will probably change tomorrow so do it while you can. here's cavuto. all right, you will never believe the stocks. but first we're awaiting the press conference president obama. a lot of people are wondering what he's going to stay and how much he'll force the issue of naming a replacement for justice scalia. republicans say it's a bad idea. others say it is perfectly fine given the fact he has about a year to go. he will make his case in about a half an hour. kevin corcoran is in california. what might we be able to expect,
kevin? >> reporter: haey, neil. first of all, the president will be forcible in his explanation. it is his right and duty, that's what he's going to say likely in his comments coming up, as you pointed out, in a half hour from now. you can watch it here on fox news channel as he makes the case that he has to get the court filled, this position filled in the wake of the death of justice antonin scalia. there's something else you will learn today. you will also learn about his methodology. he's had a couple chances to do this with justice sotomayor and this takes him a month from studying the opportunity to naming a nominee. i would suspect he'll spend less time this time and may go with somebody vetted and that could point all that to attorney general loretta lynch. here's what the gop lawmakers are saying on capitol hill. chuck grassley, a very smart guy leading the judiciary, he's been one of the guys out there that says, listen, let's pump the brakes a bit on this.
here's what he's saying today, i would wait until the nominee is made before i would make any decisions. talking about at least the party's nominee coming up for the 2016 election. this is a very serious position to fill and it should be filled and debated during the campaign and filled by either hillary clinton, senator sanders or whoever's nominated by the republicans. that, of course, the chairman of the judiciary committee, chuck grassley of the hawkeye state. one of the potential nominees is judge jane kelly. >> so what grassley is saying, kevin, let's wait for the nominee, lizwelizabeth warren'se has been mentioned, for example, but it depends on whether republicans see that as a doable or sort of a fair and balanced nominee, right? >> reporter: absolutely right. if you are talking about a judge
who enjoys some broad based support, he clerked for sandra day o'connor. then maybe you get the senate to take the brakes off. but i think what you're really going to hear a great deal of over the next several days is, neil, no deal. we are looking for someone who will be at least judicially speaking someone who is at best conservative and at minimum someone who would be considered a moderate. whether or not the president will adhere to that advice is his prerogative. we'll see how it plays out. but i would say this lastly, my friend. if you're betting, and i'm not a betting person, i bet that the senate have hear the president's nominee. they will have a hearing and probably even give him an up or down vote before the end of his term. that's my bet. >> kevin, it is clear you're working very hard there. good luck to continue in doing the work you're doing, my friend. >> reporter: it's beautiful. i'll step out of the picture. >> rubbing it in. it's not a green screen, folks.
kevin, thank you. now i want to bring larry sabado into this, the senator for foreign politics, overall brain yak. i do wonder, professor, about why republicans would just hold hearings. they hold a significant majority in the senate, so they can argue that if they don't like the president's choice, they could protect the president's choice. you need 60 votes, so why add the drama of not even holding hearings. >> well, i think the lesson the majority leader is trying to send immediately is that there is very little chance that anyone nominated by president obama would be approved by a majority of the u.s. senate. they don't -- it doesn't have to be a filibuster, it could potentially be a straight up or down vote. but there are 54 republicans,
even if you had a couple defections, you might not in this case, there's virtually no chance that that would actually happen. this is going to be a campaign issue on both sides. it probably will increase voter turnout on both sides. and it has elevated to the court along with terrorism in the economy. >> i guess the process normally takes on average 67 days, from a nominee being submitted to the final vote in the senate, yea or nay. and it has happened before, ronald reagan. the third time was the charm for him, but i guess i have a hard time -- i know the frustration from the republicans, but i have a hard time understanding not even allowing a vote or waiting until, you know, a new president.
because that's still almost a year off. >> it may be after the president nominates someone and he's clearly got a couple of people in find because they are moving very swiftly. it has to be somebody who's already been vetted. >> who draws up that list by the way, larry? who draws up that list? when we see three or four names submitted, are those precooked names ready to go? >> well, i think any competent white house is going to have some names ready to go just in case. or at least some preliminary lists that's prevetted where they clearly no what they're dealing with. you have to have that. so, yeah, i think some of the names come off of there. and naturally they think about people who are in the administration in other capacities who have already been vetted for those different positions or cabinet votes. so, look, you can argue it either way.
maybe the republican, eventual republican nominee for president will want to have this nominee become very public. maybe that will become a fundamental part of his campaign. so we'll have to wait and see. what you say one day may be revised the next day depending on the circumstances. >> could it be an lbj situation, though? >> i think it is very unlikely you'll get a new supreme court justice before next year. >> interesting, because that was the next question i was going to ask. larry, if you think about it, lbj wanted to find a replacement for earl warren, the country was sharply divided at the height of the vietnam war. both sides, i guess, so that replacement had to wait until richard nixon took office. so might we face, to your point, a situation at whether the person is acceptable or not, the device and tone in washington means a new president is going to divide this. >> well, in that particular case, you had a nominee who was a crony of lyndon johnson, a
justice named abe fortis, who was the lawyer for lyndon johnson in his rather corrupt 1948 senate election. you know, where box 13 put him in the u.s. senate with all those voters who voted in alphabetical order, neil, which i've always been very impressed with. there could be that kind of organization in that area. but he was a crony of lyndon johnson's. and it turned out he had all kinds of questionable, ethical practices, which really brought him down. >> and they wanted to move him up to chief justice, right? they wanted to move him to chief justice and get a new guy, right? >> yeah. and eventually you got -- you got warren berger as the chief justice. earl warren was retiring as chief justice, he was really hoping that lyndon johnson rather than his old adversary richard nixon would get the appointment, but it doesn't turn out that way. >> so you think a new president
regardless is going to decide this. >> it's very likely. nothing is certain anymore in politics. it's kind of a crazy year, neil, i don't know if you have noticed. >> i was going to make an ice cream bet with you. but given my past, i'm going to hold back on that, processor. always good to see you, my friend, thank you. >> nice to see you, neil. we are told in 20 minutes or so the president will speak. in the meantime, a surprise buying in this holiday short week. this is surprising because oil was actually soft, but you had the guys of discipline in the part of at least four big oil producers, but enough of me pontificating. who better than fox news' jerry willis who has the facts and figures right before. what caused this today? >> all right, neil. here's what's going on, all three indexes are up and up strongly. the dow is up triple digits. the s&p up 30. the nasdaq is up 130, which is a big number.
saudi arabia is saying they are going to freeze oil production in january levels. now the market loved that headline, but when they actually read the story they weren't so thrilled. they sold off oil. oil fell below that all-important $30 a barrel level. you can see here, $29.04 is where it closed. not good news for oil. but let me tell you, technology was on fire. the tech stocks doing very well, amazon leading the way at 2.3%, 2.8%, pardon me, that's how much it was up. it was up because of a payment processing firm in india. but let me tell you, other stocks in the category doing well, google, apple, yahoo!. i think what you're seeing here is the fact we're sold off hard in january. horrible, ugly january. now looking good. and now some pundits to it there saying that we have seen the bottom and we're turning around. boy, i sure hope they're right. >> all right, gerri. thank you so much. keeping an eye on the markets and letting you know ahead of time, we'll be busy this weekend. live on saturday for our coverage of what's going on in
south carolina and in nevada. we'll have a special coastal wide edition for you at 10:00 a.m. to noon. and lou dobbs is going to be on at 6:00 p.m. i'll be taking over at 7:00 p.m. we'll offer you breaking coverage as the votes come in. this turns out to be a pretty decisive day for changing the complexity of this debate. again, it's the weekend and a lot of business networks are off on the weekend but we are not. it's about your money and free catering, we are there. all right. in the meantime, we're waiting to hear from the president on what he's going to do about picking a replacement for justice scalia. plus hillary clinton right now in this whole nevada thing, she's trying to court the african-american vote and she's prematurely dismissing what is going on in nevada. saying it really isn't representative of the democratic
constituency. more to the point, her constituency. but she just ticked off someone very powerful in nevada politics. so happens to be the democratic leader of the united states senate. uh-oh. does sitting behind a new desk make you feel like an svp instead of a vp? then you might be gearcentric. ♪ this president's day, all chairs are on sale!
all right. well, harry reed is not happy with the way hillary clinton is down playing the nevada caucuses. so we have a food fight going on here. he's in las vegas. this guy has frequent flyer miles. ed henry is now in las vegas. >> reporter: this is a flip from several months ago when hillary clinton made high-profile stops here in las vegas and was talking about the influence of the hispanic vote, talking to dreamers, talking about how she would go further than president obama on executive action. the point is that reid and other democrats here wonder if hillary clinton's staff is now downplaying latino vote because simply she's not doing better here right now. she had a 25-point lead a month ago. that appears to be shrinking down. this is a close race ahead of the nevada caucus on saturday night.
and it's interesting because today both clinton and bernie sanders, her chief rival, are reaching out to voters. >> i know very well that both my campaign but more importantly my presidency if i'm so fortunate to be in that position, must reflect the thinking and the planning and proposals of people like you around this table. >> that the african-american community is suffering even more. [ applause ] and when we talk about what's going on in this country and the fact that virtually the entire nation suffered terribly as a result of the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior of wall street, the
african-american community recovered in a much less than significant way. >> reporter: you can see sanders tailored his message over and over again about wall street specifically turning it to the african-american audience. that vote will be pivotal as it's a week after nevada. interestingly, bernie sanders is having a meeting tonight and we'll bring you the on-air comments about this later, neil. >> ed henry, thank you. just in case you think the african-american vote is monolithic for hillary clinton, take a look at the most powerful georgia democrat, who was telling me earlier on he's a bernie guy now, bernie sanders. take a look. >> right now what i'm more focused on is making sure bernie sanders gets the nomination, that he wins in november -- >> you think he has a better chance as the leader democrat
than hillary clinton. >> i think bernie sanders is exciting the democratic base. i think he's exciting independents. >> all right. so democratic strategist margaret clinton, he's a big deal in georgia, he's a dominating player in georgia democratic politics. he comes out for bernie sanders. and i think something like that could be watershed move, what do you think? >> sanders' crippling issue has been minorities. and now we are going to states with a much broader base. they said in nevada in 2008, most of the voters were latino. now we are moving into states with much higher pools of voters of color. and so sanders winning those audiences is going to be a big play. and what sanders wants to establish in nevada if he can win nevada, it tells a new story
saying i can win the general election because i can win in state that is do have a more diverse base. looking back to iowa and new hampshire, which were about 90% white. so while he has the millenials, he might be locking in some of the younger latino voters. and them also the key to future elections because that's the fastest growing population in the country right now. >> all right. obviously, hillary clinton's people immediately came out to sort of downplay that and said, nevada really isn't representative of the african-americans. but i can imagine that will rally the democrats even more, right? >> i don't think it plays well to downplay, but she's nervous and her campaign is really having to hop in states they have been working at for a long time. they felt like they had a stronghold and it's been a surprise to see the momentum created by the sanders' campaign, by the media, by his win in new hampshire. and now again speaking to the
messages that are resonating with african-american and latino voters, in particular. can he pull away with hillary clinton having gotten the endorsement of the black caucus over the weekend. that's a big win for her. again, the question and, are pundits like me and all the polls going to tell the real story? or are we going to see something completely different happen when it comes to caucus day? >> real quickly, it's an expectations game, right? bernie sanders has to win the african-american vote. but if she's polling 85% to 90% and all of a sudden gets 70%, that's deemed a disappointment, right? >> exactly. i think again, while the win itself, nevada itself doesn't determine the hold of the election, it's all about the momentum and the story it tells. so if she wins she's in a much stronger position going into south carolina and then that key to the election. >> marjorie clipton.
all right. he's gone from bromance to being at each other's throats. but the latest indication from donald trump is he's easing up on the ted cruz attacks. >> donald trump is effectively navigating the presidential republican race, and he's embracing the aggressive nature of the south carolina primary politics. in north augusta this afternoon, trump offered no updates on his threat to sue texas senator ted
cruz over his eligibility to serve as president. cruz was born in canada and trump said previously he's very seriously considering a lawsuit. trump like senator marco rubio is now branding cruz a liar. reminding the crowd of cruz's staff incorrectly telling iowans that challenger ben carson had suspended his campaign. >> it is like my challenger ted cruz -- i have never seen a human being lie so much. cruz lies about everything. >> reporter: cruz is speaking in south carolina and failed to mention trump. he recently said that trump is simply screaming "liar liar" like a grade school student with no substance to reinforce his claims. this afternoon trump knocked president obama, carl rove and florida governor jeb bush. in the past few days, president george w. bush has campaigned for his brother jeb. trump has followed by criticizing president bush for the iraq war, his administration
has justification for his and for 9/11 during his presidency. thank you. now we have the washington examiner with us, donald trump is popular in the polls. but the push bbush family is po in south carolina. what is it? >> well, we don't know. pollsters may somehow be missing this, but donald trump in the debate took a market departure from what a lot of republicans, even democrats, have said about george w. bush, which is saying that george w. bush didn't just unwittingly lead us into iraq, he intentionally misled the american public. that's a stance only people to the far left have taken. and it will be interesting to see if republicans take that on his base or even if his own supporters will push back and question why he's making these
attacks on his own party that could do a lot of damage to the gop in the long run. >> maybe beyond the gop, his argument has been, whatever c constituencies i'm losing for the gop, i'm bringing many more in, not only to the party, but people who haven't voted before. what do you think? >> that's an argument that he's made, but what we saw more so in iowa than in new hampshire is that donald trump, he's also bringing people into the process that are coming to vote, just to vote against him. i mean, he turns off as many people as he turns on in the political process. >> but he wins. >> well, he didn't win iowa. he did win in new hampshire. but from the perspective of bringing more people into participation in the democratic process, it's a good thing, not necessarily a good thing for the republican party. if he's arguing to be a standard bearer, then it's important to consider whether we want someone who will be damaging to the brand. >> now, what i wonder about is
what starts this threat of the independent run or leaving the party. and to be fair to mr. trump, i have to figure when you have the prominent bush family, beginning with barbara bush, you know, attacking him. and only a week or so after bob dole was attacking him, and ted cruz to be fair, but you have establishment players saying, you know, you're not ready for our primetime. and i'm wondering if he reads into that, they're doing their darndest, including dick cheney with bret baier yesterday, to torpedo out of the gates, i'm going to torpedo back. >> that's a good question. but i'm wondering why he's spending so much time going after jeb bush. he's trailing in the polls and finished better than expected in new hampshire but not necessarily seen as a threat to donald trump. >> he's my theory on that as i have a bunch, i read a prompter, so i know what i'm talking about. he feels that he can really, you
know, put holes in the whole bush dynasty thing. and just tear it apart. that is a fatal blow to the establishment. and he thinks that is ski to his argument. i'm taking down the folks who let you down post ronald reagan. that's my theory and i'm sticking to it. what do you think? >> well, that's entirely possible, but it seemed to me that after the new hampshire primary especially, excuse me, after the iowa caucus especially, the establishment, quote/unquote, was starting to coalesce behind marco rubio, not jeb bush. >> a lot has happened since then, right? >> right. a lot has happened since then. but rubio isg a lot of the donors who have started to move away from jeb bush. he was attracting all the attention. by all accounts, he had the upward momentum, but trump hasn't gone after rubio, after he's the most likely candidate to take up the establishment. >> you still think so after last
week's debate, not this past week's, you still think that's the case? >> well, that put a huge dent in his campaign because his whole entire pitch was, look, i'm the most electable and most effective communicator. that's why the robot attack hurt him more than any other attack could have. but rubio is still polling significantly ahead of jeb bush in south carolina. he's positioned to do better there and moving forward. and he does have that sort of -- he sparks more enthusiasm than jeb bush simply because like you said, jeb bush represents a political dynasty people are rejecting this cycle. rubio doesn't. so perhaps he could attract that establishment backing. >> we shall see. sarah list, thank you so much. you were just taking a peek there at governor jeb bush addressing the crowds in south carolina. he hopes to do well in the state, not win it, but place well enough to sort of go on to the sec states, including florida later on where he thinks he has a very good shot of at least coming in second. donald trump leads in polls
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we are minutes away from the president outlining what he's going to do now. this will be his first remarks, formal press remarks since the passing of antonin scalia. shannon bream on how to fill that vacancy. >> reporter: the white house said we'll hear from the president very soon on who he wants to fill justice scalia's seat. let's take a look at the
potential nominees. patricia millett. she has met some controversy. and also sri srinivasan. he was unanimously confirmed in his senate seat back in 2013. so that could put gop in a box to argue this time around that he's somehow unqualified. now a colleague to both those judges is judge merrick garland. he was on the short list the last time around. he graduated first in harvard undergrad and went on to graduate from harvard law. and attorney general loretta lynch would be a first for the court, an african-american woman, but she could be viewed as too political a pick. and there's talk about senator corey booker.
he, too, is young and an unconventional pick. look at the court during the modern times and they are made up of people who have judicial bench experience. that wouldn't be him but he's something different. there are plenty of other names that i could go on and on about, but anyone who accepts this nomination needs exceptional fortitude because it's going to be a bruising battle on capitol hill. that is if the president can get this nomination moving at all. neil? >> all right, shannon. thank you very much. to mike emmanuel with the president out there on what the pressure is, i should say in washington right now, to handle this, but how he goes about this, either way it's a fight, right, michael? >> reporter: it's shaping up to be a fight here on capitol hill. once president obama submits a nomination to fill justice scalia's seat on the court, mitch mcconnell has been clear to say already he thinks the next president should nominate the next person to sit on the supreme court. senate judiciary chair chuck grassley has not ruled out
holding a hearing in the judicial committee but is not saying how far he's willing to go. a conservative senator running for president is making the case for holding off. >> the entire balance of power on the court hangs in the balance here. i believe we should make 2016 a referendum on the u.s. supreme court. let the voters decide. if the democrats want to fill this vacancy, they need to win in november. >> reporter: this comes as there are a number of senate republicans in battleground states expected to face competitive races in the fall. ayotte in new hampshire, toomey in pennsylvania, portman in ohio, johnson in wisconsin and kirk in illinois. democrats are trying to figure out their next move. >> that's part of the calculation that is going on behind the scenes with the democratic leadership right now.
how to calibrate this scenario. >> reporter: if there's no vote on the supreme court nominee, we are told to expect a number of filibusters. with 54 republican votes in the united states senate, to get anything done, they need some democrat support. and if this supreme court nominee doesn't get an up or down vote on the floor, look for all heck to break loose in the senate. >> real quickly, michael, the republicans up for election could face pressure voting down the nominee, right? >> reporter: that is another scenario you're pointing to, neil, which is bring it up for a floor vote. those who want to vote no can vote no. at least that person had an up or down vote. the other thinking here on capitol hill is maybe a person like shannon mentioned, somebody who has already been confirmed by the senate, which could make it difficult for them to vote no. >> all right. michael, thank you very much. we are waiting to hear from the
president. at the same time, hillary clinton is in new york city. she has been talking up the fact that she's going to come upon primaries and caucuses. now more favor her, but she's dismissing nevada as a caucus site where polling is increasingly better for bernie sanders. she's between a rock and a hard place now trying to thread the needle on what states matter and what states don't. she has not been gavelizing a lot of support since new hampshire. we'll keep an eye on it. much more after this.
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about that. what is the harm in the president putting a name out there, they are free to reject it if they will, but by not holding the vote, do they -- do they look petulent. >> well, many members of the judiciary committee already said prior to justice scalia's untimely death that they would support whoever the president nominates if the person is qualified. that would prevent them from voting no just because they disagree with the perception of the person's politics. and senator mcconnell is aware of that, so he knows that once he opens up this can of worms, so to speak, once he commences debate on the person, he's going to have a number of members in his caucus, 54, 55 or so republican senators who are committed to giving the president the person qualified. what does qualified mean? if president obama mnominates
someone, if it's someone this very senate confirmed a year ago, then they were in the position of saying they were wrong then and can't vote for this person now. so he's going to open up a can of worms. but he's playing it safe by saying we won't consider the person. but i agree with you, they'll have to present a principle defense of the constitution in order for this, i won't consider the person to be accepted by the public and by the republican presidential nominee. >> could you say, too, when they agree unanimously on a judge for a lower court, they could come back and say, well, the standards are very different for the nation's highest court? >> that makes a lot of argument to lawyers and to judges and to those of us who watch it, but i don't know if that will wash with the public. remember, a lot of this is perception. and as shannon said not too long
ago quite appropriately, a number of the senators are up for re-election and they will have to gauge the mood of the public in their states as to whether they go along with mitch mcconnell, it will impair their ability to get reelected. if it does, and mitch mcconnell finds himself at the minority leader in january of '17 rather than the majority position he hopes to keep, we are walking a tight line here. barack obama could surprise people. he could come up with a nomination that the republicans can't reject. for example, a sitting republican senator that he may like. or here's a wild idea that my colleague at brooklyn law school suggested a few hours ago, justice sandra day o'connor was often saying she regrets retiring from the supreme court. if barack obama could see his way to appoint her, the republicans would have to ratify her appointment. but i don't know where he's going to go.
he could appoint a recess appointee today and the person would be sworn in tomorrow because the senate is in a lawful recess, but that person would only sit until january of 2019. it wouldn't be a lifetime term. >> you know what's weird is the fact that the president could do something after the election in that lame duck period where we have an outgoing congress before the new congress, the new president steps in. he could do something then, right? >> well, the lame duck period exists for about a second. because the old senate expires at noon on january 3rd. and the new senate comes into effect on noon on january 3rd. so it really would depend on -- >> but he could do it. >> i don't know that it would be possible to time it. i've seen that. i think that is far more difficult than making a recess appointment this week when they are legitimately lawfully in a ve recess. >> in the meantime, we are
dealing with a 4-4 court. and in a way, a lot of the decisions would revert back if they are ties to lower court rulings on issues like deportation and executive action the president has taken would be harmful to him. >> well, here's where the ingenuity of chief justice roberts and the court rules come into place. chief justice roberts is known for crafting unique and unusual compromises, even at the last minute where we never thought it would happen. and a classic example is obamacare. he can craft a compromise, which would save the dignity and influence of the court, he can also delay releasing a decision. if something is 4-4, there is no requirement that they release it this term. they can delay on that decision until the new justice is confirmed, even if that's not for a year and a half from now, in order to maintain the dignity of the court. unless you're talking about a death penalty case where the execution is scheduled. the supreme court can move at its own pace. >> would it be wise -- if that
were the case where they all of a sudden said, we'll wait for a new president, we'll propose a name, this president proposes a name, like lyndon johnson, the name is shot down and the new president in this case is finding a replacement for earl warren decided by the new president. >> well, the court doesn't like to be perceived as being political, but john roberts is very, very political. a lot of people believe that the reason obamacare became the law, the supreme court ratified it in june '13 because he and a few other justices thought mitt romney was going to defeat barack obama and the political process would undo obamacare. d obama. so these folks have their thumb on the pulse of politics, even though that's not part of the deliberative process. we like to think they rule purely on the law. they all got there because of their understanding of politics. don't rule out its influence,
neil. >> so it's fair to say if you were being invited by barack obama to be the next supreme court justice. would you go into that line? you would have everybody tearing you apart. >> only if roger ailes was next to me. >> ronald reagan dealt with this twice. two choices, ginsburg, he ends up getting his justice in the election year. but it was still well enough ahead of the election, right? >> look, president obama could very well decide, they're going to reject this nominee. i have to come up with someone that appeals to republicans. he only has to appeal to a few republicans to extricate them from the republican majority, assuming the democrats hold fast.
i'm sure there are some relatively conservative democrats out there. >> thank you, judge. now the president. >> beautiful sunny lands and the people of rancho mirage for their incredible hospitality the last two days. i have hosted foreign leaders here before. it is quite another to host leaders from ten nations at the same time. i want to thank everybody who helped make the summit such a success. for 50 years, leaders and people across southeast asia have worked together through asean for mutual security, prosperity and dignity. for decades, the united states has been a proud partner with asean. and this summit is built on the unprecedented cooperation we forged over the past seven years, as i described yesterday. this spirit, working together on behalf mutual interests, and
mutual respect, guided our work over the past two days. so i especially want to thank my fellow leaders from the asean countries for being here, for their commitment and the progress we've made together. one of my main messages over the last two days has been the commitment of the united states to asean and its people. that commitment is and will remain strong and enduring. with our strategic partnership, we have a framework to guide our ties for decades to come. here we agreed to a number of key principles including the principle that asean will continue to be central, in fact, indispensable to peace, prosperity and progress in the asia pacific. when asean speaks with a clear unified voice, kit help advance security and opportunity. not only for the more than 600 million people across asean but for people across the asia pacific and around the world. and i'm pleased that here at
this summit, asean's strong voice allowed to us make progress on multiple fronts. first we agreed to do more together to encourage the sbrerp floorship and innovation at the heart of competitive economies. we had excellent discussion with a number of pioneering leaders who reiterated the recipe for attracting trade and investment. rule of law, transparency, protection of intellectual property, efficient customs, moderate infrastructure, ecommerce and the free flow of information, support for small and medium size businesses and perhaps most importantly, investment in people. investment in strong schools to educate and train the next generation. around the table there was widespread recognition that this is the path asean countries need to continue on. as they do, they will create even more opportunities for trade and investment between the u.s. and asean countries. i affirmed our strong support
for the asean community and pledge that had the united states will continue to be a partner in asean's efforts to integrate economies. i'm also announcing a new initiative. u.s./asean connect. a network of hubs to better coordinate our engagement and connect more entrepreneurs, investors and businesses with each other. we're doing more to help aspiring innovators in the region learn english, the international language of business. and i reiterated that the trans pacific partnership which includes four asean members can advance economic integration with stronger trade throughout the asia pacific. to that end we've launched a new effort to help all asean countries understand the key elements of tpp as well as the reforms that could eventually lead to them joining. second, with regard to security,
the united states and asean are reaffirming our strong commitment to a regional order where international rules and norms and the rights of all nations, large and small, are upheld. we discussed the need for tangible steps in the south china sea, including a halt to further reclamation, reconstruction over disputed areas. freedom of information must be upheld and lawful commerce should not be impeded. i reiterated the united states will continue to fly, sail and operate wherever international law allows. and we will support the right of all countries to do the same. we will continue to help our allies and partners strengthen their maritime came built sxds we discussed how any disputes between claimants in the region must be resolved peacefully through legal means such as the upcoming arbitration meeting under the u.n. convention of the seas which the parties are obligated to almost and abide
by. third, i made it clear that the united states will continue to stand with those across southeast asia who are working to advance rule of law, good governance, accountable institutions and the universal human rights of all people. we continual to encourage a return to civilian rule in thailand, we will sustain our engagement with the people of myanmar as a new president is selected and as they work to implement the cease fire agreement and move forward with reconciliation. across the region we'll stand with them to defend their freedom of speech, assembly and of the freedom of the press. no one including those in political opposition should ever be detained or imprisoned simply for speaking their mind. that only stymies progress. only makes it harder for countries to truly thrive and prosper. and finally, the united states and asean are doing more to deal with transnational challenges
together. i offered our assistance to help them better leverage interpol data. we agree that implementing the paris climate change agreement including helping developing countries adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change will be critical and it will enable them to leap ahead to new and affordable clean energy. as we pursue our sustainable development goals, we're launching a new competition. an innovation challenge to encourage students across asean to develop new solutions to boost agriculture. we're moving ahead with our global health security agenda to prevent future epidemics and i pledged additional u.s. assistance to help asean combat the horror of human trafficking. to sum up, i believe the summit has put the u.s./asean partnership on a new trajectory to carry us to even greater heights ahead. america's foreign policy rebalanced to the asia pacific including southeast asia will
continue to be a foreign policy policy of my presidency. i look forward to visiting vietnam for the first time in may and to becoming the first u.s. president to visit laos when it hosts the east asia summit in september. i'm confident whoever the next president may be will build on the foundation we've laid. because there's strong sustained bipartisan support for american engagement in the asia pacific region. and through our young southeastation leaders initiative, our investment in young people, in their business success and civil society and grassroots leaders across the nation will further bind us together in a spirit of partnership and friendship for many years to come. so with that, let me take a few questions. i'll start with darlene of the associated press. where is darlene? there she is. >> thank you, mr. president. my question about the supreme court.
>> what's up? >> what recourse do you have if leader mcconnell votes a vote on your supreme court nominee? and do you think if you choose someone moderate enough republicans might change course and schedule a vote? and as you consider that choice and who to nominate, what qualities are important to you and is diversity among them? thank you. >> first of all, i want to reiterate, heartfelt condolences to the scalia family. obviously justice scalia and i had different political orientations and probably would have disagreed on the outcome of certain cases. but there is no doubt that he was a giant on the supreme court, helped to shape the legal landscape. he was by all accounts a good friend and