Gillibrand backs Manchin, Bredesen despite their support of Kavanaugh

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

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandKamala Harris: Trump administration ‘targeting’ California for political purposes Harry Reid says he won’t make 2020 endorsement until after Nevada caucus Gillibrand to appear on Fox News Monday night MORE (D-N.Y.) is voicing support for the candidacies of Sen. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Energy: Trump ends talks with California on car emissions | Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal | Climate PAC backing Inslee in possible 2020 run Dems face tough vote on Green New Deal Gabbard cites ‘concerns’ about ‘vagueness’ of Green New Deal MORE (D-W.Va.) and Tennessee Senate hopeful Phil Bredesen despite their support of the confirmation of Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughSmollett saga shows it's no mistake when media target conservatives Supreme Court clamps down on 'excessive fines' by states The 10 GOP senators who may break with Trump on emergency 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 TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall 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 BlackburnTrump’s new Syria timetable raises concern among key anti-ISIS allies Dem lawmaker invites Parkland survivor to attend State of the Union Bipartisan senators press Trump for strategy to protect Syrian Kurds MORE (R-Tenn.) for the seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger RNC votes to give Trump 'undivided support' ahead of 2020 Sen. Risch has unique chance to guide Trump on foreign policy 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.