Rep. Kevin Cramer (R. ND)
If you may or may not have heard, this asshole said this last week:
Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) blasted professor Christine Blasey Ford’s accusation of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as “absurd” because they were merely drunken teenagers at the time. Besides, Cramer added, it was “supposedly an attempt that never went anywhere.”
The California psychology professor, who goes by Christine Blasey professionally, has said that Kavanaugh pushed her into a room, locked the door, pinned her down on a bed and held his hand over her mouth while he pawed at her clothing and pushed against her. She said she escaped when a high school friend of Kavanaugh’s jumped on top of them.
Kavanaugh has “categorically” denied her accusation. His nomination is before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Cramer, who’s battling to unseat Democratic incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in November, revealed his take on the sexual assault allegation in an interview Friday on “The Jarrod Thomas Show” on Grand Fork’s KNOX-AM.
Cramer compared Blasey’s accusation to law professor Anita Hill’s 1991 testimony about Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’ alleged sexual harassment. Thomas was later confirmed to the court.
“This case is even more absurd because these people were teenagers when this supposed alleged incident took place; teenagers,” he emphasized.
“These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement,” he continued. Blasey has said that both boys were “stumbling drunk” while she had had a single beer.
“They were drunk. Nothing evidently happened in it all, even by her own accusation,” Cramer added. “Again, it was supposedly an attempt, or something, that never went anywhere.”
Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican nominee for Senate in North Dakota, questioned Monday whether a sexual assault accusation against Brett M. Kavanaugh should disqualify him from the Supreme Court, even if the allegation is true.
Cramer raised the question in a television interview on KX4, a North Dakota station. He also explained that when he said in a radio interview last week that “nothing evidently happened” between Kavanaugh and Ford, he meant that “there was no type of intercourse or anything like that.”
The comments from Cramer, a top Republican recruit in a marquee Senate race, highlight the extent to which the accusations against Kavanaugh have reached the midterm campaign trail, forcing candidates to respond to sensitive questions about the revelations.
In the interview with host Chris Berg televised Monday, Cramer said that if something like what California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleges about Kavanaugh is accurate, “it’s tragic, it’s unfortunate, it’s terrible.” But, he added of Kavanaugh, “even if it’s all true, does it disqualify him? It certainly means that he did something really bad 36 years ago, but does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?”
Berg replied that if the allegation were true, it would mean that Kavanaugh lied. “If it’s found that he knew, that he recalls it, he knew it happened, and lies about it, then I think that would disqualify him,” responded Cramer.
But what I really want to highlight is Cramer’s hypocrisy and kudos to ThinkProgress for catching this:
But just one day before his suggestion that attempted attacks wouldn’t be disqualifying for a Supreme Court justice, he signed on as co-sponsor of a bill to make it easier for Native American tribes to prosecute threats of domestic abuse in their tribal court systems.
The Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ) in the House and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) in the Senate, seeks to strengthen provisions in the Violence Against Women Act of 2013 to authorize Native American tribes to arrest and prosecute those who threaten domestic violence while on tribal lands. The legislation expressly protects youth and law enforcement officers from these threats of domestic abuse. Cramer became the fourth House cosponsor on Thursday.
While his comments about the accusation against Kavanaugh of attempted sexual would seem to contradict his support for legislation protecting minors from attempted abuse, his own record would also seem to contradict his support for this legislation. In 2013, he opposed the tribal provisions in the bill as “inadvertently placing in jeopardy future convictions under the act” because they could violate constitutional due process.
Weeks after that February 2013 vote, Cramer reportedly threatened members of the Spirit Lake Tribal Council with physical violence over tribal handling of child protection, saying that he wanted to “[w]ring the Tribal Council’s neck and slam them against the wall.” Cramer later apologized for his “tone and rhetoric, better suited for active debate in Congress rather than in addressing the protectors of our most vulnerable citizens.”
Mother Jones points out that Cramer has a long record of being a misogynistic dick:
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.”
Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D. ND) picked the perfect time to release this ad:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) is launching a new TV commercial touting an anti-human trafficking measure as the ad war in North Dakota’s Senate race heats up.
The 30-second spot features a testimony from Brandi Jude, a Bismarck-based advocate for victims of human trafficking, in which she praises the the senator’s work on legislation cracking down on websites that facilitate the trade.
“My life’s calling is to help end human trafficking, and I’m so proud that it was Heidi Heitkamp’s law that shut down the trafficking websites,” Jude says in the ad. “She’s a national leader on human trafficking. For me, she’s an inspiration we can’t afford to lose.”
The ad is part of a six-figure TV and digital ad campaign expected to run across North Dakota in the coming weeks.
The spot touts her work on the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, which does away with federal liability protections for websites deemed to facilitate sex trafficking, like classified advertising website Backpage.com.
Let’s defeat this clown at the polls. Click here to donate and get involved with Heitkamp’s re-election campaign.