Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence) today expressed concerns about Republican candidate for United States Senate Robert Flanders’ comments regarding Dr Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Flanders made the comments yesterday in a television appearance on Dan Yorke State of Mind.
When asked about allegations made by Dr Blasey Ford, Flanders told Yorke, “You know, I’d feel differently about this Dan if it was truly a #MeToo situation where there were a raft of women making similar charges, as we had in the Weinstein and the Matt Lauer situations. What’s different about this is this is a single isolated accusation that really is uncorroborated by the only person who was a witness to it who says it was nonsense and it didn’t happen.”
Later in the interview, Flanders added, “The question that I have is to what extent are we going to dig into the juvenile experiences of candidates for all these kinds of office. You know, ‘he called me such and such a name on the playground and it’s traumatized me for the rest of my life.’”
Senator Goldin, an advocate in the State Legislature for women’s reproductive rights, victims of sexual harassment, and survivors of sexual violence, issued the following response:
“Mr. Flanders’ suggestion that Dr Blasey Ford’s serious allegation should be discounted as not ‘truly a #MeToo situation’ because there’s only one alleged victim is another insult to this brave woman who has come forward at great personal risk to her family and career to bring her story to the American people. This is one of the most important moments of the #MeToo movement in the eyes of women everywhere, especially the survivors of sexual harassment and assault.
A proper FBI investigation into Dr Blasey Ford’s allegation of an attempted rape that happened when she was a 15-year-old girl is not akin to an investigation of playground name calling, as the Republican candidate suggests. Mr. Flanders is attempting to minimize the voices of women to provide cover for President Trump to jam through a Supreme Court nominee who would roll back women’s rights. Mr. Flanders seems to be clueless about the impact of sexual assault on women, so let me be clear: women, regardless of political party, do not want our bodies touched without our consent, nor our voices silenced. The women of Rhode Island will send a message to Mr. Flanders at the polls in November.”