‘With the “Top Gun” slogan ringing in my head, I slowly reached for her breast. After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my “mark”…’
(Andrew Seidman, The Philadelphia Inquirer) Sen. Cory Booker has been outspoken in opposing President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, going so far as to attempt to disrupt the start of the hearings from the Senate floor.
After leaking confidential documents during the confirmation hearings earlier this month, Booker challenged Republicans to bring ethics charges against him. And when a woman came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct dating to Kavanaugh’s high school years, Booker joined fellow Democrats in calling for further delay of the confirmation proceedings so that the FBI can investigate the matter.
Now that Kavanaugh’s once-clear path to confirmation has been lined with hurdles, conservatives are pointing to Booker’s decades-old admission that he groped a girl in high school as one of many examples of Democratic hypocrisy and disingenuous behavior when sexual assault is at issue.
A spokesperson for the New Jersey Democrat on Friday dismissed the criticism, given that Booker disclosed the episode himself in a 1992 column in Stanford’s student newspaper.
Spokesperson Kristin Lynch said in a statement, first reported by The Washington Post, that the column reflected on Booker’s attitudes around sex and alcohol on campus, and suggested his disillusionment with a culture that saw sex as a “game.”
“These attacks ring hollow to anyone who reads the entirety of the column, which is in fact a direct criticism of a culture that encourages young men to take advantage of women—written at a time when so candidly discussing these issues was rare,” the statement said.
The Daily Caller unearthed Booker’s column during his first run for U.S. Senate in 2013. Booker, then the mayor of Newark, N.J., won that special election and was re-elected the following year to a full six-year term. Today he’s considered a possible contender for the White House in 2020.
Lynch applied further spin by dismissing the scandal as old news, saying it had been the subject of “right-wing attacks that have circulated online and in partisan outlets for the past five years”–even as the Left demands a full FBI investigation into allegations of an incident that would have happened two years before Booker’s assault.
Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor in California, has accused Kavanaugh of groping her during a high school party around 1982.
Kavanaugh has denied assaulting anyone or even attending such a party as Ford described.
In Booker’s column, which ran with the headline “So much for stealing second,” he describes what happened on New Year’s Eve in 1984, when he was 15 years old.
“As the ball dropped, I leaned over to a hug friend and she met me instead with an overwhelming kiss,” he writes.
Booker, who grew up in suburban Harrington Park, N.J., writes of remembering debating his next “‘move’ as if it were a chess game.”
“With the ‘Top Gun’ slogan ringing in my head, I slowly reached for her breast. After having my hand pushed away once, I reached my ‘mark,'” the column reads. (For the record, “Top Gun” did not exist in 1984.)
It continues: “Our groping ended soon and while no ‘relationship’ ensued, a friendship did.”
Booker goes on to describe learning about sex during his adolescence as a “game,” adding that a friend in high school encouraged drinking as means to get in bed with women.
(Staff writer Jonathan Tamari contributed to this report.)
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