Is Carper’s statement enough to defuse the slap?

Filed in National by on December 15, 2017

Under normal conditions, probably. Carper’s account, now in the Washington Post, would probably put this to rest. I certainly don’t think Delaware voters would hold the slap against him, particularly if the alternative is electing a Republican. But we are not living in normal times.

When Kirsten Gillibrand is asked about the apology what will she say? Will she say it isn’t enough, or will she return to the high horse of moral arbiter?

— Carper released a statement pushing back on the story, reading in part: “I have made many mistakes in my life and have always been willing to admit them. One of those mistakes took place 37 years ago when I slapped my then-wife, Diane, during a heated argument. It was wrong. I regretted it then and I still do today. During a child custody battle between Diane and her former husband, I was truthful about this incident. I was truthful again when asked about it during a 1998 interview. Any claim that I lied or attempted to hide my behavior is false. I am a man who has made his share of mistakes, but I am not and never have been one who abuses his wife and children.”


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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (27)

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  1. Alby says:

    So now the effort will have to be to show it was more than just a slap.

    “I am not and never have been one who abuses his wife and children.” Except for that once? Jesus, lying is like breathing to these people.

  2. Right. This tightly-wound control freak just had a momentary lapse.

  3. Alby says:

    So let’s see if the women of Delaware will hold Carper to the same standard they held Franken. If they make a fuss he’s in trouble. I’ll lay money on “nothing happens.”

  4. Alby says:

    The relevant News Journal story appeared Oct. 26, 1996. It was mostly about Janet Rzewnicki’s claim that she wasn’t involved in releasing this information, which of course she was. Her lies ended up overshadowing Carper’s misdeed, which had been rumored but never proved at that point.

    That story said, “He has refused to comment on the incident.” So yeah, he didn’t deny it, but he wasn’t exactly Mr. Transparency, either. He tried to stonewall it.

  5. SussexAnon says:

    It happened 37 years ago, he publicly owned up to it in 1998, and now this is somehow news?

  6. Alby says:

    If Al Franken is ousted over past butt-grabbing — if there’s no way to redeem oneself from groping — how can past wife-beating be acceptable?

    It’s news because male politicians who have mistreated women are now paying for past sins that went unaddressed. One standard to rule them all, one standard to bind them.

    Indeed, over at That Other Blog they have taken no notice of this story resurfacing.

    Also, though the interview Cohen conducted was in 1998, he did not “publicly own up to it” to anybody who did not read the book, which came out several years later, and Celia Cohen did nothing to publicize that the admission was in there. It didn’t really come out in public until Cohen repeated the quotes in her 2012 Delaware Grapevine piece — again, hardly wide circulation.

    I’m quite amused by how much everyone in Delaware wants to pretend this didn’t happen or that he should be forgiven, and certainly he shouldn’t be publicly shamed. Franken, though, he deserved what he got, right?

  7. Beverly c says:

    I guess I gotta be the lone lady voice in the wilderness here: first, it was not a slap. A slap does not discolor your face and cause puffiness. He punched her. And then when the deposition detailing his abusive behavior was uncovered, he pulled a Roy Moore. Blame the accusers, people who found the deposition. And his statement today, that he owned up to this? Hardly. Refused to talk about it in 1996 when asked directly, so that part of his statement is, if not a lie, certainly a obfuscation. And he says he does not abuse his wife or children in the same statement he admits batting his former wife in the face. Which is it mr carper? You cannot have it both ways. Once you hit you wife, you are an abuser. That is how abuse is characterized and defined. You don’t get to hit your wife. No matter how pissed you are. That he said senator Franken had to go because of allegations against him is reason for Delaware to call for carper to step aside. We have a Democrat to appoint his successor. Jack Markell would make a fine replacement and i’m Fairly certain Carla will let us know if he pulls any silly shenanigans.

  8. RE Vanella says:

    You lost me at Jack Markell as a “fine replacement”. I think you’re trolling us.

  9. mouse says:

    Markell largely created the fiscal disaster the state is experiencing

  10. Alby says:

    I don’t think that’s even remotely true. He called for tax increases that were rejected by the General Assembly. Let’s try to keep history straight.

  11. Anono says:

    @Beverly “We have a Democrat to appoint his successor. Jack Markell would make a fine replacement and i’m Fairly certain Carla will let us know if he pulls any silly shenanigans.”
    That is voting a Democrat in, just because he is a Democrat. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Markell, almost ruined our schools, gave money to failed Fisker and WE are still paying for Bloom Energy, which has not reached their job qouta’s in 4 years, we got 1.2 million back. But, we have given them $166 million for WHAT.
    And here is a recent article from Jack,
    about not giving companies incentives and “take that money and invest in infrastructure.” FINALLY, the guy has an Epiphany? Jack Markell should stay out of public life, we’ve had enough and still suffering for it.

    The money that is going to Bloom should have gone to our schools and infrastructure.

    AND, still to this day, they lie that Natural Gas is renewable.

  12. AQC says:

    It’s rare that a man has only ever once hits a woman. It’s either never or more than once.

  13. Alby says:

    @Anono: For Christ’s sake let it go. Show me the Republicans who tried to derail the Fisker and Bloom deals. Good luck, you can’t. It was the panic of 2009, in case you don’t remember. Most of the money for the Fisker deal came from the federal Department of Energy, not Delaware, and members OF BOTH PARTIES took credit for it at the time. Here’s a conservative-site link with the story:

    At no time was any of the money that went to either corporation destined for any other use — it came out of economic development funds that were voted on BY BOTH PARTIES.

    Barfing up your talking points here won’t get you far.

  14. Alby says:

    @AQC: It’s a rare politician who admits to an iota more than necessary.

  15. jason330 says:

    Alby, True. There must be evidence of the black eye or he would have never mentioned it. Didn’t Janet Rzewnicki eventually commit suicide?

    If this quietly goes away, it tells me the furor over mistreating women has burned itself out.

  16. Alby says:

    No, I think I’ve figured it out.

    The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee just withdrew funding from a woman who was (apparently falsely) accused of sexual harassment by a man she fired. That’s all it took for the DCCC to withdraw funding.

    “If anyone is guilty of sexual harassment or sexual assault, that person should not hold public office,” a DCCC spokesperson told the Kansas City Star. See the catch there? Beating your wife isn’t a sexual assault, it’s a spousal assault. Totally different.

    It’s sort of like Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — it can’t be used by a battered wife fighting off her husband, because reasons.

  17. chris says:

    I think it was a non-issue until the decision by Carper put his name on the Franken resign letter.
    Then he opened the door to his own conduct and appropriate standard for this behavior… hard to go silent now when you publicly called on a colleague to resign for conduct involving the treatment of women, but your past admission does not matter?

  18. Any abuse of women, in ANY way, should not be tolerated by anyone. Period. When it comes from an elected official who refuses to step up and admit to it when it FIRST came out, is a coward. To openly criticize another politician for abuse of a sort when he knows he did the same thing makes him a HYPOCRITE.

    And no, Jack Markell would not make a worthy replacement. He destroyed Delaware education and so many other things at a state level. I cringe to see what he would do at a federal level.

  19. RE Vanella says:

    Your idea that hypocrisy matters at all in politics is incredibly quaint & perfect for the holidays.

  20. Anono says:

    @Alby. The state paid $21 million, which was lost to Fisker. On top of the money that was spent for the utilities, while it was empty.

    As for Bloom, people lied about the renewable energy. I spoke with multiple elected officials that have said, “if I read the whole thing, I would not have voted on it.

    It’s BS and it’s ignorant lemmings like yourself, that just go with the Democrat status flow! THE Delaware Way!

    Hurry and catch your flight to France!!

  21. Alby says:

    Yes, Anono. You repeat these criticisms over and over again. It happened eight years ago. Let. It. Go. As I said, not a single Republican made a stink about it, because everyone wanted the jobs. You could look it up, but you’re too lazy.

    It’s easy to criticize it after the fact. Very few did at the time it was announced. As I said, the money was intended for DEDO. If it hadn’t been spent on Fisker it would have been spent on another company. Nobody lied about Bloom. The criticism about “renewables” was noted at the time, but mainly by the environmental lobby, not Republicans. And those elected officials who told you that just admitted they are incompetent to perform their jobs. They could have said no but didn’t, which is exactly my point — if you don’t stop the project at the beginning, don’t complain about it later. Republicans went along so they wouldn’t be accused of “saying no to jobs.”

    The education criticism is valid. This is not.

    And it’s all moot anyway. I seriously doubt Markell would be interested, and I doubt the party would want him. He is not part of the Delaware Democratic establishment. He ran against Carney, remember? The powers in the party are Carney people, not Markell people.

    If you’re going to comment on politics in Delaware, I’m going to insist you meet a minimum bar for knowing what you’re talking about.

  22. Beverly c says:

    Okay, mea culpa for suggesting a Carper replacement. Mea maxima culpa. Can we get off the Markell slagging and get back to the topic at hand: Carper deserves to be horse whipped for his behavior and not let slide because Democrat. He piled on Franken and now it’s his turn to have the microscope trained on his past. Fact is, he vehemently denied the allegations he abused his first wife when these reports surfaced in the 80s and he was running for Congress. He would not comment on them when they resurfaced in the 90s and only grudgingly admitted to them, and downplayed them, in 98 to a fired, ex reporter who was a known political syncophant and whose audience was miniscule. And he admitted them after his election to the Senate. Hardly brave or transparent. His statement yesterday makes it sound like he’s always owned up to his behavior. He has not. He’s tried to obfuscate and misdirect attention from it at every turn and he’s had help doing that. He hit his wife hard enough to give her a black eye. That’s a punch. Not a slap. That’s battery. He’s an abuser.

  23. loritool says:

    Hey Hartly Nagel was just bullying now. Where is that out rage? Oh she is a woman, right! No we can go back 37 years thou

  24. loritool says:

    Wow stopped the whole conversation I see with our own doing it right now not 37 years ago

  25. jason330 says:

    My advice, don’t watch that clip. It cannot be unseen.

  26. Dana Garrett says:

    I don’t know if Carper has been somewhat misleading about hitting his ex wife. But I do know that he has been nearly totally misleading about being a Democrat.