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Congressman Joe Kennedy Weighs In On A Kavanaugh Midterm Bump

Congressman Joe Kennedy appeared on Greater Boston Tuesday night to discuss Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and the Republican party just weeks before the midterm elections.

In the wake of Kavanaugh’s swearing-in, some of Kennedy’s Democratic colleagues have discussed holding further hearings into allegations of sexual misconduct, as well as impeachment.

“I think making sure the American people — and Congress — understands exactly what happened, if there was malfeasance, that he’s held accountable," Kennedy said. "I think that’s the very least of what we can expect out of our Supreme Court."

Kennedy drew lines from the Kavanaugh hearings to President Donald Trump’s time in office, echoing some of the stump speeches he has given across the country while campaigning for Democrats.

“This is not just an election based off of Kavanagh," Kennedy said. "This is an election based off the character and integrity of the American public. That’s why people are fired up. And that’s why we’re going to win.”

Kennedy said that he could imagine a move to remove Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.

“I think making sure that the American public knows exactly what happened is an important goal,” he said.

Kennedy said he does not think that Democrats share any of the blame for the Kavanaugh situation.

“Mitch McConnell has been at the heart of numerous attempts to undermine the character and integrity and bipartisan nature of our Senate for years,” Kennedy said. “And now we’re seeing the repercussions of it.”

Kennedy also discussed his work fighting for increased access to mental health services — an issue that has been central to his time in office.

“Our response as a nation has been woefully inadequate,” Kennedy said.

The congressman discussed a package of bills aimed at addressing the country’s mental health crisis that Kennedy called just "fine" and only “a half step forward.”

“Included in that package is a bill that I’m proud of ... that pregnant women and kids — poor kids — are guaranteed access to behavioral health services,” he said.

Those services are not currently guaranteed, and Trump is expected to sign the bill into law, Kennedy said.

Host Jim Braude asked about Kennedy’s consideration of a presidential run — a question posed to many Massachusetts politicians. Kennedy laughed off the question.

“No, I’ve got absolutely no plans,” he said, shaking his head. “I am not looking at it. I don’t know what would change for me to look at it.”

Kennedy’s former law school professor and current U.S. senator, Elizabeth Warren, teased a presidential consideration earlier this month and said that she would take a closer look after the November elections.

“I think that there’s an awful lot of folks from Massachusetts who might be looking at it, and I think all of them would make great presidents,” Kennedy said.

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