GOP Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina thinks people need to 'lighten up' if they were offended by his comments mocking the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh.
Republicans aren't exactly known for taking sexual assault seriously, but one GOP lawmaker from South Carolina took things to a whole new level on Thursday when he mocked the sexual assault allegations facing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh — and in the process of doing so, joked about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped.
Speaking before an election debate in his district, Rep. Ralph Norman attempted to make light of the serious situation with what he considered a joke.
"Did y'all hear the latest, late-breaking news from the Kavanaugh hearings?" Norman asked the audience of about 100 people. "Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln."
South Carolina Democrats were quick to denounce Norman's remarks.
"Ralph Norman just proved he may be rich but he doesn't have any class," tweeted Trav Robertson, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, adding that "inappropriate doesn't describe his remarks."
Archie Parnell, Norman's Democratic opponent in South Carolina's 5th District, also condemned the comments, writing, "My opponent apparently thinks sexual assault is a joke. It is not. But I guess that’s the best we can expect from someone who pulled a loaded gun on his own constituents."
Norman, meanwhile, still doesn't seem to think he did anything wrong.
He defended his offensive "joke" in a series of tweets Thursday, writing that his comments "were meant to add a bit of levity to a very serious debate between me and my Democrat opponent and to point to the circus-like atmosphere that Washington DC has become," adding, "People really need to learn to lighten up."
Norman's failed attempt at humor comes amid allegations that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted and attempted to rape a girl in high school.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the allegations for Monday, but Kavanaugh's accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, has requested that the FBI investigate the matter further as part of its background investigation into the Supreme Court nominee.
However, Republicans appear determined to move ahead with the confirmation vote and apparently aren't interested in knowing any more about Kavanaugh's history before voting to appoint him to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately for the GOP, the American people don't think sexual assault is a joke — and the proof is in Kavanaugh's plummeting approval ratings. While Republicans have the numbers to confirm him, Americans have the numbers to make them pay a political price for doing so.
And come November, Republicans may find that they're no longer the ones laughing.