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U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, in Ohio, calls Brett Kavanaugh confirmation a ‘sham’ and ‘disgrace’

October 8, 2018

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, in Ohio, calls Brett Kavanaugh confirmation a ‘sham’ and ‘disgrace’

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Senate Republicans’ successful push to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday was a “sham” and a “disgrace,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California told Ohio Democrats on Sunday night.

“Let’s speak the truth that it was a denial of justice for the women of this country and sexual assault survivors, men and women,” said Harris, a potential 2020 presidential contender whose profile was raised in recent weeks by her questioning of Kavanaugh in the Senate Judiciary Committee about accusations of sexual assault.

“What we have been witnessing is a display and an exercise of raw power,” she continued. “Power that is being exercised not just to win, but to demean, and deflate, and defeat. And we are better than this.” 

Harris was the keynote speaker at the Ohio Democratic Party’s annual state dinner. With the November midterms just 30 days away, she urged the crowd of more than 1,000 Democrats to channel their emotions into helping Democrats win the November midterms.

“Let this last week and all that we have experienced in terms of our frustration and our anger and our sadness – let’s use this week to give us all that extra energy that we know we have that the bottom line is that they may have the power right now, but we need to take it back,” Harris said to applause.

Harris’ strong words against the Republicans came in contrast to the first few minutes of her speech, when she delivered a line she often gives in her speeches – that even in an era of political polarization, most Americans still have the same worries, priorities, and fears.

“In this moment in time where there are such powerful voices that are trying to sow hate and division among us, I believe this is one of those times where we have to hold on, with faith and belief, that the vast majority of us as Americans have so much more in common than what divides us,” said Harris, whose speech at times seemed to echo Barack Obama’s now-famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Harris’ visit to Ohio is sure to stoke speculation about whether she will run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Harris is also planning a trip to Iowa, another key battleground state, later this month.

Asked on Sunday afternoon whether Kavanaugh’s confirmation affects her 2020 plans, Harris waved off the questions.

″ I’m thinking about ’18 and what we need to do around these races,” she said. “And then I’ll, you know, seriously take a look at things after that.”

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Mandi Merritt, in a statement, called Harris an “obstructionist” and said Democrats “continue to show that they value resistance over results.

“Kamala Harris may energize the Democratic Party’s resist-at-all-costs base, but Republicans’ winning message and resume of results will carry us forward to victory in November,” Merritt said.

During her speech, Harris offered many words of praise for a potential 2020 presidential competitor -- U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Harris called Brown “a leader among leaders” in the Senate.

In his remarks, Brown, who’s running for re-election this year, didn’t mention GOP opponent Jim Renacci. But he spoke at length against Mike DeWine, the Republican running for governor in a neck-and neck race against Democrat Rich Cordray.

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