In the wake of Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school, conservative have tried out a handful of strategies in defending the judge. We’ve seen the ‘mistaken identity’ theory. There’s the “she’s a loon” line of thought. And then there’s what Republican strategist Brian Robinson tried this morning.
During a CNN discussion on the potential Senate hearing featuring Ford and Kavanaugh, Robinson was asked about a statement he made that said nothing Dr. Blasey has alleged disqualifies Kavanaugh from confirmation even if it is true.
“Even if he sexually assaulted her when he was 17 and she was 15, that’s not disqualifying,” Blackwell wondered aloud. “He should be confirmed?”
“This was not a rape,” Robinson noted. “Everybody was fully clothed. Is it inappropriate? Absolutely. Is that how any young man should treat any young woman? Absolutely not.”
He continued, “But if you went back, put this in a larger context, they were 17 years old. No crime was committed. Something terribly inappropriate we should teach young men not to do for sure. This is not something for a 17-year-old should disqualify them in 50s and have shown to be responsible adults — no other accuser has come out. What I am looking for is a pattern of behavior.”
As Robinson went on with his talking points, Blackwell interjected to ask his guest if “one sexual assault is a gimme.”
Robinson stammered a bit, stating there are “different grades of sexual assault” while saying they “need to be careful about criminalizing 17-year-old behavior.”
“This is an acceptable level of sexual assault?” Blackwell pressed.
“I said it is inappropriate,” Robinson declared. “It is not a crime.”
“You have been clear about that,” a surprised Blackwell noted. “We can’t press anymore on that, you have been clear this is an acceptable level of sexual assault.”
Robinson exclaimed “that’s not fair,” causing the CNN anchor to explain that he asked him about the allegations and the Republican spokesperson pointed out that it wasn’t a crime, Kavanaugh was only 17 years old, and it “should not prevent him from being confirmed.”
“If the story as we know it is true, this should not prevent him being confirmed,” Robinson replied.
“Okay,” Blackwell concluded. “That’s your position. We tested it, and you hold to it.”
Watch the clip above, via CNN.