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 MurkowskiSenate votes to end debate on criminal justice reform bill When is a deal not a deal? When there’s a wildlife refuge to be exploited House funding bill scraps Arctic icebreaker program MORE (R-Alaska) is brushing off questions about potential political retribution over her opposition to putting Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDemocrats will fail if they portray William Barr as controversial pick ‘Justice’ selected as Merriam-Webster’s 2018 word of the year Chief justice of California Supreme Court leaves GOP over Kavanaugh confirmation MORE on the Supreme Court, which has earned her fierce criticism from President TrumpDonald John TrumpREAD: Transcript of James Comey's interview with House Republicans Klobuchar on 2020: ‘I do think you want voices from the Midwest’ Israel boycott fight roils Democrats in year-end spending debate 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.
 
 
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 CornynThe Hill's Morning Report — What a shutdown would mean for the government Trump, Dems dig in over shutdown GOP lawmakers distance themselves from ObamaCare ruling 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.