GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer (N.D.), who’s running to unseat Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, questioned whether the sexual assault allegations should “disqualify” President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “even if it’s all true.”
Cramer called Christine Blasey Ford’s alleged sexual assault “tragic” but also noted Kavanaugh’s record of being a “perfect gentleman,” according to an interview with KX4TV station in North Dakota on Monday.
“What if something like what Dr. Ford described happened — it’s tragic, it’s terrible, it should never happen in our society,” Cramer said.
“But what if 36 years of a record where there’s nothing like that again, but instead there’s a record of a perfect gentleman, of an intellect, a stellar judge,” he continued.
“Even if it’s all true, does it disqualify — it certainly means he did something bad 36 years ago, but does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?”
Cramer also said that if Ford’s allegations were proven true and showed that Kavanaugh lied about it, then that would disqualify him because “that’s something he does today, not 36 years ago.”
“I think that disqualifies him, if it’s found that he knew, that he recalls it, knew that it happen and lies about it, then I think that would disqualify him,” he said. “Because that’s something he does today, not 36 years ago.”
In a statement to The Washington Post, the Heitkamp campaign condemned Cramer’s comments.
“Once again, Congressman Cramer displays a stunning lack of empathy for victims and the trauma they experience,” said Heitkamp spokeswoman Julia Krieger. “While Heidi is committed to listening to the testimony of both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, Congressman Cramer has already prejudged.”
Cramer’s controversial remarks come just days after the Republican congressman called the allegations “absurd.”
“These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement. They were drunk. Nothing evidently happened in it all, even by her own accusation. Again, it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere,” Cramer said in an interview last week on “The Jarrod Thomas Show.”
Cramer later explained in Monday’s interview that he was referring to the “absurdity” of the timing and the comparisons to Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas in 1991.
“The timing of it’s absurd. The absurdity is the comparison of Anita Hill. The absurdity is to compare the Kavanaugh situation and Clarence Thomas situation,” Cramer said.
“My point was there was no type of intercourse or anything like that. That’s what I meant nothing happened.”
The Hill added:
Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her at a high school party in the 1980s. Kavanaugh has denied the allegations levied against him, saying in a Fox New interview Monday night that “the truth is I’ve never sexually assaulted anyone.”