Alaska Public Media Washington Correspondent Liz Ruskin and Alaska News Nightly Host Casey Grove discuss Thursday’s extraordinary U.S. Senate hearing. Professor Christine Blasey Ford alleged she was attacked when she was 15. The man she accuses, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, denied he did any such thing and fought to keep his nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court alive. This transcript has been lightly edited.
GROVE: Liz, the whole world wants to know what Sen. Lisa Murkowski thinks about this. What can you tell us?
RUSKIN: Casey, I have a confession to make: I did not find Sen. Murkowski today… I know she canceled an Energy committee hearing so that she and every senator on the committee could watch the Kavanaugh hearing in real time. I do know one reporter from the energy trade press talked to her briefly today. Murkowski told E&E News that she found Ford “very credible” but she was withholding her judgment until she heard from Judge Kavanaugh, who at that point hadn’t testified yet.
I do have one vignette to relay.
GROVE: OK. Set that up for me.
RUSKIN: I went to the Hart Senate Office Building, where Murkowski’s office is, and ran into, of all people, Joan Baez who was there as part of a solemn, slow moving protest in the atrium. They were doing this call-and-response thing.
(Plays tape of chanting crowd.)
I think they were echoing Professor Ford’s words there: “I believe it’s my civic duty to tell what happened to me.” And if you listen really carefully you can hear the Capitol Police telling them to cease and desist.
GROVE: Interesting. Liz, Do we know what Sen. Murkowski is hearing from Alaskans?
RUSKIN: Certainly she’s hearing from a lot of Alaskans, particularly Native groups, and women, and advocates of the Affordable Care Act urging her to vote no. Pollster Ivan Moore just released some survey results showing more Alaskans want her to confirm than reject. But among her base, the people who said they had a positive view of Sen. Murkowski, far more of them wanted her to vote no on Kavanaugh. And Moore said the survey ran Friday to Tuesday, and he said opinions were in flux.