McConnell's Democratic challenger McGrath backtracks on Kavanaugh comments

McConnell's Democratic challenger McGrath backtracks on Kavanaugh comments
© Amy McGrath

Amy McGrath, the Democrat who announced this week she's challenging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPoll shows Collins displaces McConnell as most unpopular senator Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti on impeachment: 'CNN can see through this nonsense' Trump says impeachment trial should move 'very quickly' MORE (R-Ky.), quickly switched her views on whether or not she would have voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDemocratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment January reminds us why courts matter — and the dangers of 'Trump judges' Planned Parenthood launches M campaign to back Democrats in 2020 MORE

McGrath first said in an interview with a Kentucky newspaper published Wednesday she would have voted in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation, but quickly reversed her stance in a tweet after facing backlash for her comments. 

"I was asked earlier today about Judge Brett Kavanaugh and I answered based upon his qualifications to be on the Supreme Court. But upon further reflection and further understanding of his record, I would have voted no," McGrath tweeted.

In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal McGrath said, "I don't think there was anything that would have disqualified him in my mind." 

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When pressed on if she believed allegations made during a public testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her as a teenager, McGrath said she thought Ford's allegations were "credible" but “given the amount of time that lapsed in between and from a judicial standpoint, I don't think it would really disqualify him." 

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations. 

He was confirmed in a 50-48 vote, including a lone Democrat vote in his favor from West Virginia Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer Poll: West Virginia voters would view Manchin negatively if he votes to convict Trump Pelosi set to send impeachment articles to the Senate next week MORE

Three Democrats in vulnerable seats who voted against Kavanaugh – Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade McCaskill: 'Mitch McConnell has presided over absolutely destroying Senate norms' Claire McCaskill: Young girls 'are now aspiring' to be like Warren, Klobuchar after debate MORE (Mo.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSusan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyGinsburg health scare raises prospect of election year Supreme Court battle Watchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world MORE (Ind.) – lost their seats in the 2018 midterms. 

McGrath spoke out against Kavanaugh in a Facebook post, ahead of Ford's public allegations, in 2018 when she made an unsuccessful bid to flip a House seat. She did not say at the time if she would have voted to confirm him.