DNC chair: Kavanaugh hearing ‘vivid illustration of why’ Dems need to retake Senate
Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez pointed to the partisan brawl at a Senate hearing over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as evidence for why voters should elect Democrats to the Senate in November.
“We’re working like heck to make sure that we win the Senate,” Perez said at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin. “What you saw yesterday is a vivid illustration of why we need to retake the U.S. Senate.”
The comments come after Kavanaugh offered a resounding defense of his character in testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday as he angrily denied the charges of sexual assault made against him in equally compelling testimony earlier that day by Christine Blasey Ford.
The DNC chief said the Thursday hearing on the assault allegations was essentially a “kangaroo court,” ignoring judicial and legal precedents.
“Anyone who watched yesterday’s hearings, it was an affront to women across this country,” Perez said. “That was a kangaroo court yesterday.”
Ford, who appeared first at the hearing on Thursday, recounted her memory of the alleged assault, telling lawmakers that she was “100 percent” certain that it was Kavanaugh who was behind the attack.
Ford has alleged Kavanaugh groped her and tried to remove her clothes when they were both at a party while in high school in the early 1980s.
In a subsequent testimony, Kavanaugh fiercely rejected Ford’s allegations, and accused Democratic lawmakers of politicizing his confirmation process and smearing his reputation.
Perez warned on Friday that, if the Senate confirms Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, it would diminish the court’s standing and leave Kavanaugh and his future decisions permanently tainted.
“This is the real deal, and I mean, if they want to ramrod this through as it appears they want to do, he will be ‘Justice Asterisk’ throughout his tenure,” Perez said. “The court will be a lesser court, and I think we will be, I think, a lesser land. And the legitimacy of the court will be undermined.”
Perez was also optimistic about the Democrats’ chances of retaking the House in November and expressed hope that the party could also make gains in the Senate, where they face a more difficult electoral map.
More than two dozen Democratic senators are facing reelection this year, including 10 in states won by President Trump in 2016.
But the party has become increasingly bullish about their chances of not only holding onto their seats, but winning GOP-held seats.
Perez said that red states, like Texas, Tennessee, Arizona and Nevada, are in play for Democratic Senate hopefuls, insisting that his party has an enthusiasm advantage over the GOP this year.
“[Republicans] had the enthusiasm advantage in 2010, and that’s a big reason why we got our clocks cleaned,” he said, referring to the midterm election year when Democrats lost control of the House and ceded six Senate seats to Republicans. “We have the enthusiasm advantage in 2018.”
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