Oct 7, 2018

Collins initially thought Kavanaugh should withdraw after watching Ford

Sen. Susan Collins told CNN's State of the Union Sunday that she initially thought Brett Kavanaugh would have to withdraw after hearing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's "compelling and painful testimony," but she changed her mind when Kavanaugh came back with a "forceful" denial.

The big picture: Collins reiterated that she believed Ford was assaulted by someone and that it upended her life, but she said doesn't believe the assailant was Brett Kavanaugh. Collins said her decision to vote for Kavanaugh was driven by her belief in the American legal system of "presumption of innocence and fairness."

Other highlights:

  • Collins said Kavanaugh "should not have taken a shot at the Clintons" during his testimony, a move that many critics have decried as too partisan for a Supreme Court justice.
  • She said she has "full confidence" that Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade. Responding to criticism from Planned Parenthood, she noted that the organization has opposed three pro-choice justices just because they were nominated by Republican presidents.
  • When asked if she was worried about losing her seat in 2020 because of her vote, Collins said "the people of Maine have trusted me to exercise my best judgment. That's what I did in this case."

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla. seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.

4 takeaways from the Nevada Democratic debate

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The relative civility of the last eight Democratic debates was thrown by the wayside Wednesday night, the first debate to feature the billionaire "boogeyman," Michael Bloomberg, whose massive advertising buys and polling surge have drawn the ire of the entire field.

The big picture: Pete Buttigieg captured the state of the race early on, noting that after Super Tuesday, the "two most polarizing figures on this stage" — Bloomberg and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — could be the only ones left competing for the nomination. The rest of candidates fought to stop that momentum.

Klobuchar squares off with Buttigieg on immigration

Buttigieg and Klobuchar in Las Vegas on Feb. 19. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg went after Sen. Amy Klobuchar on the debate stage Wednesday for voting to confirm Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan and voting in 2007 to make English the national language.

What she's saying: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete, but let me tell you what it's like to be in the arena. ... I did not one bit agree with these draconian policies to separate kids from their parents, and in my first 100 days, I would immediately change that."