News

U.S.

Heitkamp Opposed Kavanaugh Due to His ‘Body Language’ at Hearing

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D, N.D.) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., August 22, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters )

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D., N.D.) said on Monday that she had been prepared to support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation until she viewed his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee with the sound turned off in order to focus on his “body language.”

Heitkamp, a red-state Democrat who was under significant pressure to back Kavanaugh as she faces a challenge from Republican congressman Kevin Cramer in the midterms, said she ordered her staff to draft a statement announcing her support for the nominee but reversed herself after detecting “rage” in his testimony.

“I was concerned about these allegations but willing to give him the benefit of the doubt,” Heitkamp told CNN in an interview.

“It’s something I do,” she added, explaining why she watched the hearing without volume. “We communicate not only with words, but with our body language and demeanor. I saw somebody who was very angry, who was very nervous, and I saw rage that a lot of people said, ‘Well, of course you’re going to see rage; he’s being falsely accused.’ But it is at all times you’re to acquit yourself with a demeanor that’s becoming of the Court.”

Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the Court last Saturday, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this month after being accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford, in addition to misconduct allegations from two other women.

Following Kavanaugh’s testimony, in which he forcefully denied assaulting Ford at a high-school party, he was heavily criticized by Democratic lawmakers for displaying partisanship in referring to the accusations as a “political hit” carried out as “revenge,” in part for his role in Bill Clinton’s impeachment.

Heitkamp went on to chastise Cramer for referring to the #MeToo movement as a “movement toward victimization,” citing her mother’s experience as a sexual-assault victim to push back on his suggestion that the movement is disempowering women.

“People in my life have [been sexually assaulted], including my mother, and to suggest she’s not strong because she’s a victim was like a trigger for me. I just said she made us strong because she said don’t ever let this happen, fight for your rights. . . . This was a life-changing experience for her and she made us stronger because of it,” said Heitkamp.

With the election exactly one month away, Cramer leads Heitkamp by 8.7 percentage points, according to the Real Clear Politics polling average.

Most Popular

Film & TV

The Mob Gets Kevin Hart

This week, shortly after being tapped to host the Oscars, Hollywood star Kevin Hart found himself on the wrong side of the woke social-justice warriors. His great sin: Years ago, he tweeted jokes referencing homosexuality. More egregiously, in 2010, he did a comedy bit in which he discussed not wanting his son, ... Read More
PC Culture

America Is Intolerably Intolerant

When you think of the sheer vindictiveness of what happened to Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, it takes your breath away. On the very night of his greatest career triumph, a reporter dug up his old tweets (composed when he was a young teenager), reported on the most offensive insults, and immediately and ... Read More
Film & TV

Aquaman Stinks Like Last Month’s Fish

A  major plot point in Aquaman is the tidal wave of garbage with which the undersea folk attack us surface dwellers. These two groups are spoiling for a fight, but I always thought Warner Bros. and I got along pretty well. What did I do to deserve the tidal wave of garbage that is Aquaman itself? I refuse to ... Read More