Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told WXIA-TV she will not be intimidated over her vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The Senate voted to confirm Kavanaugh to the nation's highest court with a 50-48 vote Saturday, and he was sworn in a few hours later.
What did Collins say?
Collins told the TV station she is aware that groups like the Maine People's Alliance and Mainers for Accountable Leadership, are looking to takeover her seat in 2020.
"I did not do any kind of political calculation making my decision," Collins said. "I think the online crowd fundraising effort is the equivalent of trying to bribe me to take a particular position. I will not be intimidated by that no matter how much money that they raise. Essentially they were proposing a quid pro quo. I am not going to allow that kind of effort."
Collins admitted the Kavanaugh debate was difficult.
"It's certainly been a difficult situation," Collins told the TV station. "The most difficult in the 22 years I've been honored to represent the State of Maine in the United States Senate."
Collins said her confirmation vote for Kavanaugh does not mean she is abandoning women’s rights issues. Some critics have claimed Collins has refused to meet with sexual assault survivors.
"I have met with so many Mainers that were sexual assault survivors,” she told the TV station. “I have met with them in Maine, I've met with them here (in Washington), I've met with them through video conference. I have met with many survivors of sexual assault."
She added: "I find it extraordinary that certain groups are now targeting me when I've been their advocate here in Washington for 22 years. My voting record clearly shows that."
Collins also related how she felt about between Christine Blasey Ford’s emotional testimony in contrast to Kavanaugh’s strong rebuttal of the allegations dating back more than 35 years.
"I believe (Dr. Blasey Ford) was sexually assaulted and that that trauma has stayed with her throughout her life,” Collins told WXIA. "I cannot conclude, based on the evidence and the complete lack of corroboration that Brett Kavanaugh was her assailant."
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
What about Kavaugh's demeanor?
Appearing Saturday on “Face the Nation,” Collins was asked about Kavanaugh's demeanor during the hearings.
Asked about Kavaungh’s demeanor during the hearings, Collins said, “First let me say that I found Judge Kavanaugh’s denial at the second hearing was very powerful. His anger and his anguish, I think, are understandable given that he’s been accused of being involved in gang rapes of women. I mean, that is a devastating allegation. So I think it was understandable that he was reacting as a human being, as a father, as a father of two young girls. But, I will say that I thought his questioning, with the questioning with the senators, that he went over the line. And I was glad that he apologized to Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in particular.”