South Carolina Republican Rep. Ralph Norman: "Did y'all hear the latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln." https://t.co/qfEneGbxxZ pic.twitter.com/p51z9UZkEt— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 20, 2018
GOP Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, who once sparked criticism for showing off his loaded handgun during a meeting with constituents, has joined the long list of Republicans who have publicly mocked the sexual assault allegations made by Palo Alto college professor Christine Blasey Ford against President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Opening an election debate in his hometown, Norman asked the crowd at the Kiwanis Club of Rock Hill if they had heard about the latest misconduct allegation in Washington, D.C, according to The Post and Courier of Charleston
He then proceeded to make a crude joke about iconic 85-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Did y’all hear this latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings?” Norman said. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.”
Needless to say, the tasteless joke did not draw much response from the audience.
As the local newspaper reported, Norman “appeared to elicit some scattered nervous laughter and applause.”
Social media users, including the official Twitter accounts of South Carolina Democratic Party and Kiwanis Club, also didn’t hold back their criticism:
Kiwanis clubs exist to help children. One way to help is to understand candidates’ positions on relevant issues; many Kiwanis clubs hold open forums like this for political candidates. Statements such as the one from Rep. Ralph Norman do not reflect The Objects of Kiwanis.— Kiwanis (@Kiwanis) September 20, 2018
I'm not sure if Rep. Ralph Norman should write a hand-written apology to Ruth Bader Ginsburg or resign his seat tomorrow. A US congressman making a joke not even a 15-year-old boy would laugh at.— Nathaniel Meyersohn (@nmeyersohn) September 20, 2018
It's men like this who mock Sexual Assault, that allow it to continue! Its is no laughing matter. Sexual Assault is a criminal act that causes shame, fear and physchlogical damage. Ralph Norman should be ashamed of himself! https://t.co/VX0qdePc1M— Martha Cochran (@MarthaCochran12) September 20, 2018
Congressman Ralph Norman made a SEXUAL ASSAULT joke about Ruth Bader Ginsberg.— Isa-Lee Wolf (@IsaLeeWolf) September 20, 2018
The joke was also disgustingly ageist.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT A JOKE.
SEXUAL ASSAULT IS NOT A PUNCHLINE.
Ralph Norman doesn't belong in Congress.
Send Archie instead.https://t.co/AEwJkGizuj
Norman was facing off against his Democratic rival Archie Parnell in the debate when he cracked the offensive joke.
“My opponent apparently thinks sexual assault is a joke,” Parnell said in a statement. “It is not.”
The Republican candidate has not released a statement as of yet.
Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of assault, told The Washington Post she thought the judge would “inadvertently kill her” as he held her down with his hand on her mouth to drown her protests.
She alleged when Kavanaugh tried pulling her clothing, another one of his classmates, Mark Judge, was present in the room. They played loud music so that any yell for help would not be heard. She managed to escape after the SCOTUS nominee’s friend allegedly jumped on them. Kavanaugh and his friend stumbled after her, as she locked herself in the bathroom.
Ford as 15 at the time while her alleged assailant was 17-years-old. She described the altercation as a “rape attempt” to one of her therapists.
Meanwhile, Kavanaugh has denied all the allegations.
Banner / Thumbnail : Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images