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 MurkowskiMurkowski wants senators to 'really hear the case' before deciding on impeachment witnesses Republicans will pay on Election Day for politicizing Trump's impeachment GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff MORE (R-Alaska) is brushing off questions about potential political retribution over her opposition to putting Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDemocratic group plans mobile billboard targeting Collins on impeachment January reminds us why courts matter — and the dangers of 'Trump judges' Planned Parenthood launches M campaign to back Democrats in 2020 MORE on the Supreme Court, which has earned her fierce criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rails against impeachment in speech to Texas farmers Trump administration planning to crack down on 'birth tourism': report George Conway on Trump adding Dershowitz, Starr to legal team: 'Hard to see how either could help' 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 DainesKoch network could target almost 200 races in 2020, official says GOP senators introduce resolution to change rules, dismiss impeachment without articles Congress to clash over Trump's war powers 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 CornynDemocrats worry a speedy impeachment trial will shut out public Sunday shows - All eyes on Senate impeachment trial Cornyn disputes GAO report on withholding of Ukraine aid: It's 'certainly not a crime' 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.