Cramer Has “Akin-like tendencies that make a lot of people nervous.”
(BISMARCK, ND) – Kevin Cramer is back at it again – boldly re-announcing his tepid interest in joining a legislative body he claims to loath. But at this late stage, it’s worth rewinding to the Cramer Gaffe Machine that soured GOP leaders on his candidacy for the better part of last year – and left them empty handed on viable alternatives.
When Cramer’s “penchant for controversial remarks,” reached a fever pitch last year, his “out of control”behavior caused Republican faithful to panic, likening him to failed Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin – the former U.S. Congressman whose own penchant for ‘unfiltered,’ crude comments tanked his political career. Now that GOP leaders are back to coaxing Cramer into a Hail Mary run after vetting a parade of even more unsavory alternatives, the question is: Will the Cramer Gaffe Machine that initially deterred Republicans continue to fuel him in a Senate run?
“It’s pretty clear that Kevin Cramer has spent more time running his mouth than delivering real, legislative accomplishments for North Dakota families – perhaps that’s why his party searched under every rock for someone else and came up short,” said Scott McNeil, Executive Director of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL. “North Dakotans deserve a U.S. Senator who works hard, reaches across the aisle and gets results – not one who kowtows to party leaders and embarrasses North Dakotans in the headlines with his disrespectful, thoughtless comments.”
As Cramer flirts – again – with a Senate campaign and flails for media attention, let’s take a look back at some of the comments he’s become best known for (hint: they’re not very senatorial):
1. TRASH-TALKING WOMEN
True to form, instead of apologizing for his disrespectful statements – Cramer doubled down, accusing his female colleagues of having a “disease” where they “groan and moan and hiss.”
Just like your average schoolyard bully, Cramer told the Grand Forks Herald that his remarks were intended to insult and diminish his female Congressional colleagues.
Rather than ‘North Dakota Nice,’ Cramer’s attacks are often undignified and mean-spirited.
Last April, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer made an offensive – and nearly universally condemned – remark comparing Syrian President Bashar Assad to Adolf Hitler, stating incorrectly that Hilter “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Even though Spicer apologized, calling his own comments “inexcusable and reprehensible” – because millions of Jews were, in fact, murdered by Hitler using chemical weapons – guess who ran to his defense?
None other than Kevin Cramer, saying Spicer’s comments were “not without some validity.” Cramer then doubled down again, saying, “It’s a factual statement.”
Not only has he voted dozens of times on legislation that would strip millions of Americans of their health care, raise premiums, add to the deficit, destabilize the insurance markets and increase costs for people with pre-existing conditions – he’s also spoken disparagingly about people who were born with pre-existing conditions at no fault of their own.
In an interview with a right-wing TV personality, Cramer said, “we’re not going to allow you to just abuse the system because you have a pre-existing condition.” And in another interview, he insinuated that people with pre-existing conditions were trying to “game the system.”
Maybe Cramer should consider that women with breast cancer and children born with birth defects don’t want to “game the system” – they just want affordable, quality care without the fear of bankruptcy.
Newspapers across North Dakota – from the Grand Forks Herald to the Williston Herald – roundly condemned Cramer’s assault on the First Amendment. Another Fargo columnist slammed Cramer, saying: “The congressman’s latest stunt, however, crosses lines of congressional propriety and common constitutional understanding of the role of a free press.”
North Dakota is home to nearly 40,000 Native Americans – but they certainly can’t count on Cramer.
At a meeting regarding the protection of women and children in Indian Country, Cramer physically threatened members of the Spirit Lake Tribal Council, saying he wanted to “(w)ring the Tribal Council’s neck and slam them against the wall.”
Cramer also said that due to the Violence Against Women Act, “As a non-Native man, I do not feel secure stepping onto the reservation now.”
As a state with five tribal reservations and one of the highest percentages of Native Americans, we need a Senator who will fight for all those in Indian Country – and Cramer has demonstrated he isn’t up for the job.