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Former President Bill Clinton on Sunday called Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) vow to fill Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat before the next presidential inauguration "superficially hypocritical."

The big picture: Clinton, who nominated Ginsburg to the court in 1993, declined to say whether he thinks Democrats should respond by adding more justices if they take back the Senate and the White House in November. Instead, he called on Republicans to "remember the example Abraham Lincoln set" by not confirming a justice in an election year.

What he's saying: "Sen. McConnell said before he thought the people were entitled to a say. I don't know what's happened to make him stop trusting the American people, but apparently when it's to his advantage, the people are not entitled to a say," Clinton said on CNN's "State of the Union."

  • "It's a power play, and they think they can do it," Clinton said. He added that the political saga that will follow the death of Ginsberg is "going to further spread cynicism in our system."
  • "I think it would be good for Senator McConnell to make him feel better when he gets up in the morning if he proved that he wasn't being a hypocrite at the time and he just stuck with his position," Clinton continued.
  • "I think all other Republicans should be asked to do the same. But you can't keep a democracy if there is one set of rules for one group and another set for everybody else."

The backdrop: Republicans stonewalled President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland following Justice Antonin Scalia's death in 2016, claiming that voters should decide in the election who gets to appoint the next justice.

Go deeper

Trump endorses primary challenge against Senate GOP whip John Thune

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Cal/POOLl via Getty

President Trump backed a 2022 challenge to Senate whip John Thune (R-S.D.) on Tuesday, tweeting that his political career will be "over" and calling Thune a "RINO" — Republican in name only.

Why it matters: As the end of his term nears, the president has turned on virtually everyone around him. Tuesday’s tweet reflects his last bid for power as he attempts to cling to his presidency.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas — Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. Economy: Report: World's 10 richest men doubled wealth during pandemicAmerica's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  7. Variant tracker

Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19

Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday.

State of play: Joint Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler said in a statement that Milley — who is fully vaccinated and has received a booster shot — is experiencing "very minor symptoms" and is "working remotely and isolating himself."