Obama expects Supreme Court vacancies, says he needs a Democratic Senate to help him fill them

TISBURY, Mass. -- President Obama said Tuesday that Democrats must win the Senate because he expects to nominate Supreme Court justices during the remainder of his term and needs them confirmed.

Speaking at a fundraiser here with sweeping views of the water, Obama said Democrats need to hold onto the Senate because a faction of the Republican Party "thinks solely in terms of their own ideological purposes and solely in terms of 'how do they hang onto power?' And that's a problem. And that's why I need a Democratic Senate. Not to mention the fact that we're going to have Supreme Court appointments and there are gonna be a whole host of issues that many people care about that are going to be determined" by whether or not Democrats control the Senate.

Obama said Democrats are "congenitally disposed" toward not voting in midterm elections and that must change.

"So I would just ask all of you to feel the same sense of urgency about this midterm election as you would in a presidential election," he said.


President Obama walks out of the White House before making a statement about the ongoing U.S. military actions and humanitarian drops in northern Iraq, on the South Lawn before leaving the White House Aug. 9, 2014. After delivering remarks, Obama and his family traveled to Martha's Vineyard for a two-week vacation. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama spoke at a DSCC fundraiser at the home of Roger H. Brown and Linda Mason. Brown is the president of the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He and Mason founded Bright Horizons, a child-care provider. Mason is also a chairwoman of MercyCorps.

The couple's home sports a large back lawn with sweeping water views. Three yellow Adirondack chairs faced the water and looked like a perfect place to relax. Obama walked under a white tent to a singer belting out "Signed, Sealed, Delivered." Obama said the musicians were from Berklee. Guests, including Sen. Edward J. Markey and Sen. Michael Bennett, sat around round tables with green tablecloths and centerpieces of yellow and white flowers.

Obama continued, as he has at speeches and fundraisers around the country, to hammer home the point that the economy has improved over the past five years and the housing market has rebounded. He also kept up his trend of attacking Republicans.

Right now, Obama said, there is "unfortunately, a Congress that’s not working.  And I know it’s fashionable to say, well, it’s sort of a plague on both your houses, there’s too much partisanship, there’s too much rancor.  Well, the truth of the matter is, is that there’s no equivalence between what’s going on." 

Shortly after making a statement on Iraq, Obama touched on the numerous crises around the world.

""We also are seeing around the world incredible challenges, many of them all coming to a head at the same time," he said. "The Middle East is just one of the major challenges we have," Obama said, adding that he spoke to the prime minister designate of Iraq. He said he is "hopeful" that a "broad, inclusive" government can be formed in Baghdad that can "serve as a basis" to repel Islamic fundamentalists. Additionally, he said, there are the crises in Gaza and Ukraine. 

"I do want to point out, though, at a time when the news seems filled with news of Ukraine and Gaza and Ebola and you name it, that in every instance people are constantly interested in finding out how can America help solve these problems," Obama said. 

Despite complaints and anti-American sentiment, Obama said, "when there’s an actual problem they all recognize we’re the one indispensable nation.  They all recognize that our leadership is absolutely critical.  And that’s true both for challenges and opportunities."

Katie Zezima covers the White House for Post Politics and The Fix.
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