Responding to Sen. Trent Lott's (R-MS) suggestion that Senate Republicans had the necessary votes to invoke the so-called nuclear option and that such a step was necessary, Fox News anchor David Asman asked Lott why Republican senators had compromised on the issue. Why compromise, Asman asked, "if we should have done it and if we had the votes to do it." Asman clarified that it was "you guys in the Republican party" who had the votes.
From the May 25 edition of Fox News Live:
ASMAN: You're the chairman of the rules committee. Did Senator [Bill] Frist [R-TN] have the votes to end the filibuster?
LOTT: I believe that he did. It would have been very close. We would have probably gotten a 50-50 tie vote, with the vice president breaking the tie. Perhaps we'd have had 51 before it was over. I do think it's a rule that should be in place because what the Democrats have been doing is not, you know, protecting a rule, they have been causing something different. The filibusters on a serial basis, federal judicial nominees to the appellate courts, was unprecedented for 214 years. So, to put that rule in place saying that it only takes 51 votes to confirm these judges was something I thought we should do. Remember now --
ASMAN: So, Senator, if we should have done it and if we had the votes to do it in the Senate -- if you guys in the Republican Party did -- then why did you need a compromise?
LOTT: Well, you know, I would argue that we probably should have gone forward with the vote, all things considered.