Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned that President Obama was about to tell "a fairy tale" in Chicago on Thursday about the need to approve his Supreme Court nominee, one that ignores the fact that doing so would create "the most left-wing Supreme Court in 50 years."
In a "pre-buttal" to Obama's appearance in Chicago, McConnell said on the Senate floor that arguments in favor of approving his nominee, Merrick Garland, "gloss over the fact that the decision about filling this pivotal seat could impact our country for decades, that it could dramatically affect our most cherished Constitutional rights like those contained in the First and Second Amendments."
Obama is expected to make a push for Garland when he speaks to the University of Chicago Law School.
McConnell is engaged in a daily rhetorical battle with the Democrats, who are hoping to rally the public against the GOP's decision not to take up Garland's nomination. McConnell said he won't take up the nomination because he wants the next president to choose someone to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
McConnell also accused the media of portraying Garland and other prior Democratic high court nominees as moderate when in reality, "they've been resolutely left-wing."
Garland, meanwhile, is making the rounds on Capitol Hill, meeting with senators in both parties.
Two Republicans, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Mark Kirk of Illinois, have called for the Senate to move forward with the nomination process, but the remaining 52 GOP senators oppose advancing Garland to the high court.
McConnell's floor speech also defended Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, who is up for re-election and under intense pressure at home by newspaper editorial boards who want him to hold a confirmation hearing.
"He understands that we don't need to get stuck fighting about one issue, he understands that we can let the American people make their voices heard on this matter while the Senate continues doing its work on important legislation," McConnell said.