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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 Defense — Presented by The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates — Senators seek US intel on journalist's disappearance | Army discharged over 500 immigrant recruits in one year | Watchdog knocks admiral over handling of sexual harassment case Pentagon watchdog knocks top admiral for handling of sexual harassment case Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh MORE (D-N.Y.) is voicing support for the candidacies of Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinGillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh Senate heads home to campaign after deal on Trump nominees Overnight Energy: Climate skeptic confirmed as DOJ environmental lawyer | EPA to phase out air pollution panel | Ad campaign targets mercury rule proposal MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tennessee Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen despite their support of the confirmation of Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughTrump says GOP wouldn't have won on Kavanaugh without speech mocking Ford Former campaign aide to New Jersey governor says she was sexually assaulted by his ex-staffer Flake: Congress should not continue Kavanaugh investigations 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 TrumpTrump: 'I don't trust everybody in the White House' JPMorgan CEO withdraws from Saudi conference Trump defends family separations at border 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 hold fading odds of winning Senate this November Cornyn: 'All the money in the world' won't help O'Rourke win Texas Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh MORE (R-Tenn.) for the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerTrump defends 0B US arms sale to Saudi Arabia Cornyn: 'All the money in the world' won't help O'Rourke win Texas Saudi Arabia, Turkey to form joint investigation into Khashoggi disappearance 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.