Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina held nothing back Wednesday in a scathing response to those who oppose Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“I’m the first person to say, ‘I want to hear from Dr. Ford,’” Graham said. “I thought she was handled respectfully. I thought Kavanaugh was treated like crap.”
That assertion solicited loud boos from the audience, to which Graham replied, “Yeah, well boo yourself.”
Goldberg asked the audience on several occasions to “please be respectful of this conversation so we can have the conversation,” and was himself booed at one point during the interview.
“I really believe that Brett Kavanaugh is not a gang rapist, a sexual predator or a stumbling, bumbling drunk,” Graham said. “I really believe that, and I don’t care whether you believe it or not. I believe it because I’ve known him for 20 years.”
Graham went on to lay out a hypothetical scenario where someone sent an accusation to him from a woman in his home state against a male Democratic nominee, and he waited until the time was advantageous before leaking it to press.
Graham said that he would be “torn apart, and I should be.”
“And if I referred her to a conservative activist lawyer, who didn’t tell her that the Democrats were willing to come to South Carolina (to meet with her), I would be destroyed.”
Graham took the analogy even further, saying that if he were willing to admit that he was attempting to leave the nomination open past the midterms and through such ethically reprehensible means in order to get power back, “the Republican who said that couldn’t go five feet in his town without having 100 reporters in their face.”
“So the double standard here offends me,” Graham said.
The Republican senator also addressed some of the issues that inflamed him to the point of yelling at his Democratic colleagues during Kavanaugh’s second hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
For instance, Graham said that during last week’s hearing, Kavanaugh was told that if he weren’t guilty, he should agree to an investigation. “This isn’t the Soviet Union, this is America,” Graham said, referring to what he believed to be unacceptable tactics used to pressure Kavanaugh.
Last Thursday, when Kavanaugh appeared before the committee, Graham described the process that Kavanaugh was put through as a “charade.”
“This is the most unethical sham since I’ve been in politics,” said Graham.
Speaking about his Republican colleagues, Graham said, “If they vote no, they’re legitimizing the most despicable thing I’ve seen in my time in politics.”
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