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 McConnellSenate passes bill to give flexibility for small business coronavirus aid program On The Money: GOP turning against new round of ,200 rebate checks | Millions of Americans frustrated by delayed unemployment checks | Senate votes to give coronavirus relief program more flexibility Rand Paul holding up quick passage of anti-lynching bill MORE (R-Ky.), quickly switched her views on whether or not she would have voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughRosenstein takes fire from Republicans in heated testimony Chief Justice Roberts wisely defers to California governor in church challenge  Supreme Court rules immigrants who fear torture can appeal deportations in court 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) ManchinDemocratic unity starts to crack in coronavirus liability reform fight Stakes high for Collins in coronavirus relief standoff The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Surgeon General stresses need to invest much more in public health infrastructure, during and after COVID-19; Fauci hopeful vaccine could be deployed in December MORE

Three Democrats in vulnerable seats who voted against Kavanaugh – Sens. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillMissouri county issues travel advisory for Lake of the Ozarks after Memorial Day parties Senate faces protracted floor fight over judges amid pandemic safety concerns Amash on eyeing presidential bid: 'Millions of Americans' want someone other than Trump, Biden MORE (Mo.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn Heitkamp70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents Susan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEx-Sen. Joe Donnelly endorses Biden Lobbying world 70 former senators propose bipartisan caucus for incumbents 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.