Murkowski brushes off GOP backlash: 'I'm good with' Kavanaugh vote

Murkowski brushes off GOP backlash: 'I'm good with' Kavanaugh vote
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Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOvernight Defense: Highlights from Defense pick's confirmation hearing | Esper spars with Warren over ethics | Sidesteps questions on Mattis vs. Trump | Trump says he won't sell F-35s to Turkey Epstein charges show Congress must act to protect children from abuse PBS premieres first nationally distributed kids' show with Native American lead MORE (R-Alaska) is brushing off questions about potential political retribution over her opposition to putting Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughThe Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment Former Justice John Paul Stevens dies at age 99 Robert De Niro nominated for Emmy for 'SNL' role playing Robert Mueller MORE on the Supreme Court, which has earned her fierce criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE and conservatives. 
 
"I took the vote that I took. And I'm good with it and I'm moving forward. I think we all need to be, so I'm not going to dwell on the 'what ifs,'" Murkowski told reporters in the Senate basement on Tuesday evening. 
 
Murkowski was the only Republican senator to oppose Kavanaugh's nomination, saying that she thought he was a "good man" but that she "could not conclude that he is the right person for the court at this time." 
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Trump told The Washington Post in an interview shortly before Kavanaugh was confirmed to the high court over the weekend that Murkowski “will never recover” politically from her "present" vote and that Alaska voters will "never forgive" her. 
 
Fox News host Sean Hannity has called for former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) to make a “political comeback” and challenge Murkowski. Palin pointed toward the year Murkowski will be up for reelection, tweeting last week, "I can see 2022 from my house."
 
Tuckerman Babcock, the chairman of Alaska Republican Party, told The Associated Press that the state GOP could reprimand the senator, issue a statement on her vote or even withdraw its support of her, which would include encouraging her not to run for reelection in 2022 as a Republican. 
 
Asked on Tuesday if she was concerned about potential retribution from the state party, Murkowski responded that she was "moving forward."
 
"It goes the same as I just said. I took the vote that I took and we're moving forward," she added. 
 
Murkowski voted against advancing Kavanaugh's nomination during a procedural vote last Friday and said she was opposed to his nomination in the final vote to confirm him on Saturday.
 
She was recorded as "present" during the final vote, something she did as a courtesy to offset the absence of Sen. Steve DainesSteven (Steve) David DainesTwo GOP lawmakers back Trump's comments on Democratic lawmakers: 'I'll pay for their tickets out of this country' Former Navy officer, teacher enters race to unseat GOP senator in Montana Democratic senators want candidates to take Swalwell's hint and drop out MORE (R-Mont.), who supported Kavanaugh but was at his daughter's wedding back home in Montana.
 
The Kavanaugh vote isn't the first time Murkowski has bucked her party. 
 
During her 2010 reelection bid, Murkowski lost her GOP Senate primary but went on to win the general election as a write-in candidate.
 
For their part, Republican senators are keeping their distance from Trump's criticism directed at the Alaska senator.
 
 
When asked if Trump is speaking for the Senate caucus, GOP Sen. John CornynJohn CornynTrump angry more Republicans haven't defended his tweets: report White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal White House abruptly cancels Trump meeting with GOP leaders MORE (Texas), McConnell's No. 2, told reporters on Tuesday that he respects Murkowski's decision. 
 
"I respect Sen. Murkowski voting the way she felt like she had to vote. That's, in the end, a matter between our individual consciences and our constituents back home," Cornyn said. 
 
 
"I think he has backed off. I think he realizes himself he probably shouldn't have done that," Hatch said.