Senate Democrats can confirm Jackson to the high court without Republican support if every member of their caucus votes in favor, which appears on track to happen, and Vice President Kamala Harris breaks a tie. But if Democrats can win GOP support, they will be able to tout the confirmation as bipartisan.
Romney told reporters on Tuesday, though, that he doesn’t expect to reveal his decision until the day of the confirmation vote.
“After I’ve made a decision as to what I’m going to do on this vote, you’ll see it, but that’s probably not until the day of the vote itself,” he said.
Following the meeting with Jackson, Romney said in a statement that they “had a wide-ranging discussion about her experience and qualifications.”
He went on to say, “Her dedication to public service and her family are obvious, and I enjoyed our meeting. I appreciate the time she spent answering my questions, which was helpful as I continue my review of her record and testimony.”
Jackson is currently meeting with Collins. Only three Republican senators voted in favor of Jackson last year when the Senate confirmed her to fill a vacancy on a powerful DC-based appellate court: Collins as well as Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
Collins told reporters on Monday that she wanted to speak again with Jackson “to clarify some of the issues that were raised at the hearing. At this point, over the weekend, I had the opportunity to go through all of the excerpts from the hearing, which was very helpful, and I have a few questions.”
Former Sen. Doug Jones, who is acting as a “sherpa” for the nominee, told reporters Tuesday after Jackson’s second meeting with Collins that he believes the judge “answered all the questions” from the Maine Republican.
“I think we answered all the questions. It was a very good meeting. We really appreciated Senator Collins’ time,” he added.
Asked how much Republican support he expected Jackson to receive, Jones said, “We’re not taking anything for granted, (the) confirmation vote is still to come, and so we’re gonna keep working.”
He also acknowledged that Collins is the only senator who Jackson has met with one-on-one more than once.
So far, however, no Democrats have publicly signaled they will vote against the nominee.
West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, a key moderate and swing vote, announced on Friday that he plans to vote for Jackson, a move that all but guarantees she will be confirmed.
Manchin has railed against some Republicans for their criticism that Jackson is soft on crime, an accusation the nominee and Democrats have rebutted.
“It was disgraceful. It really was, what I saw. I met with her, I read all the transcripts. … It was embarrassing. It’s not who we are. It’s not what we were sent here to do, to attack other people and try to tear them down. I’m not going to be part of that. I think she’s extremely well qualified and I think she will be an exemplary judge,” Manchin told CNN.
CNN’s Manu Raju and Ted Barrett contributed to this report.