Republican strategist Evan Siegfried told MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle that he thinks Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh should withdraw from consideration, saying a "slap in the face" to women voters risks "retribution" at the polls. Kavanaugh faces accusations of attempted sexual assault dating back to the early 1980s.
Remarking that "there are plenty of other conservative judges out there" who would "excite the conservative base", Siegfried nonetheless admitted the allegations of sexual misconduct rang true. "That's why it's so painful to watch this happen to Brett Kavanaugh," he said. "And to Dr. Ford, who I am starting to believe, more and more, the more I think about it."
Siegfried also pointed out the "political risk" for the GOP. "If we try and fast track this and move through this as fast as possible and put Brett Kavanaugh in the court," he said. "A decent size of the population [will be] questioning the legitimacy of the rulings coming from the Supreme Court and the character of somebody on the Supreme Court, just like they had with Clarence Thomas."
While Ruhle doubted that the allegations would flip any Republican votes, Siegfried named a few Senators he believed might jump ship, including Bob Corker, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, and Tim Scott. The real issue, he argued, was the "political calculus".
"We're already accused of having a war on women, and you've seen how well we govern, which is not well at all," he said. "It reinforces the narrative. When you've seen women come out to the polls and register in historic numbers since President Trump was elected, this could be a slap in the face and ultimately feed the anger and retribution that women are going to bring in November."
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