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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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