Struggling in North Dakota: Heitkamp tries to walk back vote against Kavanaugh with anti-Democrat ad

by WorldTribune Staff, October 16, 2018

In voting no on the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota went against 60 percent of her constituents who favored Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Now, with her re-election in serious jeopardy, Heitkamp in a new campaign ad has pledged to “put party aside and do what’s right for North Dakota.”

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. / Getty Images

Floundering in the polls, Heitkamp attempted to inject new life into her campaign with an ad in which she says:

“Every day I see how neither political party understands North Dakota. Too many Democrats don’t appreciate our commitment to faith and self-reliance. Or recognize that we know how to handle guns safely. And while Republicans too often side with the powerful, Democrats too often judge how we live.”

According to a RealClearPolitics’ poll composite, the first-term incumbent trails Republican opponent Rep. Kevin Cramer by an 8.7-point average. Cramer is ahead by double digits in several polls.

“The same senator who so willingly bowed to party demands on the Kavanaugh circus even as it gravely wounded her own re-election hopes now says she’s not really running as a Democrat after all,” columnist Joe Schaeffer wrote for on Oct. 14.

“The incoherence and lack of overall direction is startling,” Schaeffer wrote. “On one hand, Heitkamp is correctly determining that she must separate herself from a national Democratic Party that is seen as too radical by much of mainstream America, including North Dakotans. On the other hand, she is choosing to do this only after committing ritual suicide on behalf of that same radical national party agenda with her Kavanaugh vote.”

It appears that Heitkamp “was powerless in her Kavanaugh vote. Her Democratic base simply would not allow her to vote to confirm him,” Schaeffer noted. “So, after acceding to their demand at great personal cost, she now feels entitled to campaign against those same Democrats without fear of penalty. Heitkamp wants to portray herself as ‘above the fray’ in all of this but she seems to be trying to play both sides of the fence. It’s a disastrous compromise, especially for someone who was already trailing in the polls.”

Meanwhile, in the race to fill the seat of retiring Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker, Rep. Marsha Blackburn leads former Gov. Phil Bredesen in most polls, with a New York Times poll giving the Republican Blackburn a 14-point advantage.

Schaeffer noted that the Democrat Bredesen “chose the entirely different tack of publicly announcing that he would have voted to confirm Kavanaugh if he had been in the Senate at the time of the vote. The statement shows a political pragmatism rare among today’s shrill Democrats but it comes fraught with peril as well.”

In an undercover video, Project Veritas captured Bredesen campaign staffers asserting that Bredesen was lying about his position on Kavanaugh.

In the Project Veritas video, Will Stewart, a field organizer for the campaign, also commented on the stupidity of Tennessee voters as being the reason Bredesen made the public statement in favor of Kavanaugh.

From the Tennessee Star transcript of the recordings:
Journalist: Is it because of, like, the voters?
Stewart: Yeah. Yeah, that’s it
Journalist: So, he’ll lose voters if he says yes [to not confirming Kavanaugh]?
Stewart: Oh, straight up, yeah.
Journalist: Are the people of Tennessee that ignorant?
Stewart: Yeah.
Journalist: Are they that dumb to want to put somebody like that in power?
Stewart: Yeah

Schaeffer noted that “Stewart goes on to acknowledge that he and his fellow campaign workers are all part of the ‘Resistance’ against President Trump but are banned from discussing that in campaign headquarters as Bredesen pursues a moderate campaign.”

Bredesen’s campaign staff “is naturally made up of Democrats, and that means they adhere to the national party line with a strictness that can only be compared to religious fervor,” Schaeffer wrote.

“The key takeaway from all this is not just that his own paid staffers are calling Bredesen a liar and are firmly convinced he will be, quote, ‘a good Democrat’ once he gets in office. That’s bad enough. But more crucial down the line is the clear portrait presented here of your typical Democratic campaign field quarters.”

Schaeffer concluded: “Even on a campaign that aims to be moderate and reach out to Republican voters, the candidate’s staff is filled to the gills with radical Democrat True Believers. They seem to hold the power here, and the candidate, while trying to reach out to as many voters as he can, must be wary at all times of offending these radicals in his own nest.”

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