Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) deemed Christine Blasey Ford “attractive” on Thursday after she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Asked what he thought about Blasey, Hatch told reporters: “I don’t find her un-credible. I think she’s an attractive, good witness.”
Asked to clarify “attractive,” he responded: “In other words, she’s pleasing.”
The ensuing Twitter storm prompted Matt Whitlock, Hatch’s deputy communications director, to send out several tweets to insist that Hatch was using the word attractive to refer to “personalities, not appearances.”
When your day as Orrin Hatch's communications director is going great: pic.twitter.com/hEoZHj2egy— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) September 27, 2018
The damage was done either way. People on Twitter questioned why Hatch would use the words “pleasing” and “attractive” to describe someone who had just offered a traumatic and deeply disturbing account of being sexually assaulted as a teenager.
BREAKING: @OrrinHatch just left the hearing room and called Christine Blasey Ford “attractive.” I’m speechless.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) September 27, 2018
Orrin Hatch on Dr. Ford: “She’s an attractive, good witness. In other words, she’s pleasing.”— Shauna (@shaunarrichards) September 27, 2018
OUT OF ALL OF THE WORDS HE COULD USE, he uses “attractive” & “pleasing” to describe a woman who’s talking about the most traumatic experience of her life.#KavanaughHearings
Many saw the remark as a sign that Hatch was more preoccupied with Blasey’s comportment before the committee than with the content of her testimony.
These men can’t function in this new world where women are equal. They are stuck in the 50s, 60s, 70s in a bad way and we need current politicians to reflect our current values and social mores. Term limits!— Ivylea (@InVinoVeritazz) September 27, 2018
Stop with excuses. You’re at a hearing regarding a nomination and sexual assault charges, and you refer to Ford as attractive? Ladies & Gentlemen...the #GOP men!!!!!!— Auntie B (@b_auntie) September 27, 2018
And some just suggested it was time for Hatch to retire.
Orrin Hatch, how about we get some new ideas and new blood into the mix. We got it from here. Go home, take a rest, and enjoy retirement.— Lisa Jones (@lilojo) September 27, 2018
Let's find a place for dad, it's time.— Swerve (@sjf418) September 27, 2018
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.