The father of a victim of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting attempted to shake hands with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing on Tuesday, but Kavanaugh appeared to rebuff him.
Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime Guttenberg, was killed in the February school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, walked up to Kavanaugh during a break in the hearing and extended his hand. Kavanaugh turned and walked away from Guttenberg, accompanied by a man in an earpiece.
The White House, rightly worried about this moment, lies and says security "intervened" when @fred_guttenberg introduced himself. You can see Kavanaugh already turned to walk away when alleged security guy follows him. pic.twitter.com/aJJfCutdKn— Tommy Christopher (@tommyxtopher) September 4, 2018
It’s not clear if Kavanaugh heard Guttenberg or if the rebuff was intentional. But amid hearings that have already gotten contentious as Democrats and activists attempt to stop Kavanaugh’s nomination, the moment has quickly gone viral, with Democrats already using the image in Facebook advertising.
Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jamie Guttenberg who was killed in the shooting in Parkland, Fla., left, tries to shake hands with @realDonaldTrump's Supreme Court nom., Brett Kavanaugh, right, during a lunch break. Kavanaugh did not shake his hand. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) @ap pic.twitter.com/smcCGuLT6X— Andrew Harnik (@andyharnik) September 4, 2018
Guttenberg has become a strong advocate for gun control, appearing at CNN’s televised town hall event in February where he told Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) that his comments on the shooting were “pathetically weak.” On Twitter, Guttenberg said that Kavanaugh’s refusal to shake his hand was telling: “I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”
Just walked up to Judge Kavanaugh as morning session ended. Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg's dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) September 4, 2018
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah tweeted that an “unidentified individual” had approach Kavanaugh but that “security had intervened,” preventing Guttenberg from shaking Kavanaugh’s hand. He also tweeted a video of the interaction filmed from the back of the room.