GOP Rep. Rohrabacher On Kavanaugh Accusation: ‘Give Me A Break!’

COSTA MESA, CA - JUNE 05: Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, 48th District, speaks to supporters on election night at his campaign headquarters on June 5, 2018 in Costa Mesa, California. California could play a determining role in upsetting Republican control the U.S. Congress. Democrats hope to win 10 of the 14 seats held by Republicans.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
David McNew/Getty Images North America

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) seems to think it’s ridiculous that allegations of teenage sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have become a part of the discussions over his confirmation.

“George Orwell, he was so incredibly insightful and could see what’s going to happen. But that’s the challenge you’re going to have. At least I didn’t have to deal with that,” he said. “Look at right now. This guy who’s going to be our Supreme Court justice, and he better be our Supreme Court judge, he’s a perfect candidate, and what do they say? ‘Well, in high school you did this.’ High school? Give me a break.”

An audio recording of Rohrabacher comments was shared with TPM and appears from context to have been made last Saturday at a campaign event with supporters, after the details of the accusation had been made public but before California-based professor Christine Blasey Ford agreed to identify herself in a Sunday interview with the Washington Post in which she accused Kavanaugh of drunkenly sexually assaulting her when the two of them were in high school.

Rohrabacher’s campaign didn’t respond to multiple requests for clarification as to when the event took place or about the remarks themselves. Rohrabacher’s wife and campaign manager Rhonda seemed to hang up the phone after this reporter identified himself as working for TPM during a brief conversation Wednesday morning. Subsequent calls went straight to voicemail, and she didn’t respond to text messages.

The iconoclastic congressman is a close ally of President Trump as well as Russia. He’s facing the toughest campaign of his career in an Orange County district that was once solidly Republican but has moved hard towards the center in recent years.

His comments seemed to be addressed at younger volunteers, and were made during longer remarks warning about Orwellian monitoring of private communications.

Rohrabacher said that a few years from now “every phone call you make, every deal you make, every time you click something up on your word processor, or your home computer, they’re going to have records of this. And then the bad guys are determining what’s hate speech and what’s not. And if you’re sending something over the internet or Facebook and they determine that it’s hateful, and of course anything that disagrees with their anti-American philosophy is hateful.”

He then transitioned into the aside about Kavanaugh.

The full audio of the event can be heard below, with his relevant remarks beginning around the nine-minute mark:

Rohrabacher also took swipes at “American liberal left politicians,” claiming that they long have been and will continue to “undermine things that make our country strong because they don’t believe in our country.”

As examples, he mentioned the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), and included the last two Democratic nominees for president.

“Obama was not a patriot. Obama and his gang don’t like the United States. Hillary did not like the United States. And what we’ve got is we’ve got an academe now that’s teaching these young people what’s wrong with us and they’re being taught to hate us,” he said at the top of his remarks.

The event appears to have taken place on Saturday, as the audio of the remarks must have occurred in recent days to include discussion of the accusations against Kavanaugh. Rohrabacher held a campaign grill-out for volunteers on Saturday, and on the audio recording there is discussion of the barbecue.

Here’s the flier advertising that event:

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