Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti said Tuesday that Republicans will be in trouble in the 2018 midterm elections if Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court is withdrawn.
"If the nomination is withdrawn, then you can kiss the base goodbye in November," Continetti told MSNBC host Chuck Todd on "MTP Daily."
Continetti noted that, after the first sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh, Republicans wanted to treat the accuser, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, fairly and give her an opportunity to tell her story. After the second allegation against Kavanaugh made by former classmate Deborah Ramirez, however, Continetti said that the conservative base rallied around the Supreme Court nominee.
"The second allegation from Ms. Ramirez in the New Yorker magazine had the perhaps unintended consequence of rallying the conservative base around Judge Kavanaugh's nomination," he said. "When it was Dr. Ford versus Kavanaugh, I think there was great trepidation among the Republican Party, a willingness to have her have her say, to treat her as accusers should be treated fairly. Once the New Yorker piece came out … that spurred Republicans to say we demand a vote on Kavanaugh."
Continetti noted that the New York Times reported that it did not publish its story on the second allegation because it could not corroborate Ramirez's claims.
"I think when Ford came out, [Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck] Grassley [R., Iowa] said, ‘Well we need to take this allegation seriously,'" Continetti said. "The negotiations kept happening … they finally reached the commitment [for Ford to testify before the committee on Thursday] … and, within 24 hours of that commitment, the second accuser comes forward in a New Yorker article that the New York Times said it did not go with because it could not find the corroboration."
President Donald Trump has called the allegations against Kavanaugh and the delays in scheduling Ford's testimony sought by Democrats "completely political."
Continetti referenced the view on the political right that Democrats are playing politics with the allegations against Kavanaugh in an attempt to delay his nomination until after the midterm elections.
"The attitude on the right was that the Democratic strategy since day one of these hearings has been to delay the nomination past the election, in the hopes that the Senate is captured by the Democrats and then they can hold that seat open, theoretically, for two years," he said.
Senate Republicans have indicated their commitment to continue with Kavanaugh's nomination, and the judiciary committee is scheduled to hold a hearing with the nominee and Ford on Thursday.