There were fireworks on Fox News Wednesday night, as American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp (shown above left) and Democratic strategist Antjuan Seawright (above right) mixed it up over misleading statements made by Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Hillary Clinton about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s feelings about birth control.
“Now [Democrats] are reverting to one of their tried-and-true tactics,” said host Laura Ingraham on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” Wednesday night. “[They’ve been] willfully deceiving their supporters.”
Ingraham said the comments by Harris during Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings regarding his position on birth control pills as abortifacients — substances that induce abortion — were taken “wildly out of context.”
Later, Ingraham said the statements reflected a “purposeful distortion of what Judge Kavanaugh actually wrote in an opinion.”
The Pulitzer Prize-winning site Politifact agreed with that. On Monday, it rated the statement “false.”
The Washington Post’s fact checkers followed suit, giving the Kamala Harris statements their worst rating, “four Pinocchios.”
Kavanaugh was actually quoting the opinion of a group called Priests for Life.
Hillary Clinton then repeated Harris’ already-proven false statement in a series of tweets on Wednesday, adding that Kavanaugh’s statements should “set off a lot of alarm bells,” calling it a “dog whistle” to the Right.
I want to be sure we're all clear about something that Brett Kavanaugh said in his confirmation hearings last week. He referred to birth-control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs." That set off a lot of alarm bells for me, and it should for you, too.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) September 12, 2018
Seawright, the Democratic strategist, wasn’t having it.
He refused to acknowledge that Clinton willfully mischaracterized what Kavanaugh said.
He then defended both Harris’ and Clinton’s inaccurate characterizations this way: “They were trying to inform the public the dangerous road we’re going down when we are on this road to confirming this judge to the highest court in the land for a lifetime.”
“Is this where we are now?” asked Ingraham. “By any means necessary? If you have to lie about him, do it, because you’ve got to stop his nomination.”
“To act like Brett Kavanaugh said anything about his jurisprudence on birth control at the hearing is lie,” said the American Conservative Union’s Schlapp flatly.
“I think they do a great disservice to all of us,” he added, saying that such willful mischaracterizations stifle “meaty conversations” on constitutional questions that could be good for America.
At that point, Seawright took the “what about” path, arguing that Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s confirmation during the Obama administration years.
When Schlapp said that the blocking was a “wonderful decision,” Seawright said that was an example of “hypocrisy at its best.”
“Your party doesn’t run the Senate now, Antjuan. You don’t get to determine when the hearings are,” Schlapp charged back.
“The Republican Party thrives on misinformation and lies at this point. That’s why Donald Trump makes it so popular right now,” said Seawright.
“Candidates and parties will be rewarded when they shoot straight,” Schlapp declared, noting that the American public is smart enough to sort through some of the rhetoric dished out by both sides.
“By the way,” Schlapp added, “that’s why Donald Trump’s being rewarded.”
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Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.