Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday that he would be willing to forgive Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., for his “appalling remarks” toward Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh if he joins Republicans in opposing late-term abortion.
Schumer may still face consequences from his colleagues after being criticized by conservatives and liberals alike for last week's remarks that some saw as threatening at an abortion rights rally.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., has continued to call for Schumer to be censured after introducing a resolution in the Senate to do just that. And dozens of well-known conservative leaders, including former South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint; former Ronald Reagan campaign adviser Ed Rollins; Republican Attorneys General Association Chairman and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry; and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, signed a letter Monday adding their voices to the calls.
Schumer made the controversial comment when he was speaking outside the Supreme Court building at an event hosted by the Center for Reproductive Rights as the court heard oral arguments in June Medical Services LLC v. Russo, a dispute dealing with the restrictions over who can perform abortions in Louisiana. The case involves a law similar to one in Texas that the court ruled was unconstitutional in 2016, before Gorsuch and Kavanaugh had joined the court.
"I want to tell you, Gorsuch. I want to tell you, Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price!" Schumer warned. "You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions."
When host Ainsley Earhardt asked Cotton on Tuesday if he thinks Schumer will be censured he said, “I would sooner see Chuck Schumer stop filibustering the very important pro-life legislation that they blocked just a couple of weeks ago to protect unborn children from grisly, depraved practices like late-term abortion or infanticide on the birth table.”
“If they would be willing to do that, I would be willing to forgive Chuck Schumer for those appalling remarks,” he continued. “But, ultimately, that’s what this is all about is protecting unborn life.”
Cotton had referenced the fact that last month House Democrats rejected Republicans' attempt to recommit legislation that would have required medical care for infants who survive abortions.
With a 220-187 vote, Democrats blocked Republicans from adding the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act as an amendment to a bill regulating tobacco sales. The Senate's version received a majority vote in the chamber but was unable to reach the 60-vote threshold needed to block a filibuster.
Democrats have come under fire for supporting what critics call "extreme" measures related to abortion and newly-born infants. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, in particular, backed the decision to withhold care from infants based on the decision of mothers.
Pete Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, also faced backlash over the issue when he indicated to "The View" that he wouldn't support restrictions on infanticide.
Fox News’ Ronn Blitzer, Tyler Olson and Sam Dorman contributed to this report.