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

He also accuses her of disregarding “due process.”

Tom Williams/AP

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.” 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight 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