Kamala Harris blasted by Washington Post for Abe Lincoln 'history lesson' to Mike Pence at VP debate
THE Washington Post blasted Kamala Harris on her “history lesson” to Mike Pence about Abraham Lincoln at Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate, claiming her statement “wasn’t exactly true.”
During an exchange on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court – Harris insisted that in 1864, Lincoln said filling a vacant Supreme Court seat during an election was “not the right thing to do.”
Her argument sprung up after Pence said that President Donald Trump’s appointment is following precedent.
“I’m so glad we went through a little history lesson. Let’s do that a little more,” Harris told Pence.
“In 1864, Abraham Lincoln was up for reelection. And it was 27 days before the election. And a seat became open on the United States Supreme Court.
“Abraham Lincoln’s party was in charge not only of the White House but the Senate. But Honest Abe said, ‘It’s not the right thing to do. The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next president of the United States.
“’And then that person will be able to select who will serve on the highest court on the land,’” Harris said.
On Thursday, the Post responded to Harris’ history lesson and stated she did not accurately describe what took place under Lincoln’s administration when filing the vacant seat of Chief Justice Roger B Taney.
“Harris is correct that a seat became available 27 days before the election. And that Lincoln didn’t nominate anyone until after he won,” The Post wrote.
“But there is no evidence he thought the seat should be filled by the winner of the election. In fact, he had other motives for the delay.”
According to Lincoln historian Michael Burlingame, Lincoln told his aides he wanted to delay his Supreme Court nominee because he was “waiting to receive expressions of public opinion form the country. That didn’t mean he was waiting for ballot so much as the mail,” the Post added.
“The overarching effect of the delay is that it held Lincoln’s broad but shaky coalition of conservative and radical Republicans together,” the Post explained.
“Congress was in recess until early December, so there would have been no point in naming a man before the election anyway.
“Lincoln shrewdly used that to his advantage. If he had lost the election, there is no evidence he wouldn’t have filled the spot in the lame-duck session,” the Post added.
The publication simply concluded that Harris is “mistaken about Lincoln’s motivations in this regard.”
National Review senior writer Dan McLaughin accused Harris of “dishonesty” with her Lincoln anecdote.
“Kamala Harris is simply inventing history,” wrote McLaughin.
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