Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine shocked few—but disappointed many—when she campaigned for President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, on the Senate floor Friday afternoon. Attacking some of the women who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Collins called their allegations "outlandish."
Of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Collins stated:
"The facts presented do not mean that…Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time. But they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the ‘more likely than not’ standard."
"The facts presented do not mean that…Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time. B… https://t.co/IhuWfVLvir— NPR Politics (@NPR Politics) 1538768993.0
Many online took exception to Collins' attacks against sexual assault survivors that she claimed she found credible, but 'mistaken' in identifying their attacker.
@nprpolitics @NPR I have a reasonable doubt as to his innocence, don't you? You would accept a job applicant with f… https://t.co/ufQt5yxHuu— GREGORY BORGMAN (@GREGORY BORGMAN) 1538769686.0
@nprpolitics “I don’t know if Mr. Kavanaugh has a history of assault or if he actually has a drinking problem, but… https://t.co/e1vF7f292i— Lohubb (@Lohubb) 1538769688.0
@nprpolitics I mean, I don’t want to pet your dog if he might bite me. I don’t want to leave you in my house if you… https://t.co/wmQlTnP7Ey— Lohubb (@Lohubb) 1538769982.0
However one prominent voice praised Collins for her stance in support of Trump's nominee. That man in 1992 gave Collins her first political appointment: President George H.W. Bush.
.@SenatorCollins — political courage and class. I salute my wonderful friend and her principled leadership.— George Bush (@George Bush) 1538769807.0
People had little positive feedback however for the former President's praise for his protege.
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins That's why we made you a 1-term president.— Mark (@Mark) 1538769870.0
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins Here's to supporting corruption and perjury. It's the Republican platform.— RJ Gadz (@RJ Gadz) 1538770872.0
@RalfusJ @GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins https://t.co/oYoGfiE39c— CMMorgan #NeverAgain (@CMMorgan #NeverAgain) 1538773793.0
@Eytan___ @GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins The damn truth— Betty Maley (@Betty Maley) 1538773153.0
@GeorgeHWBush @maggieNYT @SenatorCollins That was NOT courageous. She sold us all out 😡— Impudent Cat (@Impudent Cat) 1538771650.0
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins Actually, Mr. Bush, she is not principled. She has a soft demeanor; very lady-like;… https://t.co/KZfM0UuQW2— Audrey Regan (left of center, not a socialist) (@Audrey Regan (left of center, not a socialist)) 1538772292.0
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins Just when I thought you might actually have a redeeming quality. Political courage a… https://t.co/DP4ehriqLk— KellyW (@KellyW) 1538771405.0
A few referenced allegations the former President himself faced.
In 2017, six women accused the former President of groping them during photos. The President's spokespeople apologized, but stated it was an attempt at humor and a result of Bush's age and not sexual in nature.
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins Thanks for reminding us of who you really are.— Janet1867 (@Janet1867) 1538771139.0
@janet1867 @GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins Maybe you should pinch Collins on the behind...let her know how proud you are.— TOGETHER We Can (@TOGETHER We Can) 1538772804.0
Some also brought up Bush's own nominee, Justice Clarence Thomas.
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins @GeorgeHWBush You’ve supported the appointment of TWO sex offenders to the Supreme Court. Now that’s classy!— jenny turner hall (@jenny turner hall) 1538771127.0
@GeorgeHWBush @SenatorCollins Clarence Thomas is no feather in your cap, George.— michele collins (@michele collins) 1538770924.0
The relationship between Collins and Bush goes back a number of years.
Welcome home to Kennebunkport, President Bush! I always love visiting with you at Walker’s Point. It’s great to hav… https://t.co/tiTeMekHy4— Sen. Susan Collins (@Sen. Susan Collins) 1526867394.0
After college, Collins worked as a DC political staffer for Maine Republican Congressman, William Cohen, from 1975 until 1987 during part of Bush's time as Vice President. Then—until her 1992 Bush appointment—Collins was a staffer for Maine Republican Governor Jock McKernon.
In 1992, sometimes Maine resident President Bush appointed Collins as the New England regional director for the Small Business Administration. The appointment only lasted until President Bill Clinton took office in 1993.
In 1994, Collins ran for Governor of Maine but came in third behind Democrat Joe Brennan and the winner, Independent Angus King. Her mentor, Cohen, went on to be appointed Secretary of Defense by Clinton from 1997-2001 and in 1996 with his endorsement, Collins ran for and won his vacated Senate seat.
Angus King later joined Collins in the Senate.
While the media frequently describes Collins as a moderate based on her past voting record, pundits noted that record changed in 2017 after the Senator decided not to run for Maine Governor in 2018. In October of 2017, Collins announced her decision to remain in the Senate until the end of her term in 2020.
Collins has yet to officially announce her plans for 2020 and beyond.