Even These 5 Right-Wing Conservatives Have Called Trump Out for Mocking Christine Blasey Ford
Tuesday, October 2 was a busy day for President Donald J. Trump. After a mid-afternoon speech at the National Electrical Contractors Association’s annual convention in Democrat-dominated Philadelphia—where he was greeted with an abundance of angry anti-Trump protestors—the president flew down to Mississippi for a Tuesday night “Make America Great Again”-themed rally. And to Trump, part of making America great again meant insulting, belittling and mocking Christine Blasey Ford, the Palo Alto University psychology professor who has accused Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, of attempted to rape her at a party in 1982.
It was quite a contrast to all the pro-Ford and anti-Trump signs being carried through the streets of Center City Philadelphia hours earlier; when Trump tried to portray Ford as a mixed up false accuser with a faulty memory, the Mississippi crowd broke out in a chant of, “Lock her up, lock her up.” Evidently, Mississippi Republicans view being an alleged survivor of attempted rape as a punishable offense.
Not surprisingly, Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump’s remarks, complaining that Ford “has been treated like a FabergÃ© egg”—a ludicrous, idiotic claim in light of all the death threats and harassment Ford has been subjected to. But not everyone on the right has defended Trump’s anti-Ford comments.
Here are five right-wing conservatives who were quick to call Trump out after his anti-Ford rant in Mississippi.
1. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough
Joe Scarborough—host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” a former Republican congressman in Florida and a NeverTrump conservative who left the GOP because of his disdain for Trump’s presidency—has, at times, been critical of the mainstream media’s coverage of Ford’s allegations. Scarborough has objected to the way that some columnists have described Kavanaugh as a “serial rapist” without even using the word “alleged,” but he has also been quick to say that he doesn’t think Kavanaugh belongs on the Supreme Court. And even though Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski often butt heads on “Morning Joe,” they have concurred that Trump’s anti-Ford comments in Mississippi were indefensible. After White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s anti-Ford comments in Mississippi, Brzezinski described Sanders as someone who has “been made rotten to the core” by Trump’s presidency—and Scarborough attacked Trump for his “heartless misogynist attacks” on Ford.
2. Sen. Jeff Flake
No sooner had Sen. Jeff Flake announced, on September 28, that he was a “yes” vote on Kavanaugh than he declared that his support was conditional: the Arizona Republican demanded a limited one-week FBI investigation of Ford’s allegations. And even though Flake will more than likely help send Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, he has been highly critical of the way Republicans have attacked Ford—including Trump. After the president’s anti-Ford rant in Mississippi, Flake told NBC News that he found them “kind of appalling” and asserted, “To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. It’s just not right, and I wish he had not done it.”
3. Sen. Susan Collins
Sen. Susan Collins of Maine continues to describe herself as an undecided vote on Kavanaugh, but more than likely, she will cave into pressure from Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and vote for him. A “no” vote on Kavanaugh would make Collins persona non grata in her party, and she knows it. But Collins, unlike Kellyanne Conway or Sarah Huckabee Sanders, hasn’t been a knee-jerk defender of Trump’s anti-Ford rant in Mississippi. Quite the contrary—Collins minced no words when she told reporters, “The president’s comments were just plain wrong.”
4. Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Back in the 1980s—when President Ronald Reagan employed his big tent philosophy and led a fragile coalition of right-wingers that ranged from Christian Right theocrats to libertarians to Rockefeller Republicans—someone like Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski would have had more room to buck her party when she felt it was appropriate. Reagan used to assert that someone who agreed with him 80% of the time was an 80% ally rather than a 20% traitor. But Trump and his army of authoritarian Trumpistas demand total obedience and ideological purity from Republicans, and Murkowski obviously realizes that they will be furious if she dares vote against Kavanaugh.
Nonetheless, the supposedly “undecided” Murkowski can at least feign her independence before ultimately voting for Kavanaugh. And on October 3, Murkowski asserted, “I thought the president’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and, in my view, unacceptable.”
5. GOP Strategist Rick Wilson
Florida-based GOP strategist Rick Wilson, author of the book “Everything Trump Touches Dies,” has not strayed from his NeverTrump views. Wilson has even said that he carries a gun for protection after receiving death threats from Trump supporters. And after Trump’s anti-Ford rant, Wilson posted a link to the rant on Twitter and asked, “If you support Kavanaugh, tell me how this is helpful.”