Jul 11, 2018

Joe Manchin: Brett Kavanaugh "has all the right qualities"

U.S. Judge Brett Kavanaugh (C) arrives at the Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Red state Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who will cast a key vote during Judge Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation process, said on Talkline Communications radio Wednesday that Kavanaugh "has all the right qualities" of a Supreme Court Justice, and he will defer to his constituents when casting his vote.

Why it matters: With comments like these, it's no wonder the White House is feeling good about Kavanaugh's confirmation. The conservative movement — after some early warning shots — appears to be rallying around Kavanaugh as well. And so far we've not seen anything from the moderate Republican senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, to signal they won't vote for him either.

Manchin's full quote:

"No I don’t have a lean [on how I will vote]. I think he seems to be a very fine person of high moral standards. A family person who’s very involved in his community. Has all the right qualities. He’s well-educated. And with that, you know, we have to just look at making sure that the rule of law and the Constitution is going to be followed ... I’ll be hearing from West Virginians and their opinion. And I think they have, also, a right. And that’s who I work for. They’re my boss. And we want to hear from them, too, during this process.”

Axios spoke earlier today to a senior administration official involved in the Kavanaugh confirmation process, and they pointed to all of these factors.

Another argument the White House is seizing on to help their case:

  • Lawfare's Benjamin Wittes, who is no fan of President Trump's, wrote a nuanced defense of Kavanaugh's past writings on special counsel investigations.

The bottom line: The White House's optimistic outlook on Kavanaugh isn't unfounded, especially as more of the uncertain voices continue to come out in support of Trump's nominee.

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 665,164 — Total deaths: 30,852 — Total recoveries: 140,225.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 124,665 — Total deaths: 2,191 — Total recoveries: 1,095.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump announces new travel advisories for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but rules out quarantine enforcement. Per the CDC, residents of those states must now "refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days," with the exception of critical infrastructure industry workers.
  4. State updates: Alaska is latest state to issue a stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month and has moved its presidential primary to June 23. Some Midwestern swing voters who backed Trump's handling of the virus less than two weeks ago are balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter.
  5. World updates: In Spain, over 1,400 people were confirmed dead between Thursday to Saturday.
  6. 🚀 Space updates: OneWeb filed for bankruptcy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
  7. Hollywood: Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have returned to U.S. after being treated for coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: Global death toll tops 30,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 30,000 people around the world — with Italy reporting over 10,000 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: The number of deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. surpassed 2,000 on Saturday. The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus infections — more than 124,000 by early Sunday. The number of those recovered from the virus in the U.S. passed the 1,000-mark on Saturday evening.

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Gilead expands access to experimental coronavirus drug in emergency cases

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letter Saturday the company is expanding access to its experimental anti-coronavirus drug remdesivir to include severely ill COVID-19 patients.

The big pig picture: President Trump has called the antiviral drug "promising," but the results of six clinical trials on this investigational medicine are still being conducted, so its effectiveness the treatment of the novel coronavirus has yet to be proved. The World Health Organization is involved in the tests.

Go deeperArrow2 hours ago - Health