Jul 10, 2019

McConnell challenger Amy McGrath in Kavanaugh vote support flip-flop

Amy McGrath address supporters after her loss during her Election Night Event at the EKU Center for the Arts on November 6, 2018.

Amy McGrath. Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images

Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Amy McGrath walked back comments Wednesday that she "probably would have voted" to appoint Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court — hours after she made the declaration.

Details: McGrath, who hopes to unseat Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2020, made the comments on Kavanaugh during a wide-ranging interview with the Courier Journal in which she also said, "If President Trump has good ideas, I'll be for them. At the same time, if I think he’s wrong I’m going to stand up to him."

Context: Kavanaugh's Senate confirmation hearing became one of the most bitter battles in decades, after Christine Blasey Ford testified that he sexually assaulted her in high school. Kavanaugh was sworn in last year by a 50-48 vote.

Why it matters: McGrath's remarks come at a time when Congress is deeply divided along partisan lines. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) was the only Democrat to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation, per the Washington Post.

The big picture: The former Marine fighter pilot is trying to appeal to voters in the Bluegrass State, where Democrats haven't won a Senate race since 1992, by trying to portray McConnell being at the heart of the "swamp" Trump vowed to drain when he was a presidential candidate, according to the Courier Journal.

"This business of pro-Trump, anti-Trump — you're just putting people in a box. Folks just aren't like that. ... I want to do what's best for Kentucky, and when President Trump has good ideas, I'm going to be for them. To me it's not about your political party, it's not about wearing a red jersey or blue jersey, OK?"
— McGrath

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