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“Next Stop, Twilight Zone, Colo”: Cory Gardner’s Hedging On Personhood, Birth Control And Abortion Laws

Rep. Cory Gardner’s, R-Colo., campaign got some more bad news this weekend. A new NBC News/Marist poll showed Gardner trailing Democratic Colorado Sen. Mark Udall by six points, 47 percent to 42 percent. A similar NBC poll in July showed Udall leading by seven points.

With mail-in ballots dropping on October 14, Gardner’s window of opportunity has closed and he has no discernible path to victory. Polls have consistently shown Udall leading with the key voter demographics here. The same questions that were asked when Gardner announced six months ago – how does he win Colorado Latinos and suburban women – have been answered: He can’t.

Worse yet for Gardner, the NBC poll showed his favorable/unfavorable rating in bad shape, at 40/38. This says the Udall strategy of hammering Gardner on his support for birth control and abortion bans in a pro-choice state like Colorado is paying off.

This also explains the panicked move by the Gardner campaign, which ran an ad on birth control and Gardner’s denying the existence of a federal birth control and abortion ban bill, the Life Begins at Conception Act, that the congressman co-sponsors. When asked about his co-sponsorship of the federal “Personhood” bill by Denver’s KUSA/NBC political reporter Brandon Rittiman, Gardner said this:

Rittiman: How do you square your recent change on personhood at the state level with the bill that you still are on in Congress. The life begins at conception act?

Gardner: Well, there is no federal personhood bill. They’re two different pieces of legislation, two different things.

Rittiman then noted that other co-sponsors of the bill say it is federal personhood legislation. “But it’s still a piece of legislation that says abortion ought to be illegal, no?” Gardner responded, “No. It says life begins at conception.”

This is Twilight Zone material, a clear indication that Gardner is losing because of the issue. And props to Rittiman for asking the follow-up and making Gardner answer the question about what his legislation actually does.

According to factcheck.org, these are identical bills:

We don’t see how the Colorado initiative and the federal bill, which supporters in Congress describe as a “personhood” measure, are different on this point. And neither does one of the groups supporting the state initiative. Jennifer Mason, a spokeswoman for the Yes on Amendment 67 Campaign, which supports the ballot measure, told Colorado public radio station KUNC: “Obviously [Gardner’s] a victim of some bad political advice, there’s no reason for him to pull local support while he’s still 100 percent behind the federal amendment. It doesn’t make any sense.”

We agree. And we didn’t receive any further explanation from the Gardner campaign on the contradiction. We asked Nash at the Guttmacher Institute if there was something in the federal bill that would preclude the concerns over birth control, but Nash agreed that the “moment of fertilization” language was the reason these types of proposals had the potential to prohibit access to hormonal forms of birth control.

…voters in Colorado should know Gardner still supports a federal bill that would prompt the same concerns over birth control as the state measure he says he rejects on the same grounds.

The campaign adage is that if you’re explaining, you’re losing. In Gardner’s case, he’s both explaining and losing his grip on reality.

 

By: Laura K. Chapin, U. S. News and World Report, September 8, 2014

September 10, 2014 - Posted by | Cory Gardner, Personhood, Reproductive Rights | , , , , , ,

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