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 Elizabeth GillibrandAffordable housing set for spotlight of next presidential campaign Overnight Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case MORE (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenDNA is irrelevant — Elizabeth Warren is simply not Cherokee The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump seizes on immigrant 'caravan' for midterms | WHCA criticizes Trump for praising lawmaker who assaulted reporter | Trump takes harder line on Saudis Clinton aide: Chances 'highly unlikely' but 'not zero' Hillary will run for president again MORE (D-Mass.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Election Countdown: Small-donor donations explode | Russian woman charged with midterm interference | Takeaways from North Dakota Senate debate | O'Rourke gives 'definitive no' to 2020 run | Dems hope Latino voters turn Arizona blue 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 SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Gabbard considering 2020 run: report Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa 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 HarrisSanders: Trump setting 'terrible example' for our children Sanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Kamala Harris rallies voters in South Carolina 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 Stanley KingCollusion judgment looms for key Senate panel People have forgotten 'facade' of independent politicians, says GOP strategist Senate poised to confirm Kavanaugh after bitter fight MORE (I), blasted the state's other senator, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsConservatives bankrolled and dominated Kavanaugh confirmation media campaign The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Health care a top policy message in fall campaigns Susan Collins and the mob mentality 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.