The Supreme Court nominee refused to shake hands with Parkland father Fred Guttenberg
Today marked the first day of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings and in attendance was the father of Jaime Guttenberg, a student killed in February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Video shows Kavanaugh callously ignoring the dad’s outstretched hand as he attempted to meet Kavanaugh, and it’s absolutely nauseating to watch.
As Kavanaugh was about to leave for lunch, Fred Guttenberg, who has become an activist in the wake of his teen daughter’s death, approached to shake his hand. Kavanaugh appeared to look him over — and then walk away without acknowledging the gesture.
Fred Guttenberg, father of Parkland victim, Jaime, tries to shakes hands with Brett Kavanaugh: "My daughter was murdered at Parkland."
White House says an "unidentified individual approached" Kavanaugh, but "before the judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened." pic.twitter.com/IerpDMOW0h
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 4, 2018
The White House tried calling Guttenberg an “unidentified individual” and blamed Kavanaugh’s ignoring him on security “intervening” before he had the chance to return the handshake. That was quickly disproven by none other than Guttenberg himself. “Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended,” he said. “Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 4, 2018
White House Press Secretary Raj Shah tried making excuses for Kavanaugh — and Guttenberg wasn’t having it.
As Judge Kavanaugh left for his lunch break, an unidentified individual approached him. Before the Judge was able to shake his hand, security had intervened. https://t.co/ylOhtA1s6G
— Raj Shah (@RajShah45) September 4, 2018
Incorrect. I was here all day and introduced by Senator Feinstein. No security involved. He turned and walked away.— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 4, 2018
In the months since the Parkland shooting, Guttenberg has been an active gun reform advocate, speaking frequently of the 14-year-old daughter he lost. “No one should feel comfortable talking about the death of my kid,” he told Senate democrats shortly after Jaime’s death during an informal hearing at the Capitol for survivors of gun violence.
If you're watching the Kavanaugh hearings, keep your eyes peeled for @fred_guttenberg. The father of an MSD student killed on 2/14 is a guest of Sen. Feinstein. As he's done on his other visits to Capitol Hill, he refuses to sit down, his protest against federal inaction on guns. pic.twitter.com/zxSzRjLRoU
— Kara Voght (@karavoght) September 4, 2018
From every vantage point at today’s hearing, it’s clear that Kavanaugh purposely and cruelly ignored Guttenberg’s attempt at shaking hands and explaining his presence in the room.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the shooting in Parkland, Fla., left, tries to shake hands with @realDonaldTrump's Supreme Court nom., Brett Kavanaugh, right, during a lunch break. Kavanaugh did not shake his hand. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) @ap pic.twitter.com/smcCGuLT6X
— Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik) September 4, 2018
Some are hoping it was simply a mix-up.
I sincerely hope that this was a misunderstanding. If Judge Kavanaugh understood who @fred_guttenberg is and couldn't offer his hand out of human decency, he doesn't deserve to serve on any court.
Judge Kavanaugh should apologize. https://t.co/9RISaN5cy0
— Ted Deutch (@TedDeutch) September 4, 2018
Please let this be
Politics & policy aside, decency must prevail
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) September 4, 2018
But it’s fairly obvious that Kavanaugh knew exactly who he was staring at — and summarily dismissing.
Have you seen the video? If you haven't, you should, it will erase all questions in your mind. The video shows Kavanaugh stop, pause, look at Guttenberg, then decisively turn & walk away. #ShameOnUKavanaugh— ScarlettOTara (@ScarlettOTara1) September 4, 2018
Even though Guttenberg is going to fight against having Kavanaugh confirmed, it was still the absolute wrong move to ignore a grieving father respectfully reaching out his hand.
Wow. Could not be bothered to shake the hand of a grieving father. This will be an iconic image. https://t.co/RylHuRu7PJ
— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) September 4, 2018
Hopefully, this only strengthens the resolve of Guttenberg and others who oppose Kavanaugh’s frigthening views on gun control to keep up their important work.
And yes, Guttenberg will work against Kavanaugh's conformation. But turning your back on someone who lost a child is a MUCH worse look than shaking his hand, saying, "Sorry for your loss" and then departing.— Ron Marz (@ronmarz) September 4, 2018