Alice Butler-Short, a Virginia political activist and Trump supporter, called Thursday for Delaware Sen. Tom Carper to resign based on a reported incident of domestic violence in the early 1980s against his then-wife Diane.
Butler-Short, founder and president of Virginia Women for Trump, presented a letter calling for Carper’s resignation at his Senate office on Capitol Hill. She said she coordinated the letter with the director of Delaware Women for Trump, the Delaware affiliate of her organization.
Butler-Short told Newsmax she demanded Carper’s resignation on behalf of all women “to point out the hypocrisy and double standard” of his recent opposition to the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
“Sen. Carper has admitted to giving his wife a black eye, and Sen. Carper voted no on Judge Kavanaugh,” Butler-Short told Newsmax. “Two and two don’t add up in this case.
“If he feels that Judge Kavanaugh, now Justice Kavanaugh, was not qualified for his positon, what qualifies him as a self-admitted wife beater to be a senator from Delaware?” Butler-Short said, adding: “He just needs to be responsible.”
The initial allegation of domestic violence against Carper surfaced in a 1982 New York Post report. Carper was running for Congress at the time and rejected the report as “political character assassination.”
But 16 years later, in a statement to veteran Delaware political reporter Celia Cohen, Carper reportedly admitted that the altercation occurred.
“Did I slap my wife 20 years ago? Yes,” Carper reportedly told Cohen. “Do I regret it? Yes. Would I do it again? No.”
Carper and his first wife were divorced in 1983, and he remarried in 1985.
In December, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Carper’s tortuous efforts to deny or minimize the incident. According to The Free Beacon, Carper’s confession was published in Cohen’s book, Only in Delaware.
Carper is up for re-election and appears to have a double-digit lead in the polls over his GOP challenger, Robert Arlett, a Sussex County councilman. Arlett’s campaign organization was aware that Butler-Short planned to present the letter, and released a statement Thursday evening from the Republican candidate.
“The #MeToo movement has shined a spotlight on domestic violence and sexual misconduct,” Arlett stated in the news release. “I find it appalling that the Democrats are protecting a U.S. senator who is himself the poster child for domestic violence. I applaud the #MeToo movement and agree that it is now time for Sen. Carper to be held accountable for his abuse of his former wife.”
Butler-Short said Carper avoided her Thursday afternoon at his Senate office. She said she read the letter verbally, then left it with the senator’s staff.
Carper’s campaign spokesperson did not respond to a Newsmax request Thursday for comment.
In a December statement about the incident to the New York Times, Carper said: “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.”
Later in that statement he added: “This is a difficult topic that dredges up feelings from many decades ago, but sunshine is the best disinfectant. I am grateful that my family has accepted the mistakes that I’ve made in the past and that they love me today.”
Arlett charged earlier this month that Carper is “in hiding,” after he did not appear at a candidate forum in Millsboro, Del.
The two are scheduled to debate on Oct. 17 at the University of Delaware.
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