Washington (CNN) North Dakota Rep. Kevin Cramer, the Republican challenging Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, suggested the allegation of sexual and physical assault -- even if it's true -- should not disqualify Brett Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court.
Cramer's comments in a Monday interview with North Dakota television station KX4 came three days after he said the accusation against Kavanaugh was "even more absurd" than Anita Hill's accusation against Clarence Thomas because Kavanaugh and his accuser were drunk teenagers when the alleged incident occurred.
"My point was that there was no type of intercourse or anything like that," Cramer said. "That was my point, that nothing happened in terms of a sexual event beyond, obviously, the attack."
He also again cast doubt on the memory of Kavanaugh's accuser, California professor Christine Blasey Ford.
"Well she admits she was a 15-year-old that had been drinking at a party that -- I mean, how many 15-year-olds handle a lot of alcohol, you know, 36 years ago? When it wasn't that common, by the way. ... Thirty-six years ago it wasn't that common for 15-year-olds to be at booze parties," Cramer said.
Ford alleged that Kavanaugh was "stumbling drunk," but said she had only one beer at the party.
Cramer said he'd have a bigger problem with Kavanaugh knowing Ford is right and lying about it than he would with Ford's allegation being true.
"What if something like what Dr. Ford describes happened? It's tragic. It's unfortunate, it's terrible, it should never happen in our society," Cramer said.
"But what if 36 years of a record where there's nothing like that again -- but instead there's a record of a perfect gentleman, of an intellect, of a stellar judge, a guy who's been in front of what, he's had 300 cases in front of him and hasn't had a misstep," he said. "Even if it's all true, does it disqualify him? It certainly means that he did something really bad 36 years ago. But does it disqualify him from the Supreme Court?"
The interviewer then pointed out that, if the allegations are true, Kavanaugh would have lied under oath.
"I think that disqualifies him," Cramer responded. "If it's found that he knew -- that he recalls it, and knew it happened and lies about it, that's -- then I think that would disqualify him. Because that's what he's doing today, not 36 years ago."
Asked about Cramer's comments, Heitkamp communications director Julia Krieger said he displayed "a stunning lack of empathy for victims and the trauma they experience."
"While Heidi is committed to listening to the testimony of both Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, Congressman Cramer has already prejudged," she said.