Sessions: ‘There Was an Organized Effort to Caricature Me as Something That Wasn’t True’

By Melanie Arter | January 10, 2017 | 2:45pm EST
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said at the first day of his confirmation hearing to be U.S. attorney general that he was unfairly caricatured as racist during his 1986 confirmation hearing to be President Ronald Reagan’s nominee for U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama.

“I didn’t prepare myself well in 1986,” Sessions admitted, referring to his confirmation hearing to be U.S. district judge, “and there was an organized effort to caricature me as something that wasn’t true. It was very painful. I didn’t know how to respond and didn’t respond very well.”

 



“I hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate. It wasn’t accurate then, and it’s not accurate now,” he said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) asked Sessions to speak on the issue, saying that he’s well aware how some people characterize conservatives from the South.

“I’m from South Carolina, so I know what it’s like sometimes to be accused of being a conservative from the South. That means something other than you’re a conservative from the South in your case. People have fairly promptly tried to label you as a racist or a bigot or whatever you want to say. How does that make you feel? And this is your chance to say something to those people,” Graham said.

“Senator Graham, I appreciate the question. You have a southern name, you come from south Alabama - that sounds worse to some people, south Alabama - and when I came up as a United States attorney, I had no real support group,” Sessions responded after being interrupted by protesters.

“I didn’t prepare myself well in 1986,” Sessions admitted, referring to his confirmation hearing to be U.S. district judge, “and there was an organized effort to caricature me as something that wasn’t true. It was very painful. I didn’t know how to respond and didn’t respond very well.”

“I hope my tenure in this body has shown you that the caricature that was created of me was not accurate. It wasn’t accurate then, and it’s not accurate now,” he said.

“I just want you to know that as a southerner who actually saw discrimination and have no doubt it existed in a systematic and powerful and negative way to the people, great millions of people in the South particularly of our country, I know that was wrong, and I know we need to do better. We can never go back.

“I am totally committed to maintaining the freedom and equality that this country has to provide to every citizen, and I will assure you that that’s how I will approach it,” Sessions concluded.

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