John Kennedy (R-LA) was unable to recall on live TV the name of a woman prosecutor Senate Republicans have tapped to question an alleged sexual assault survivor.
Senate Republicans will send Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell to question Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of trying to rape her at a high school party, and Kennedy tried to explain how that hearing would play out.
“Dr. Ford, through her counsel, was very insistent that we not allow the hearing to be hijacked with theatrics, like the confirmation hearing was, in my judgment,” Kennedy told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“We talked about it among ourselves, we meaning the Republicans on the committee,” he added, “and decided that given the amount of time that we have, Dr. Ford also insisted on just one round of questions, that we would hire somebody who has expertise in trying to ferret out the facts in a case where sexual assault has been alleged.”
Kennedy insisted he would let Mitchell ask questions on his behalf, but he whiffed on her name.
“I don’t know that every committee member has given up the right to ask questions, but I know I intend to defer to — I can’t remember the name of the prosecutor,” Kennedy said, searching his memory. “Ms. Mitchell, I think.”
He had no trouble remembering a talking point he used several times throughout the interview.
“I think there are areas where we could all do better, not just the politicians, but America,” Kennedy said. “This is no country, in my judgment, for creepy old men or young men or middle-aged men, but this is also no country to ignore due process. some of my colleagues have suggested — and i’ve tried to understand their point of view — that you’re morally tainted if you don’t automatically believe the accuser. I don’t agree with that.”
Kennedy went back to the “no country for creepy old men” line later in the interview, and again insisted that Kavanaugh was entitled to due process in the Senate confirmation hearing, as he would be in a criminal proceeding.
“I don’t know if this will be a discussion of the truth as much as it will be an analysis of the memory,” Kennedy said. “It happened a long time ago. I can tell you how my mind works, my memory is not like a computer file that I can call up with perfect retrieval. My mind is selective when I think back 30 or 40 years ago.”
“My stroll down memory lane is kind of a lurch down memory lane, there are gaps in some of my memories when I reconstruct things,” he added. “Sometimes I fill them in with what I think is the truth, I can’t be 100 percent certain it’s the truth. I think most of us have that experience — 35, 40 years ago is a long, long time ago. I think we have to take that into consideration for both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.”