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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Carlos Beruff blasts Republicans for 'starting to waver' on Supreme Court nominee

President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland for the U.S. Surpeme Court on March 16.


President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals court Judge Merrick Garland for the U.S. Surpeme Court on March 16.



As the list of Republicans in the U.S. Senate willing to meet with President Barack Obama's nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court grows, one of the top GOP contenders for Florida's open U.S. Senate seat is slamming them for "starting to waver."

"We cannot allow them to put another liberal on the Supreme Court and swing the balance for a generation," Manatee County developer Carlos Beruff, a Republican, said. "Merrick Garland is no moderate."

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, went on record to become the 14th Republican Senator to agree to meet with Garland according to The New York Times, and the fourth to call for a vote on Garland. Republican senators in tough re-election campaigns in Illinois, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania have also come out recently to support meeting with Garland. However, no current Republican U.S. Senators have gone so far to say they would vote for Garland to take the position left vacant after the death of Antonin Scalia.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who Beruff is hoping to replace in the Senate, is among those who have said he is willing to meet with Garland though he has said he's not sure what the point is.

Still, Beruff said on Monday that he sees "some in the Republican Establishment are starting to waver."

"The establishment politicians care more about the editorial pages and their invites to Georgetown cocktail parties than they do about the will of their constituents," Beruff said in a statement to the media. "Voters are fed up with a Republican establishment that kowtows to Obama and (Vice President Joe) Biden and plays their political games."

Beruff's criticism comes on the same day that Biden was campaigning with Patrick Murphy, a Democrat running the same open U.S. Senate seat. Last week Biden called the Senate Republicans refusal to consider Garland an "abdication of their Constitutional duty."

Beruff is running in an Aug. 30 Republican primary, which also includes Tampa businessman Todd Wilcox, Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, and U.S. Reps. Ron DeSantis and David Jolly. Murphy faces U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson in the Democratic primary.

[Last modified: Monday, March 28, 2016 1:45pm]


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