Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and his wife left a restaurant in Washington, D.C., Monday night after activists began shouting about allegations of sexual misconduct by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Videos posted online by a Washington, D.C.-based activist group called Smash Racism DC showed a group of protesters confronting Cruz and his wife, Heidi, at a restaurant, chanting “we believe survivors.” One video showed an activist, who identified herself as a survivor of sexual assault and a constituent of his, asking Cruz directly about Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by two women, which he denies.
“I know that you’re very close friends with Mr. Kavanaugh,” the activist says in the video. “And do you believe survivors, sir?”
As the couple sits down at a table at the restaurant, the activist continues: “Senator, I have a right to know what your position is on Brett Kavanaugh.”
Cruz responds: “God bless you, ma’am.”
The protester then asks Cruz to speak with Kavanaugh about the accusations made against the nominee. Moments later, Cruz and his wife put on their jackets, and walk through the crowd of heckling protesters toward the exit. One protester yells, “Vote no on Kavanaugh,” and another raises her middle finger at Cruz as he walks toward the exit.
Kavanaugh has been accused by sexual misconduct by two different women. California professor Christine Blasey Ford came forward publicly with her story in mid-September, claiming Kavanaugh pinned her down to a bed, covered her mouth and attempted to remove her clothing when they were in high school in the 1980s — a story Ford shared with The Washington Post. This week, another woman, Deborah Ramirez, came forward in an interview with The New Yorker, claiming Kavanaugh exposed himself to her while at a college party.
Ford is set to testify about her allegation in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Cruz is a member of that committee, and has voiced his support for Kavanaugh, who was nominated by President Donald Trump. Earlier this month, Cruz, who is currently fighting to keep his seat in the Senate against Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, called for Ford to testify publicly.
On Tuesday morning, O’Rourke criticized the protesters in a tweet.
“These allegations are serious and deserve to be treated with respect,” Cruz said in a statement, according to The Texas Tribune. “Professor Ford should have a full opportunity to tell her story before the Judiciary Committee, and Judge Kavanaugh should have a full opportunity to defend himself. That hearing should be sooner, rather than later, so the committee can make the best assessment possible of the allegations.”
Several other prominent Republicans, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, have also recently been accosted by protesters in public places.