Reporter: Senator Heitkamp “Literally Running Scared” From Reporters


FILE -- Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) speaks with reporters on her way to a weekly luncheon on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 24, 2018. Republicans believe Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation could help them retain control of the Senate in the midterm elections but cause a backlash among women and independent voters, hurting GOP chances in House races. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times)

Earlier today Senate candidate Kevin Cramer took calls on my radio show from listeners. One of the topics which came up, not surprisingly, was the Kavanaugh confirmation controversy.

Cramer got after Heitkamp a bit for what he says is a squandering of North Dakota’s influence over that process by her refusal to make a decision on a confirmation vote. “Why doesn’t she have an opinion?” Cramer asked before noting that the delay probably has something to do with partisan politics.

I suspect he’s right, and to that point check this report out from a Bloomberg reporter who said Heitkamp was “literally running scared” from reporters:

Heitkamp’s staff is claiming that the Senator was just hustling to an important vote in the Senate chamber…

…but that might be more believable if this sort of fleeing before questioning were totally in-character for Heitkamp. Not only do in-state media types like me have trouble booking the Senator for an interview, or even getting a reply to an email, but Heitkamp has made a habit out of avoiding reporters in Washington D.C. in recent months.

Back in July reporters for Roll Call and The Hill reported that Heitkamp was “practically jogging” to get away from questions about Kavanaugh. And just last month a CNN reporter said Heitkamp “bolted,” again from Kavanaugh questions.

Did Heitkamp have a good excuse to run away from reporters today? Maybe, but what about all the other times?

Anyway, this response made me laugh: