GOP Senate Candidate Calls Kavanaugh Allegation “Absurd” Because the Assault “Never Went Anywhere”

He also accuses her of disregarding “due process.”

Tom Williams/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Republican Senate candidate Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota said the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were “absurd,” dismissing the claim because it involved teenagers who had been drinking and only attempted—not completed—rape.

On Friday, as Senate Republicans were negotiating with Kavanaugh’s accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, about the terms of her planned testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Cramer appeared on a North Dakota talk-radio show and criticized Ford for asking to testify after Kavanaugh, saying she was disregarding “due process.” When asked about the relationship between Ford’s claim and Anita Hill’s 1991 sexual harassment accusation against Justice Clarence Thomas, Cramer said the allegation against Kavanaugh was “even more absurd.”

“These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement,” Cramer said. “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.”

(Ford’s statement to the Washington Post was that she had one beer but Kavanaugh was “stumbling drunk.”)

Cramer’s opponent, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitcamp, issued a statement saying, “Congressman Cramer’s comments are disturbing, and they don’t reflect the values of North Dakota.”

It’s far from the first time Cramer, a pro-life Republican who has served in the House of Representatives since 2012, has demeaned women. This week, when Heitkamp accused him of stealing credit for overturning a 40-year ban on exporting crude oil, he called her response a “hissy fit,” NBC reported. Last year, he described women who wore white in honor of suffragettes to one of President Donald Trump’s first addresses as being “poorly dressed” and looking “silly,” according to NPR. And over the summer, he explained Trump’s apparent friendliness toward Heitkamp—a conservative Democrat who has voted with Trump’s position more than 55 percent of the time—by claiming Trump wouldn’t want to be aggressive toward a woman. “She’s a, you know, a female,” he told the Washington Post. “He doesn’t want to be that aggressive, maybe.”

When CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski asked him to clarify his statement, Cramer doubled down, saying that Ford’s accusation was “more absurd” than Hill’s: “Absent significant evidence being brought forth immediately, I feel Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process should proceed.”

According to the Cook Political Report, North Dakota’s Senate race is currently a “toss up.” 

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate