George H.W. Bush salutes Collins after speech supporting Kavanaugh

George H.W. Bush salutes Collins after speech supporting Kavanaugh
© Greg Nash

Former President George H.W. Bush praised Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Collins offering bill to boost battery research as GOP pushes energy 'innovation' Biden says Congress must move to protect abortion rights MORE (R-Maine) on Friday after she delivered a roughly 45-minute speech on the Senate floor in support of Brett Kavanaugh, President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE's nominee to the Supreme Court.

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Bush saluted Collins's "political courage and class" after the key GOP senator told her colleagues that allegations of sexual assault levied at Kavanaugh by three women did not rise to the standard of evidence needed for her to vote against the nominee.

".@SenatorCollins — political courage and class. I salute my wonderful friend and her principled leadership," the former president tweeted.

Collins, one of three primary Republican senators Democrats tried to pressure to vote against Trump's pick, announced her decision in the lengthy speech Friday shortly after Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Energy: Park Service plans to pay full-time staff through entrance fees | Oil companies join blitz for carbon tax | Interior chief takes heat for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change Democrats grill Trump Interior chief for saying he hasn't 'lost sleep' over climate change Congress must press Interior secretary to act on climate change MORE (R-Alaska) voted against ending debate on his nomination.

Moments after Collins announced her decision, Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Senate panel approves Interior nominee over objections from Democrats Labor head warns of 'frightening uptick' in black lung disease among miners MORE (D-W.Va.) said he would also support Kavanaugh. With those senators on board, Kavanaugh has enough votes to be confirmed by the Senate, with a final confirmation vote slated for Saturday.

The vote comes after weeks of controversy surrounding allegations of sexual assault against Kavanaugh that threw his nomination into question. Christine Blasey Ford and two other women accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct from his days in high school and college in the 1980s, claims he has forcefully denied.

The controversy brought parallels to the 1991 confirmation process for Justice Clarence Thomas, an appointee of Bush, who faced allegations of sexual harassment from Anita Hill before ultimately being confirmed to the Supreme Court.

Hill offered her own statement last month amid the allegations facing Kavanaugh, stating that the Judiciary panel should establish a better way of dealing with accusations of sexual misconduct surrounding judicial nominees.