Sen. Lindsey Graham has a Plan B if the Senate fails to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh: Let’s run this back and take it to voters in the midterms.
In an interview with Fox News Monday night, the South Carolina Republican all but dared his red-state Democratic colleagues to vote against Kavanaugh, who he called a “good man” who “should not be destroyed.”
“What would I do? I would re-nominate him and I would take this case to the American people and I’d ask voters in Indiana, in Missouri, in North Dakota and other places where Trump won — saying who he would nominate if he got to be president — and see if the voters want to appeal the verdict of their senator,” Graham said.
Democrats are up for re-election in the three states Graham mentioned in his Fox interview. President Donald Trump won by an average margin of 22 points in Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota.
Kavanaugh defended himself before the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday from multiple accusations of sexual assault levied against him by women who claim to have known him when he was in high school and college in the early- and mid-1980s.
Though Graham and other Republican leaders said one of his accusers, Christine Blasey Ford, who testified before the panel last week, seemed like a credible witness, Graham believes Democrats have dragged Kavanaugh through the mud to obstruct his confirmation.
And if he were advising the president, he would double down on Kavanaugh should the Supreme Court nominee not receive the requisite votes for the high court.
“Here’s what I would tell the president: I would appeal the verdict of the Senate to the ballot box,” Graham said. “This good man should not be destroyed. If you legitimize this process by one vote short, we’ll be on to the next person. I’d hate to be the next person nominated. I would feel horrible that we destroyed Kavanaugh.”
The FBI is completing an expedited seven-day review of the claims against Kavanaugh after a cohort of centrist Republicans, including Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, struck a deal with Democrats at the 11th hour to delay a final floor vote.
The White House has given the bureau narrow investigative parameters.
Graham does not think an electoral referendum on Kavanaugh’s confirmation will be necessary, however.
“I don’t think we’re going to find anything new from this supplemental FBI investigation to take Jeff from yes to no,” he said, referring to Flake.
“I think Senator Murkowski and Senator Collins want to make sure the FBI did their homework to check the committee’s work, that our work was good. I think that’s what this is all about,” he said.
Watch: Flake Talks Kavanaugh, Political Climate in First-in-the-Nation New Hampshire