A Republican congressman up for re-election in November joked about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg being ‘groped’ by Abraham Lincoln during a debate.
Ralph Norman, South Carolina’s representative for its 5th District, made the comment with reference to sexual assault allegations brought against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, before squaring off against his Democratic competitor, Archie Parnell, in Rock Hill on Thursday.
‘Did y’all hear the latest, late-breaking news from the Kavanaugh hearings? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out [saying[ that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln,’ he said, to laughs and applause.
Parnell apparently made no mention about the comment during the debate, but later tweeted criticism of Norman, 65.
Republican congressman Ralph Norman (left), who is up for re-election in November, joked about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (right) being ‘groped’ by Abraham Lincoln during a debate in South Carolina on Thursday; Norman is seen at left in Washington, DC on May 16; Justice Ginsburg is seen at right participating in a panel discussion at Columbia University Law School in New York on Friday
‘My opponent apparently thinks sexual assault is a joke. It is not,’ Parnell wrote on Thursday afternoon.
‘But I guess that’s the best we can expect from someone who pulled a loaded gun on his own constituents.’
The gun reference by Parnell referred to Norman bringing a firearm to a constituents’ meeting in April, where he made another off-color comment about a congressman who was shot during a similar gathering of her electorate.
‘I’m not going to be a Gabby Giffords,’Norman said, during the ‘coffee with constituents’ meeting at a Rock Hill restaurant.
At the meeting, he placed a loaded .38-caliber handgun on the table for several minutes while discussing gun rights, USA Today reported.
Giffords, a former representative for Arizona’s 8th District, was shot in 2011 during a gathering of voters, outside of a grocery store.
Norman didn’t think there was anything wrong with his comment then, and he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the sexual assault joke he made on Thursday, either.
He defended himself on Twitter, replying to Parnell’s criticism by implying Parnell is guilty of sexual misconduct.
Norman’s opponent, Democratic candidate Archie Parnell, apparently made no mention about the comment during the debate, but later tweeted criticism of Norman; Norman responded by calling out Parnell for domestic abuse, that he admitted to committing against his former wife in the 1970s
‘Perhaps we should have a debate about your own abuse and harassment of women, Parnell,’ Norman wrote.
Norman was referencing domestic abuse that Parnell has admitted to, involving his former wife in the 1970s, which came to light in May.
‘Forty-five years ago, while still a college student, I did something that I have regretted every single day since,’ Parnell said in a statement, according to the Post and Courier.
‘In response to actions I feel unnecessary to specify, I lashed out and became violent with other people, including my former wife, which led to a divorce and monumental change in my life. These actions were inexcusable, wrong and downright embarrassing.’
Norman also posted a thread defending his sexual assault joke, at the expense of Justice Ginsburg, 85, at the debate.
Norman’s inappropriate remark was prompted by sexual assault allegations lodged against SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh (pictured), stemming from the 1980s; Kavanaugh is seen here on September 6, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington for the third day of his confirmation hearing to replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy
‘My comments earlier today 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. People really need to learn to lighten up,’ he wrote.
‘Clearly my opponent understood it that way since for the next hour we engaged in a substantive discussion about our many differences without mention of my comments.’
‘Once again, the Democrats and the media have taken an event that was newsworthy for so many substantive reasons and are now only adding more clowns and distractions to the current circus.’
Norman posted a thread defending his sexual assault joke, at the expense of Justice Ginsburg
The joke which stirred all of this up was in reference to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s harrowing allegations of sexual assault and fear for her own life, during an encounter she described as occurring with Kavanaugh and one of his peers, one summer in the early 1980s.
Ford, now a 51-year-old California professor, detailed being pinned to a bed on her back and groped over top of her clothing, as Kavanaugh grinded his body against hers and fumbled attempts to remove her clothing while his friend watched.
She said she tried to scream, but Kavanaugh stopped her by putting his hand over her mouth.
‘I thought he might inadvertently kill me,’ Ford told the Washington Post in an article published on Sunday. ‘He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.’
She is expected to testify before the Senate about those allegations as soon as later next week, while still demanding an FBI investigation into her claims.
Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.
The third candidate on the ballot for South Carolina’s 5th District in the US House of Representatives is Michael Chandlers, of the Constitution Party.
All seats in the House are up for grabs in the upcoming general election, on November 6.
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, now a 51-year-old California professor, detailed being pinned to a bed on her back and groped over top of her clothing, as Kavanaugh grinded his body against hers and fumbled attempts to remove her clothing while his friend watched