In acknowledging Republicans would have to at some point allow a Clinton nominee to come up for a confirmation vote, Wicker also made clear GOP senators would not rush to embrace her first picks if the individuals were considered too liberal or out of the mainstream.
“I think at some point a president puts a nominee forward that can be confirmed,” Wicker told CNN in an interview. “Maybe not the first one or the second one but at some point the president gets to put someone on the Supreme Court.”
“That’s why this race is so important, this race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump,” said Wicker, who as chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee is a member of the Senate GOP leadership.
Wicker was upbeat about the chances of Republicans, who currently hold a 54-46 seat advantage, to maintain their majority in the new Congress, although he declined to make a prediction about what the final numbers might be. He acknowledged that some of his Senate candidates have been challenged by having Trump, the controversial Republican presidential nominee, at the ticket, and said he expects some of those senators to run ahead of the real estate mogul.
“I think in some states there will be split-ticket voters,” such as in Florida where GOP incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio is in a tight battle for re-election, he said. “But for example the better Trump does in Florida the better Marco Rubio does. I think Marco Rubio will run ahead of Trump but their fates in many ways are tied together.”