Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Thursday broke with GOP leaders on the issue of replacing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died last week.
Asked whether he would nominate someone to the court if he had 11 months remaining in his term as president -- a situation President Barack Obama finds himself in now -- Bush said he "probably would."
"I'm an Article II guy," the former Florida governor said during a CNN town hall in South Carolina, referring to a president's constitutional power to nominate Supreme Court justices.
But, Bush added, it would be "better" for Obama's successor to make the nomination because of the slim likelihood that a divided Senate would confirm any nominee.
“Why not allow it to be part of the election?" Bush asked, arguing that the American people ought to have a say on the matter.
Obama has said he plans to nominate a successor to Scalia within weeks.
Within hours of the justice's sudden death on Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared that the Senate wouldn't even hold hearings on a potential replacement. That hardline position was echoed Republican presidential candidates, including Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Marco Rubio (Fla.), and by most vulnerable GOP senators up for re-election in November.