Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), who is facing a close re-election battle in Ohio against former Gov. Ted Strickland, strongly opposes giving President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee a confirmation hearing and vote despite the fact that back in 2010, he said that confirming judges is a Senate “responsibility.”

The issue has become a bit of a tricky one for Portman, as he’s had to try to put up the appearance of seeming reasonable to Ohio voters who want a vote on Obama’s nominee (Portman said he will meet with Garland), while at the same time vowing to stand by the GOP obstructionists and block the confirmation process (he wants the next president to nominate a new justice).

Yet during his last campaign for Senate, Portman sang a different tune, according to the Toledo Blade:

On Oct. 4, 2010, Mr. Portman, then a former U.S. congressman running to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R., Ohio), debated Democratic nominee Lee Fisher, who served under Mr. Strickland as his lieutenant governor.

The debate, held in Toledo, was co-sponsored by The Blade and other Ohio newspapers. It was broadcast on WTVG-TV Channel 13.

The two were asked a question about a recent spate of Supreme Court appointments.

The Senate does have a solemn responsibility and that’s the confirmation of judges,” Mr. Portman said.

So the Ohio Republican thought the Senate had a “solemn responsibility” to confirm judges. Now, Portman seems content to pass that responsibility on to the next Congress.

(AP Photo/John Minchillo)