BISMARCK - North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer dismissed sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh as "absurd" Friday, Sept. 21.

In a radio interview with Jarrod Thomas of KNOX, Cramer said Christine Blasey Ford's allegations against Kavanaugh are "even more absurd" than those Anita Hill leveled against now-Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation process "because these people were teenagers when this supposed alleged incident took place" instead of a supervisor-subordinate relationship.

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"These are teenagers who evidently were drunk, according to her own statement," Cramer said. "Again, it was supposedly an attempt or something that never went anywhere."

Cramer is locked in a tight Senate battle with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in a state President Donald Trump won by 36 percentage points. Democrats pounced on Cramer's comments.

"Congressman Cramer's comments are disturbing and they don't reflect the values of North Dakota," Heitkamp said in a statement issued through her campaign. Her campaign manager Libby Schneider later released a statement criticizing Cramer's comments as "dangerous" and "offensive" and called for an apology to sexual assault survivors.

In a statement issued by his campaign Saturday, Cramer said he meant to compare Hill's accusations from 1991 to Ford's.

"The point of my answer was that the current allegations were even more absurd," Cramer's statement said. "At the time, there was a sense of legitimacy to what Anita Hill was saying, but it is hard not to be skeptical considering the timing and history of the allegation Brett Kavanaugh is facing."

Cramer then reiterated a statement from earlier in the week that "any allegation of this nature should be taken seriously," but added that Kavanaugh's confirmation should proceed "absent significant evidence being brought forth immediately."

Ford, whose allegations were first detailed by the Washington Post, said a drunken Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago while they were both in high school by pinning her to a bed, groping her over her clothes, grinding against her, attempting to take off her clothes and putting his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. Ford told the Post she had one beer that night but Kavanaugh was heavily intoxicated.

Kavanaugh has denied the allegations, and Cramer noted in the radio interview he has gone through several federal background checks. Cramer worried that people would be reluctant to run for public office if such accusations are believed without "appropriate due process."

Heitkamp hasn't said how she'll vote on Kavanaugh, and Cramer has repeatedly tried to pressure her to support Trump's nominee.

Ford's lawyers said Saturday she accepted the Senate Judiciary Committee's invitation to testify next week, according to the Post.

Heitkamp said earlier this week that the committee should investigate Ford's claims and she should be allowed to testify.

"It takes courage for any woman to speak up about sexual assault, and we need to respect Prof. Ford by listening to her and hearing her story," Heitkamp added in a statement posted to her Twitter page.