McConnell's Democratic challenger says she likely would have voted for Kavanaugh

Amy McGrath, who announced this week she will challenge Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star Hillicon Valley: Schumer questions Army over use of TikTok | Federal court rules against random searches of travelers' phones | Groups push for election security funds in stopgap bill | Facebook's new payment feature | Disney+ launch hit by glitches McConnell, GOP leaders say they won't be watching House impeachment hearing MORE (R-Ky.) in 2020, said in an interview Wednesday that she would have likely voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughDivided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA Hirono memoir due in 2021 The Hill's Morning Report - Witness transcripts plow ground for public impeachment testimony MORE.

“I was very concerned about Judge Kavanaugh, what I felt like were the far-right stances that he had. However, there was nothing in his record that I think would disqualify him in any way,” McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, told the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“And the fact is when you have the president and the Senate, this is our system, and so I don't think there was anything that would have disqualified him in my mind,” she said, adding when pressed on how she would have voted: "yeah, I probably would have voted for him."

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McGrath later flipped her position, tweeting in the evening that "upon further reflection" she would not have voted for Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Kavanaugh’s nomination became a flashpoint after psychology professor and research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford said he sexually assaulted her when both were teenagers, allegations which he denied. Senators eventually voted 50-48 to confirm Kavanaugh, ending a rancorous debate over his nomination.

McGrath told the newspaper that she thought Ford’s allegations were “credible” but “given the amount of time that lapsed in between and from a judicial standpoint, I don't think it would really disqualify him.”

Three Democrats who voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation — Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillGOP senator rips into Pelosi at Trump rally: 'It must suck to be that dumb' Iranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (Mo.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (N.D.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyWatchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Ind.) — lost their seats in the 2018 midterms.

McConnell has touted his ability to advance President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats worry they don't have right candidate to beat Trump Trump threatening to fire Mulvaney: report MORE's judicial nominees, including Kavanaugh and Justice Neil GorsuchNeil GorsuchMcConnell protege emerges as Kentucky's next rising star Divided Supreme Court leans toward allowing Trump to end DACA Loaded poll questions harm civil discourse MORE, as one of his biggest accomplishments as he seeks reelection to the upper chamber.

In 2018, when McGrath was running against Rep. Andy BarrAndy Hale BarrKentucky Democrat moves closer to McConnell challenge Advocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Unlikely allies push horse racing reform MORE (R-Ky.) in a House race, she spoke out against Kavanaugh in a Facebook post two months before Ford’s allegations were made public.

“Kavanaugh will likely be confirmed and we are starkly reminded, again, that elections have consequences, and this consequence will be with us for an entire generation,” McGrath said in 2018, although she did not say then whether she would have voted to confirm him.

Updated: July 11 at 10:40 a.m.