Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh

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

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandPavlich: The media gets woke on the Women’s March Warren has contacted 100 people in early 2020 primary states: report O’Rourke is fireball, but not all Dems are sold MORE (D-N.Y.) is voicing support for the candidacies of Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Trump moves to ease Obama water rule | EPA document contradicts agency over water rule data| Manchin to be top Dem on Senate Energy panel Coal supporter Manchin named top Dem on Senate Energy Committee Schumer to Trump: Future infrastructure bill must combat climate change MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tennessee Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen despite their support of the confirmation of Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughPlanned Parenthood provides health care for millions of women in the US — we can't defund them Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic gets DC red carpet premiere Supreme Court not for life? Beware perils to its independence 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.

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Manchin is running for reelection in a state President TrumpDonald John TrumpActivists highlight Trump ties to foreign autocrats in hotel light display Jose Canseco pitches Trump for chief of staff: ‘Worried about you looking more like a Twinkie everyday’ Dershowitz: Mueller's report will contain 'sins' but no 'impeachable offense' 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 BlackburnOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by Amgen — ObamaCare signups lag behind last year despite recent surge | Drug company offers cheaper opioid overdose treatment after hiking price 600 percent | CDC calls fentanyl deadliest drug in US GOP struggles to win votes for Trump’s B wall demand Incoming GOP congressman says vaccines may cause autism, contradicting CDC MORE (R-Tenn.) for the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerGOP-controlled Senate breaks with Trump on Saudi vote Senate moves toward vote on ending support for Saudi-led war McConnell urges opposition to bill ending US support for Saudi war 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.