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. But they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the ‘more likely than not’ standard,” GOP Sen. Susan Collins said. https://t.co/0KkwQcAUoK pic.twitter.com/LAHQRZ8vqE
— NPR Politics (@nprpolitics) October 5, 2018
Many online took exception to Collins’ attacks against sexual assault survivors that she claimed she found credible, but ‘mistaken’ in identifying their attacker.
I have a reasonable doubt as to his innocence, don’t you? You would accept a job applicant with felonious allegations surrounding him when there are other applicants that are better suited?
— GREGORY BORGMAN (@GregB305) October 5, 2018
“I don’t know if Mr. Kavanaugh has a history of assault or if he actually has a drinking problem, but I do know that he might And you shouldn’t be on the Supreme Court if you might. You shouldn’t be on the People’s Court if you might. Sometimes might is enough. I/2
— Lohubb (@theRealLoSmif) October 5, 2018
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 might be a crackhead. I’m not going to have sex with you if you might have dated Charlie Sheen.” -Michael Che nailed it. 2/2
— Lohubb (@theRealLoSmif) October 5, 2018
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 (@GeorgeHWBush) October 5, 2018
People had little positive feedback however for the former President’s praise for his protege.
That’s why we made you a 1-term president.
— Mark (@McLovinSJ) October 5, 2018
Here’s to supporting corruption and perjury. It’s the Republican platform.
— RJ Gadz (@RalfusJ) October 5, 2018
— CMMorgan #NeverAgain (@SoCallls) October 5, 2018
The damn truth
— Betty Maley (@MaleyBetty) October 5, 2018
That was NOT courageous. She sold us all out 😡
— Impudent Cat (@ImpudentCat) October 5, 2018
Actually, Mr. Bush, she is not principled. She has a soft demeanor; very lady-like; the way all you old guys like their women to be; but she has no fight inside of her – she defers to men for all the answers. Today, she became the high priestess of gender betrayal.
— Audrey Regan -feminist not misandrist- (@audreyregan) October 5, 2018
Just when I thought you might actually have a redeeming quality.
Political courage and class? This is going to continue to rip the country apart for years to come.
— KellyW (@kellyw8461) October 5, 2018
— TheTimeIsNow (@bellelula3) October 5, 2018
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.
Thanks for reminding us of who you really are.
— Janet1867 (@janet1867) October 5, 2018
Maybe you should pinch Collins on the behind…let her know how proud you are.
— SDLawRox (@duggans) October 5, 2018
Some also brought up Bush’s own nominee, Justice Clarence Thomas.
@GeorgeHWBush You’ve supported the appointment of TWO sex offenders to the Supreme Court. Now that’s classy!
— jenny turner hall (@jennyturnerhall) October 5, 2018
Clarence Thomas is no feather in your cap, George.
— michele collins (@michele5411) October 5, 2018
The relationship between Collins and Bush goes back a number of years.
— Sen. Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins) May 21, 2018
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.