The Washington Post’s Sean Sullivan reports on a radio interview yesterday featuring Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, who is running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. Cramer drew fire over the weekend after he asserted that the allegation of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh leveled by former classmate Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was “absurd” irrespective of its truthfulness since the alleged assault was merely attempted as opposed to successful.
This did not go over well.
As the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) standard bearer in one of the nation’s hottest U.S. Senate races this year, this would have been a really good time to offer a meek clarification, maybe even concede that he might have offended…well, everybody, and found something else to talk about.
But apparently, that’s not Kevin Cramer’s style!
Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican nominee for Senate in North Dakota, questioned Monday whether a sexual assault accusation against Brett M. Kavanaugh should disqualify him from the Supreme Court, even if the allegation is true.
Cramer raised the question in a television interview on KX4, a North Dakota station. He also explained that when he said in a radio interview last week that “nothing evidently happened” between Kavanaugh and Ford, he meant that “there was no type of intercourse or anything like that.”
…In the interview with host Chris Berg televised Monday, Cramer said that if something like what California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleges about Kavanaugh is accurate, “it’s tragic, it’s unfortunate, it’s terrible.” But, he added of Kavanaugh, “even if it’s all true, does it disqualify him? It certainly means that he did something really bad 36 years ago, but does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?” [Pols emphasis]
That’s right, readers. A Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate just suggested that a rapist might not be disqualified from serving on the highest court in the land. The answer to that question by what we believe to be the overwhelmingly majority of Americans would not just be that a rapist is disqualified from serving as a Supreme Court Justice–it should be followed up by a more pointed question about what kind of person would say something so impossibly disrespectful of sexual assault victims.
Who said it? The Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in North Dakota said it. And while Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the NRSC tells local reporters that he “supports” the right of Kavanaugh’s alleged victims to be heard, his charges in the Senate battleground states are singing a very different tune.
In this case, offensive enough that Gardner needs to say something–or let his failure to do so speak volumes.