Republicans seemed to distance themselves Wednesday from remarks President Donald Trump made during a rally in Mississippi when he attacked Christine Blasey Ford for her testimony about the allegations of sexual assault she had made against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Namely, on Tuesday Trump mocked Ford’s inability to remember certain details regarding the alleged incident from over three decades ago. His mockery was quickly condemned by Democratic Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, but now even members of his own political party have made clear they disagree with the President’s decision to make such deriding comments about Ford.
“We’re in a very familiar place, where he says something that is obviously outrageous that doesn’t help his cause at all,” said Doug Heye, a GOP strategist and a former communications director of the Republican National Committee.
The Hill writes that while previous attacks on various people did not affect Trump’s electoral fate or political fate, this particular instance may be different as Kavanaugh’s confirmation is still far from certain. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has set the vote for Friday, and the judge’s fate remains in the hands of the three undecided GOP Senators Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Lisa Murkowski, all of whom criticized the President’s comments.
Collins said they were “just plain wrong,” Flake “kind of appalling” and Murkowski called them “wholly inappropriate” and “unacceptable.” Even Senator Lindsey Graham, who has demonstrated unflinching support for Kavanaugh, pointed out Trump’s remarks did not help.
However, supporters of Trump’s believe his latest comments have nothing to do with Kavanaugh’s chances of being confirmed, as the confirmation process “isn’t about Donald Trump, it’s about Brett Kavanaugh.”
“The fact is, they are not going to vote against Brett Kavanaugh because the President has made statements that make them uncomfortable,” said Brad Blakeman, a veteran of President George W. Bush’s White House.