Responding to a question from debate panelist Laura Bischoff, Richard Cordray made his views on Brett Kavanaugh, women’s rights, and abortion crystal clear in tonight’s debate.

Richard Cordray said:

Judge Kavanaugh, right now, the allegations against him are serious. Sexual assault is a crime. This needs to be fully investigated. That Professor Ford has the courage to come forward is something that we should commend. She should not have to be attacked for doing so. Women should not have to be attacked for coming forward to tell their stories.

There’s broader issues here of equality of men and women in our society and they go to things like rooting out sexual harassment in the workplace. That matters. That needs to be done. It matters that we have equal pay for equal work. And it matters, to your question Laura, that a woman’s right to choose, a woman’s right to make her own personal health decisions should be protected in Ohio.

I am for a woman’s right to choose. Mike DeWine is against it. That’s the difference between us. I will veto a “Heartbeat Bill.” He has said he will sign it. That’s a fundamental difference between us.

But let me also say, my running mate, Betty Sutton, has been a leader and a courageous voice on these issues for years. I admire her for that. She is a full partner with me in the campaign and will be a full partner in the Statehouse come January 2019.

Men have to deal with these issues, as well. We have a responsibility to deal with other men and make sure they get it, they understand it, and are working to embrace change.

Finally, I’ll just say this. My wife and I have twins – they’re a boy and a girl. Every single day, we’ve expected that our daughter will have the very same opportunities as our son. The very same. Nothing should hold our daughters back.

On rebuttal, Cordray addressed DeWine:

Your position on abortion is extreme, Mike. You won’t even make an exception for rape or incest. Not even for rape or incest. I notice that you were willing in the primaries to answer the question about the “Heartbeat Bill” and said that you would sign it. But now that you’re asked point blank tonight, you don’t seem to want to answer that question. So, I’ll give you the last ten seconds of my time and let you answer that. Yes or no?

DeWine:

I will sign the bill. I have said that many times.

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