Possible 2020 Dems react to Kavanaugh securing votes needed for Senate confirmation

Possible 2020 Dems react to Kavanaugh securing votes needed for Senate confirmation
© Greg Nash

Democrats considered to be potential contenders for their party's 2020 presidential nomination sounded off Friday after it appeared Senate Republicans had secured the votes necessary to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.


Kavanaugh's nomination has been in question for weeks amid allegations of sexual assault from three women dating back to his high school and college years. Still, statements from senators viewed as crucial swing votes on Friday appeared to tilt the confirmation battle in his favor.

Democrats such as Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar MORE (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Pharma pricing is a problem, but antitrust isn't the (only) solution The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats blast Trump for commuting Roger Stone: 'The most corrupt president in history' Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs MORE (D-N.J.) told Democrats and survivors of sexual assault not to lose hope in the days following Kavanaugh's likely confirmation.

"I will never stop fighting for survivors of sexual assault," Gillibrand wrote on Twitter. "We will achieve the justice and accountability you deserve. We will never give up. We will never give in."

"We face defeat. But we are not defeated," Booker added in his own tweet.

"A loss. But all is not lost. Hope is the active conviction that despair will not ever have the last word," the New Jersey Democrat tweeted, adding the hashtag "#Midterms."

Vermont Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump glosses over virus surge during Florida trip The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Fauci says focus should be on pausing reopenings rather than reverting to shutdowns; WHO director pleads for international unity in pandemic response Ex-Sanders aide says Biden unity task forces need to go farther MORE (I), who ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and is thought to be eyeing a 2020 bid, said in a speech Friday night that while it was likely Kavanaugh would be confirmed, the battle would have lasting effects on how the American people viewed sexual assault and the Supreme Court.

"While we may lose tomorrow, I think that the end results of what has happened here, the disgrace of what has happened here will reverberate in a positive way for the American people," Sanders said on the Senate floor.

"This nomination...has aroused the American people from coast to coast on the issue of sexual assault," he added.

"[E]ven the fights we lose matter," Warren, a top ally of Sanders and fellow potential 2020 contender wrote in her message. "Every time you called, and marched, and tweeted, you helped move us closer. And it was so close."

California Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHillicon Valley: Facebook considers political ad ban | Senators raise concerns over civil rights audit | Amazon reverses on telling workers to delete TikTok Senators raise concerns over Facebook's civil rights audit Biden's marijuana plan is out of step with public opinion MORE (D) didn't address the likelihood of Kavanaugh's confirmation in a Senate floor speech Friday, but slammed the FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations he faces and called the confirmation battle an "inflection" point for the U.S. on the issue of sexual assault.

"This was NOT a search for the truth. Instead, this was about politics and raw power to push through an unfit nominee," Harris said.

"I believe this is an inflection moment on the issue of sexual assault. I hope and I pray that this is a time when everyone can agree that nobody should silently suffer," she added.

Zak Ringelstein, a Democrat running against Maine Sen. Angus KingAngus KingKoch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs The Hill's Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Reid Wilson says political winners are governors who listened to scientists and public health experts; 12 states record new highs for seven-day case averages MORE (I), blasted the state's other senator, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (R), on Twitter after Collins's lengthy floor speech Friday in which she said she would support Kavanaugh's confirmation. Collins, a centrist Republican, was thought to be a possible pickup for Democrats hoping to stop Kavanaugh's confirmation prior to giving her speech.

"I’m a Mainer. I’m the Democratic nominee for US Senate in Maine. I can tell you that Mainers are ashamed of Susan Collins. We must vote her out," Ringelstein tweeted while avoiding any mention of his opponent, King, who has stated that he will oppose Kavanaugh.

Collins, who does not yet have an official Democratic challenger for her seat in 2020, faced calls for just that on Friday following her speech from the Senate floor.

Appearing to answer those calls was former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice, who seemed to indicate that she was interesting in running against Collins before later clarifying that she had no announcement yet to make.

"Many thanks for the encourgement [sic]. I’m not making any announcements. Like so many Americans, I am deeply disappointed in Senator Collins’ vote for Kavanaugh. Maine and America deserve better," she wrote in a follow-up message.