Ralph Norman is a South Carolina Republican congressman.
Thursday, at the beginning of a debate against his Democratic opponent, Archie Parnell, Norman made a joke about Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg getting molested. Not only that, he also named her offender as President Abraham Lincoln.
Norman is a freshman lawmaker. He won a special election last year and is currently running for reelection. Perhaps given his freshman status some would think we should cut him a little slack, but a lot of people think not.
Norman's exact words about RBG were,
"I thought I was going to be late."
"Did y'all hear the latest, late-breaking news from the Kavanaugh hearings? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln."
"I thought I was going to have to get back there but we don't."
The comment was an attempt to joke about Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's accusations against President Trump's SCOTUS nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, as well as a jab at Justice Ginsburg's age.
Watch his comments here:
Dr. Ford accused Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her when she was 15. She has been met with an overwhelming amount of support from alumnae from her all-girl's high school.
Kiwanis International, the civic organization that sponsored the debate issued an official statement condemning Norman's remarks. Kiwanis International governor Mary Jo Brubaker stated:
"The club was disappointed with Rep. Norman's joke about Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, alleging she had been groped by Abraham Lincoln. The joke was not funny, it was in poor taste, and it absolutely does not reflect the values of our club."
"Video and audio recordings of the debate clearly demonstrate that a very small minority of the audience laughed or clapped at his joke. The audience included club members and their guests, as well as a number of guests invited directly by the two campaigns."
After the video received national attention, Representative Norman, who has been endorsed by Trump, defended himself on Twitter after his remark sparked outrage instead of laughter. Norman placed the blame for his choices where he felt it belonged: his opponent, the media, Washington and anyone who did not laugh.
Norman also suggested people needed to "learn to lighten up."
1 of 3: My comments earlier today were meant to add a bit of levity to a very serious debate between me and my Demo… https://t.co/dHLU7TryEG— Ralph Norman (@Ralph Norman) 1537479623.0
2 of 3: Clearly my opponent understood it that way since for the next hour we engaged in a substantive discussion a… https://t.co/es678YqSSg— Ralph Norman (@Ralph Norman) 1537479639.0
3 of 3: Once again, the Democrats and the media have taken an event that was newsworthy for so many substantive rea… https://t.co/nLCEdzebCQ— Ralph Norman (@Ralph Norman) 1537479650.0
His opponent, Archie Parnell, also took to Twitter to make it clear that he did, in fact, take issue with Norman's comment.
My opponent apparently thinks sexual assault is a joke. It is not. But I guess that’s the best we can expect from s… https://t.co/bj0tTxV3H4— Archie Parnell (@Archie Parnell) 1537474089.0
Parnell's "loaded gun" reference is touching on the fact that earlier this year, Norman met with gun control activists then put a loaded gun on the table.
His stunt was to prove:
"guns don't shoot people; people shoot guns."
People are beyond tired of the GOP's blatant disregard for the seriousness of sexual misconduct in all its forms.
@treasaigh @RalphNorman You left out the part about totally disrespecting a sitting justice on the highest court in the land.— G-Ma Cathy (@G-Ma Cathy) 1537494217.0
@treasaigh @RalphNorman Nope. You're right. But I thought I'd mention it so @RalphNorman would know another one o… https://t.co/QLgA0CYaR8— G-Ma Cathy (@G-Ma Cathy) 1537528130.0
@RepRalphNorman thinks it is funny to open up with a joke about #Kavanaugh , saying Ruth Ginsburg was molested by L… https://t.co/BkGnZay5Cj— LadyJess (@LadyJess) 1537543215.0
@RalphNorman I don't ever plan on lightening up about sexual assault. No one should.— Shelley #BlackLivesMatter (@Shelley #BlackLivesMatter) 1537481503.0
@RalphNorman A comment that insults and denigrates others is not levity. It is a defect of character. Every woman a… https://t.co/DULPgt1Xkz— Axel Garcia (@Axel Garcia) 1537482661.0
The aging @GOP still believes sexual assault isn't real & MANY still publicly joke about it, clueless as ever. Co… https://t.co/ju6ADOcR39— BubbaWubba (@BubbaWubba) 1537513571.0
Men do not know when to stop... At anything Congressman jokes that Ruth Bader Ginsburg was molested by Lincoln… https://t.co/wRYrqG9g0a— Jewell40289493☮Don the Con Trump is a Traitor (@Jewell40289493☮Don the Con Trump is a Traitor) 1537502520.0
A representative from my state just made a joke RBG was molested by Lincoln. I cannot begin with how many marginal… https://t.co/iFaQen97Ri— Murder, Inc. (@Murder, Inc.) 1537497036.0
@RalphNorman Alternatively, you could learn that rape isn't a punchline.— The Hoarse Whisperer (@The Hoarse Whisperer) 1537548366.0
@RalphNorman Sexual assault as a punchline is not amusing. I am sure if it was a member of your family it would no… https://t.co/XKuMBT1U3x— Bill (@Bill) 1537481157.0
@RalphNorman @MaryCaitlinByrd There is nothing funny about sexual assault. That you feel levity is called for shows… https://t.co/2Zu0coQFyF— Mellie (@Mellie) 1537482583.0
@RalphNorman If jokes about women being groped is your idea of levity, I think voters now know everything about you that they need to know.— Joe Norris (@Joe Norris) 1537482463.0
Midterm elections are slated for Tuesday, November 6, 2018. If you are not registered, you can register to vote here.