State Sen. Scott Newman drew the ire of the internet this week when he tweeted his opinion about Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her at a party 35 years ago.
Newman, a Hutchinson Republican, tweeted Monday: “Even if true, teenagers! Frankly, I don’t believe her. Almost 40yrs and now she self righteously comes forward to save us from a dangerous sex offender. This type of allegation seriously jeopardizes women with a legitimate claim, for who will believe them.”
A bit more than 24 hours later, Newman drew more than 4,000 responses, mostly with mocking comments charging that he was excusing attempted rape.
“I will pool money to put this tweet on a billboard,” wrote @TamarraNetzloff, whose profile says the user is based in Ham Lake, Minn.
Newman, in his third term and currently chairman of the Transportation Committee, did not immediately respond to a phone message. Spokeswoman Katie Fulkerson said he’s traveling and can’t be reached. Newman was previously an administrative law judge and deputy sheriff, and the GOP nominee for state attorney general in 2014.
He was the lead Senate author of an unsuccessful attempt to require people to use bathrooms and changing rooms that match their “biological sex.” During that political row, Newman said the transgender community’s assertive opposition to his bill persuaded him that they are “not the bullied. They are the bullies.”
Ford, who is now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California, wrote a letter to a Democratic lawmaker and told the Washington Post that she was at a party in high school when Kavanaugh, who she said was drunk, pinned her to a bed and groped her. When she tried to scream, she told the paper, he put his hand over her mouth.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” Ford told the Post. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
Kavanaugh has categorically denied the allegations.