Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh

Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandOvernight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Overnight Health Care: Democrats attack after Trump revives talk of ObamaCare replacement | Cruz, Ocasio-Cortez efforts on birth control face major obstacles | CVS investing M to fight teen e-cig use Trump's 2020 campaign strategy is to be above the law MORE (D-N.Y.) is voicing support for the candidacies of Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinCritics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony Critics say Interior's top lawyer came 'close to perjury' during Hill testimony The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by MAPRx — Trump takes heat for remarks on help from foreign governments MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tennessee Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen despite their support of the confirmation of Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSupreme Court hands Virginia Democrats a win in gerrymandering case Supreme Court hands Virginia Democrats a win in gerrymandering case Supreme Court rules defendants can be tried on state and federal charges, potentially impacting Manafort MORE to the Supreme Court.

Gillibrand, considered a possible 2020 White House contender, said Manchin, the lone Democratic senator to vote for Kavanaugh, has proven himself a valuable member of the caucus.

“The fact that Joe Manchin stood with us when we were defeating Trumpcare, when Trump wanted to allow insurers not to cover people with preexisting conditions, I was really very grateful that Joe Manchin was there. So I think you win some, you lose some, but to have someone with you there nine out of ten times makes a huge difference. And to have someone who shares your fundamental values also makes a huge difference,” Gillibrand told New York Magazine in an interview published Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Manchin is running for reelection in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE won by over 40 points in 2016, one of ten Senate Democrats defending seats in states Trump won.

FiveThirtyEight calculates that he votes with Trump about 60 percent of the time.

The Cook Political Report rates his race against West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey as “Lean D.” 

Gillibrand also voiced support for Bredesen, a former Tennessee governor who has taken criticism from the left for saying he would have voted for Kavanaugh if he were currently seated in the chamber. Bredesen is vying with Rep. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnDemocrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills Democrats detail new strategy to pressure McConnell on election security bills Election security bills face GOP buzzsaw MORE (R-Tenn.) for the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerPress: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Press: How 'Nervous Nancy' trumped Trump Amash gets standing ovation at first town hall after calling for Trump's impeachment MORE (R).

"Well, if he was here in the Senate, I would have an opportunity to advocate for a No vote. So I would rather get him here and spend my time explaining why a No vote is a better vote for this moment in time," Gillibrand said.

The Kavanaugh confirmation process laid bare the bitter partisan divide within the Senate, particularly after three women went public with allegations of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh when he was in high school and college. Kavanaugh denied the allegations, saying at a hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee that the accusations were planned “smears” as part of the Democrats’ “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” 

Democrats rushed to denounce him because of the allegations and what they believed to be a partisan tone in his defense. Republicans came to his defense after the FBI opened an investigation into the allegations and privately released a report to the Senate that the GOP said offered no corroborating evidence of any of the accusation.