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GOP Sen. Orrin Hatch on Ford: “She’s attractive, a nice person”
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing with Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of a sexual assault. Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) set off a firestorm Thursday during a break in Palo Alto University professor Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, when he called Ford an “attractive, good witness.”

Hatch, who made the remarks to a gaggle of reporters outside the hearing room in Capitol Hill, was asked to clarify what he meant by “attractive.” He said it meant she was “pleasing.”

“She’s attractive, a nice person,” Hatch said. “I wish her well.”

Hatch’s comment is a window into why Republicans chose Rachel Mitchell, a prosecutor with experience with sexual assault victims, to ask questions, rather than have GOP members on the Senate Judiciary Committees — all of whom are white men — do the questioning.

Still, bringing in Mitchell doesn’t seem to be helping Republicans either, with Republicans expressing concern about how Ford’s testimony might impact Kavanaugh’s nomination.

“Everything just seemed authentic,” former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) said on CNN. “And that’s a big problem for Brett Kavanaugh.”