(CNN)White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough delivered a forceful pitch Thursday in support of Judge Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee, whom he described as a person of "unquestioned qualifications, experience and excellence."
Top White House official on Garland: Senate should do its job
McDonough urged Senate Republicans to give Garland hearings and a vote, despite Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's insistence that Garland will not be considered in an election year due to principle.
"The President has submitted a nominee of unquestioned qualifications and experience and excellence," McDonough said on CNN's "New Day." "He's done his job pursuant to his responsibilities under the Constitution. Now the Senate should do its."
McDonough also lavished praise on Garland, and pointed to his bipartisan appeal.
"You can't find a bad word about Judge Garland, and that's because he is a person of remarkable experience, a person of remarkably decency and he is a judge who is uniformly -- among Republicans and Democrats -- seen as somebody with the kind of temperament and the kind of excellence that should be represented on the Supreme Court," he said.
"Uniformly, over the course of the last seven years, Republicans and Democrats have said to President Obama, 'This is the kind of person we want to have on the Supreme Court,' " he said. "Well, they have that opportunity now."
And McDonough rejected Republicans' arguments that Democrats have blocked conservative Supreme Court nominees in similar circumstances in the past.
"What happened with Justice Alito and Justice Roberts is that they had meetings, they had hearings, and they had votes, and then they were confirmed to the Supreme Court," he said. "Judge Garland ... should be afforded that same constitutional set of responsibilities."