Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of attempted rape by Palo Alto University psychologist Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and on Saturday Ford reached a tentative agreement with the Senate Judiciary Committee to tell her story in person to the committee next Thursday, CNN reported.
But also this week, CNN interviewed what it claimed was a “focus group” of Republican women, asking why they supported Kavanaugh’s nomination despite the attempted rape allegation against him, according to Newsweek, and their answers — one answer in particular — drew a stunned and outrage response on social media.
Journalists on Twitter also noted that the Republican women were more than simply “Republican voters,” as a caption on the CNN broadcast identified them. In fact, several were actually Republican party operatives or candidates for office. Journalist and author James Surowiecki, on his Twitter feed, noted that Gina Sosa, who made the most-quoted comment of the “focus group” interview, ran in a Republican primary earlier this year.
“We’re talking about a 15-year-old girl, which I respect. I’m a woman,” Sosa said in the CNN segment (per The Hill). “But we’re talking about a 17-year-old boy in high school with testosterone running high. Tell me, what boy hasn’t done this in high school?”
At the age of 17, according to Blasey Ford’s allegation, as reported by The Inquisitr, Kavanaugh attacked her during a house party in the early 1980s. With another boy, Kavanaugh “physically pushed me into a bedroom as I was headed for a bathroom up a short stairwell from the living room,” she alleges.
Kavanagh held her down and forced his hand over her mouth to stifle her screams as the other boy turned up loud music so that she would not be heard, Blasey For alleges. Kavanaugh then attempted to rip her clothes off, while pressing so hard on her mouth and face that Blasey Ford feared that he would “inadvertently” kill her, according to the allegation, which she detailed in a letter published by CNN.com
Twitter users reacted with shock to Sosa’s seeming statement that all 17-year-old boys have attempted to rape young girls while in high school, including the daughter of legendary entertainer Frank Sinatra.
republican and woman should not be in the same sentence.
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) September 23, 2018
Parkland school shooting survivor Cameron Kasky also replied to Sosa’s question.
Quite a few, actually. This is not the rhetoric to use here. This is just gross https://t.co/m2OGSue5gc
— Cameron Kasky (@cameron_kasky) September 22, 2018
As did MSNBC host and former Senatorial staff member Lawrence O’Donnell.
Ok men, it's time to answer this question. I'll start:
I didn't do this in high school.
Or any other time. https://t.co/c6m89AHCz0
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) September 22, 2018
Freelance journalist Adam Weinstein also noted that CNN’s identification of the “Republican women” appeared to be deceptive.
One runs the Miami campaign for Trump’s handpicked gubernatorial candidate. One owns two local food chains and sat next to Trump on a pro-tax cuts panel. One was a GOP congressional candidate. One runs the Women’s Republican club of Miami.
Chyron ID for all: “Republican voter” https://t.co/4B6AAGejJs
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) September 22, 2018
Weinstein also noted that all five of the women interviewed by CNN are residents on southern Florida’s Miami/Dade and Broward Counties. “Makes me ask a whole lot of questions about how this segment came together and who helped,” Weinstein said on his Twitter feed.
According to a CNN report on Saturday, Republican officials are “worried” that the GOP’s seemingly insensitive handling of the allegations against Kavanaugh could lose the party the votes of suburban women in the upcoming midterm elections.
A new poll by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal appears to confirm those fears, showing that voters overall want Democrats to win back control of Congress by a nearly 12-point margin. But the same poll also shows that in the wake of the attempted rape allegations against Kavanaugh, “that Republican enthusiasm about the upcoming election has increased.”