WOODBINE – Nine out of ten New Jerseyans know where they stand on President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Bob Hugin is one of the 9% who hasn’t decided yet.
Hugin on Tuesday said he had no reason to disbelieve Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford, a California college professor who has accused the judge of sexually assaulting her at a party in the 1980’s.
“I don’t have any reason to disbelieve anybody,” Hugin said when asked if he believed Ford at a press conference following an unrelated event. “I don’t have any evidence that says I should not believe anybody. I’m looking forward to the FBI investigation in the next couple days and finding if things are corroborated or not, but I have no reason to not believe anybody who’s testified under oath as to what they’ve said.”
Hugin has said he will decide whether Kavanaugh should be confirmed after the bureau releases the results of a week-long investigation into the allegations made against Kavanaugh by Ford and Deborah Ramirez, who alleges Kavanaugh exposed himself to her when they were both students at Yale University.
That investigation is due to conclude on Friday, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday that the nominee, who made it through the Senate Judiciary Committee in a vote along party lines last week, will see a floor vote this week, likely meaning such a vote will take place Friday or Saturday.
Hugin is one of increasingly few in the state who have yet to make a determination on the nominee.
A Fairleigh Dickinson University poll released Tuesday morning found that only 9% of likely voters were unsure if Kavanaugh should be confirmed, while 1% refused to answer. Of those polled, 53% said his nomination should be rejected while 38% said he should be confirmed.
Those figures were split down party lines, with wide majorities of Republicans and Democrats supporting confirming and rejecting the nominee, respectively.
Independents were more evenly split, but they supported rejecting Kavanaugh’s nomination, 40%-32%.
Biding time is likely a smart play for Hugin, given that taking a stance on either side would likely alienate voters – Democrats, Republicans or otherwise – whose support he’ll need to win a statewide election in a state like New Jersey.
But the candidate insisted that his waiting was borne out of prudence, not political expedience.
“For me to say that I would support somebody when there’s more information coming out, I don’t think that makes me credible,” Hugin said. “Again, I’m not afraid of making judgments – I’ve done that all my life.”
The fact remains however, that whatever the reality may be, can be taken as a statement.
Cape May County Freeholder Director Gerald Thornton, who appeared with Hugin at the event preceding the press conference, backed Hugin while railing against unspecified issues in the nation’s capital.
“Silence is consent,” Thornton said.