People For the American Way

8 Quotes that Prove Republicans Haven’t Learned from Anita Hill or #MeToo

News and Analysis

When allegations began to surface that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had attempted to rape an acquaintance while in high school, most Republicans, including leaders on the Senate Judiciary Committee and Donald Trump, stayed quiet. But it didn’t last long. On September 16, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford shared her story with The Washington Post and bravely allowed her name to be revealed. The very next day, patronizing, insensitive, and misogynistic statements were already flying from the mouths of Republicans on the committee. Comments from Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah stuck out particularly because they were also participants in the infamous 1991 hearing with Anita Hill in which the all-male panel challenged and contradicted Hill. Hatch even derided Hill’s testimony calling her “too contrived, too slick.”

27 years later and in the time of the #MeToo movement, women expect better. Women are calling on all of the senators to believe survivors, treat them with respect and conduct a nonpartisan investigation. But it appears very little so far has changed, including that there are still no women on the Republican side of the committee. Instead male Republicans have bullied and defamed Dr. Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and other survivors and vowed to rush through Kavanaugh’s committee vote the next day after Dr. Blasey Ford testifies. Here are some of their most egregious statements.

    1. Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to CQ staff writer Todd Ruger on September 17: “All I can say is he has denied this and I feel bad that this is happening to him.”
    2. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., to ABC News journalist John Parkinson on September 17: “[A]gain it’s unfortunate. I mean I can’t imagine the horror of being accused of something like this.”
    3. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in a floor speech on September 24 in which he called the allegations a “smear campaign”: “Senate Democrats and their allies are trying to destroy a man’s personal and professional life on the basis of decades-old allegations that are unsubstantiated and uncorroborated.”
    4. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., during a speech at the Value Voters Summit on September 21: “We’re going to plow right through it.”
    5. President Donald Trump answering a reporter’s question on September 19 aired on MSNBC: “Look: If she shows up and makes a credible showing, that’ll be very interesting, and we’ll have to make a decision, but … very hard for me to imagine that anything happened.”
    6. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., on September 18 on the prospects of Kavanaugh’s confirmation two days after Dr. Blasey Ford came forward with her allegations in The Washington Post: “All I can say is that we’re bringing this to a close… I’ll listen to the lady, but we’re going to bring this to a close.”
    7. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Ia., when asked by The Washington Post reporter Seung Min Kim on Sept. 18 about why he would not call more witnesses to testify as happened in the Anita Hill hearings: “You’re talking about history. We’re not looking back. We’re looking forward.”
    8. Senator Dean Heller, R-Nev., during a conference call arranged by the Nevada Republican Party on September 19: “We got a little hiccup here with the Kavanaugh nomination, we’ll get through this and we’ll get off to the races.”

If Kavanaugh’s nomination makes it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, it will then go to the full Senate for a vote. There are quite a few senators—most notably Republicans Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska—who claim to be waiting for the hearing to decide.

Make sure you call your senators today and tell them that you believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez and that Kavanaugh’s nomination must be stopped. Contact your senators now at 844-248-4061.