Vukmir calls for Kavanaugh confirmation, Baldwin opposed

September 28, 2018

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir on Friday amplified her call for embattled U.S. Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed, while Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin remained opposed.

Vukmir has stood by Kavanaugh since he was selected by President Donald Trump while Baldwin announced her opposition two days after he was picked.

On Wednesday, Vukmir attended a rally in Washington, D.C., in support of him. Vukmir again called for his confirmation after Thursday’s emotional and dramatic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in which a woman testified that Kavanaugh had assaulted her decades ago when they were both in high school.

Kavanaugh strongly denied the allegations and Republican senators have vowed to move ahead with his confirmation.

“The fact is Senator Baldwin and her liberal allies are bitter that Wisconsin elected President Trump, and they’ll do anything to stop this highly qualified nominee,” Vukmir said. “It’s time the Senate votes and confirms Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”

On Friday, she tweeted her disgust at Democrats briefly walking out of the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting.

“In Wisconsin we’re sick of our leaders walking out of hearings, fleeing the state, and refusing to meet with Supreme Court nominees,” she said. “Do. Your. Job. #ConfirmKavanaugh.”

Vukmir’s statement references the fact that Baldwin came out against Kavanaugh before meeting with him. Baldwin’s office says she is willing to meet with him, they just haven’t found a date that can work.

Vukmir is also referring to when Democrats in the Wisconsin state Senate fled the state in 2011 in a failed attempt to stop the bill effectively ending collective bargaining for public workers that became known as Act 10.

Baldwin, while opposing Kavanaugh’s confirmation, has joined with other Democrats in asking for the FBI to investigate the claims made by Christine Blasey Ford. Under pressure from moderate members, Senate Republican leaders Friday afternoon said they would allow a new FBI probe for up to one week, slowing their rush to confirm Kavanaugh.

“There should be no vote on this lifetime nomination for our highest court until the Senate has all the facts about serious and credible allegations made by women,” Baldwin tweeted Friday.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, in a radio interview on WISN-AM, said he was ready to vote for Kavanaugh now and predicted he’ll be confirmed after the FBI investigation.

“I believe Judge Kavanaugh is an upstanding, decent man,” Johnson said.

The Kavanaugh confirmation has also become an issue in other Wisconsin races.

In the governor’s race, Democrat Tony Evers said he would like the FBI to do a full investigation and not be bound by an “artificial timeline.”

“I feel very strongly this is a defining moment in our country,” he said at a news conference about early voting.

Gov. Scott Walker expressed early support for Kavanaugh, but since Ford made her accusations, Walker hasn’t said whether he thinks the Senate should move ahead with a vote.

In the attorney general’s race, Democratic candidate Josh Kaul opposes Kavanaugh’s appointment. Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel on Thursday said he didn’t know if an allegation of sexual assault from 1982 should be disqualifying.

“I don’t know what’s true about these allegations or not and I don’t know if something that happened 36 years ago should prevent someone from ever serving,” Schimel said. “This is a difficult challenge for the members of the Senate that have to look at this. ... I don’t envy anyone that’s trying to determine what the truth is in all this because it’s being so turned into a political game. It’s disappointing.”


Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sbauerAP


Sign up for “Politics in Focus,” a weekly newsletter showcasing the AP’s best political reporting from around the country leading up to the midterm elections: https://bit.ly/2ICEr3D

Update hourly