Grassley said he asked Davis to explain the comments in the hope that “he would flatly disassociate himself from these remarks, and hopefully we would be able to move past them.”
But his answers were unsatisfactory to Grassley.
“In my estimation, Dr. Elders’ views were pretty clear,” Grassley said. “I don’t see how one can say she was ‘misunderstood.’ But much more importantly, I think it is entirely inappropriate to suggest that those who found fault with her views and comments did so because of her race.
“But it is not just that the comments suggest Judge Davis maintained a racial prejudice,” Grassley said. “Any fair reading of his comments makes clear that Judge Davis is assigning a racial motivation to those who had legitimate policy disagreements on particular issues. He is willing, even in his current explanation of his prior statement, to ignore the facts of why Dr. Elders was appropriately dismissed.”
Regarding Foster, Grassley said, “Some of us on this Committee recall the debate the Senate had on Dr. Foster’s nomination to be Surgeon General in 1995, and as part of that debate, the fact that he had performed abortions. That was but one concern of many regarding that nomination.”
Grassley also raised issue with comments Davis made in 1995 about a protest of about 400 people of Justice Clarence Thomas “because of his opinions in rulings affecting affirmative action and voting rights, reminding us, lest we forget, how easy it is for some of us to forget history.”
He also mentioned a concern about Davis’ views regarding sentencing and religious liberty.