Sen. Jim Bunning (R., Ky) used the annual Hardin County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner to announce his diagnosis that Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 75, will be dead from pancreatic cancer within nine months. While Bunning only holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Xavier University and had a baseball career with the Detroit Tigers, he felt comfortable with the medical prediction and even more comfortable discussing Ginsburg’s imminent demise at a political dinner.
Bunning is drumming up support for his run for reelection and returning to a favorite GOP stump issue of fighting the appointment of liberal judges. He used insisted that he is needed in the Senate to block such nominees “and that’s going to be in place very shortly because Ruth Bader Ginsburg … has cancer. Even though she was operated on, usually, nine months is the longest that anybody would live after (being diagnosed) with pancreatic cancer.”
It is certainly true that the American Cancer Society figures show that only about 20 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live for more than a year. However, most people would find such a direct prediction of death to be a bit crude and lowbrow.
With only 150,000 in the bank and rumors that his colleagues believe he is a loser, Bunning appears desperate. At the dinner, he virtually went through the coats in the cloakroom for cash: “I’m not only asking for your support, but if you have a $25 check somewhere, or whatever, you can send it, I’ll cash it.”
[Update: Bunning has now apologized.]
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