Why the Hell Would You Do This?

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: MSNBC’s Steven Benen:

There’s an old adage that’s been around in politics for a long time: if you’re explaining, you’re losing. In this case, Gardner is still explaining his support for Personhood measures, which would ban abortion and many forms of birth control.

Unfortunately, though, the congressman’s explanation fails under minimal scrutiny.

It’s worth noting, of course, that Gardner’s health care rhetoric is plainly mistaken. The Affordable Care Act isn’t a “takeover” and it’s obviously not a “disaster.” The system is actually working quite well, as federal lawmakers should probably realize.

But far more important in this instance is Gardner’s Personhood claim. In the ad, he faces the camera, looks voters in the eye, and makes claims that simply aren’t true.

The congressman, for example, claims he’s “changed his mind about Personhood.” In reality, Gardner has announced, “In the state of Colorado, the Personhood Initiative I do not support.” But in Washington, Gardner is still, as of this morning, a co-sponsor of federal Personhood legislation. [Pols emphasis]

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UPDATE: The other shoe drops–Cory Gardner’s latest TV spot candidly admits to flip-flopping on the Personhood abortion ban. Truly remarkable, and not in a good way:

Why is Gardner taking this desperate step? Because he has no choice. His original hope that flip-flopping on the Personhood abortion ban right out of the gate would bury the issue has not worked out.

And now Gardner is trapped in his opponent’s frame.

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Cory Gardner's Personhood twist

Cory Gardner demonstrates The Personhood Pretzel

It's no secret that Rep. Cory Gardner has a problem with the Personhood issue. Gardner's campaign for U.S. Senate has recognized the trouble with being associated with such an unpopular policy idea — one that has been repeatedly crushed at the polls in Colorado — which is why they made the surprise move in March to announce that Gardner has flipped (sort of) on his support for Personhood. Unfortunately for Gardner, trying to remove the Personhood label has proved much more difficult.

We've argued that it didn't make a lot of political sense for Gardner to flip-flop on Personhood, and indeed, he's twisted himself into a knot trying to explain the convoluted logic behind his decision (including the far-from-believable claim that he "didn't realize" Personhood would ban birth control). Democrats and Sen. Mark Udall have hit Gardner hard on his Personhood support and subsequent flip-flop, and now — for some inexplicable reason — Republicans are drawing attention to the fact that Gardner is still being hammered over Personhood. From Eli Stokols at Fox 31:

Colorado Republicans are slamming Democratic U.S. Mark Udall for going negative in a new campaign ad — before the ad has been introduced by Udall’s campaign.

The second ad from Udall’s campaign focuses on the same line of attack as its first: hitting Gardner for supporting personhood (he has since disavowed the statewide ballot measure language but not the overall concept) and for co-sponsoring legislation as a state lawmaker that would have made abortion a crime even in cases of rape or incest…

…Based on an initial review of the new Udall ad, none of the claims therein appear to factually untrue. [Pols emphasis]

What is the point of doing this? Why would Republicans intentionally want to draw more attention to Gardner's Personhood problem? How does it help them to get this story on Fox 31 to tell people about the ad even before it runs? Hey, just in case you weren't watching, Mark Udall is going to hammer Cory Gardner on Personhood again!

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Obviously, the solution is to bend over and take whatever the Democratic lie machine comes up with. Maybe we should just concede the election now…

  2. Republican 36 says:

    This is a great commercial and takes away from Mr. Gardner the normal Republican issue that people should be free to ive their own lives as they see fit. Great ad for Senator Udall.

  3. Charlie3637 says:

    The timing of Mr. Gardner's change of heart on a deeply held moral belief such as personhood is critical to his hypocrisy. He announced his change of heart AFTER entering the Senate race. It was clearly a strategic move meant to position himself for a statewide race. Unfortunately for the Congressman, this kind of change of heart will be perceived by voters for what it is - political opportunism. And, as CoPols continues to point out, why has Congressman Gardener not removed his name from the federal "Life at Conception" act?  

    Mr. Gardner's ad also does something this is subtle in referring to both the President and the Senator as "Obama and Udall". Of course he wants to tie the two together but to omit the title of President and Senator is rude and not surprising from an extreme Republican.  Senator Udall's ad refers to Congressman Gardner, as he should in respect for his position as a U.S. Representative.

    Sen. Udall's ad is sincere and addressing one of the many issues that create a huge problem for Cong. Gardner. The Congressman is not being honest with the voters in explaining his change of heart on personhood. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    • Miss Jane says:

      Well, Charlie, there is very little about this person that is honest.  angel

       

       

    • Republican 36 says:

      As Coloradopols points out above, Senator Udall now has framed the issue and Rep. Gardner has, by producing his response commercial, agreed to fight on Senator Udall's terms. It is always a mistake to let the opposing candidate define the debate. 

      And, as you astutely pointed out, Rep. Gardner is leading with his chin. Since he is still a sponsor of the federal Personhood Amendment, which will eliminate the right to choose for all women across the entire nation, the next Udall campaign ad will point that out and expose Rep. Gardner's hypocrisy on the issue. He says one thing in Washington DC and something else in Colorado. In this case the total opposite to the registered voters of Colorado. House Majority Leader Cantor lost his primary last week for the same reason. The voters aren't in the mood for double talk.

      Rep. Gardner has been trying for three long months to shake this issue but he can't. Its too late now, but his best strategy would have been to say what he did on March 21st and simultaneously initiated the procedure to remove his name as a sponsor of the federal Personhood Amendment but, instead, he tried to have it "Both Ways."

      Finally, in his response ad, Rep. Gardner's attempts to shift the debate to a debate over Obamacare and he calls it a disaster. He has tried for three months to make that the issue but it isn't working because the sky did not fall when Obamacare became a reality. Obamacare has not turned out to be the issue the Republicans thought it would be. Its a trick to try and divert the voters attention away from Personhood but it won't work because the facts dictate only one conclusion: Rep. Gardner is saying he is for the Personhood Amendment when he is in Washington, DC and saying the exact opposite when he is in Colorado. Hypocrisy is not a winning strategy.

      • horseshit GOP front grouphorseshit GOP front group says:

        The " Obamacare is a disaster " thing shows just about how tone deaf this guy is.  It is yesterdays defeated talking point – I hope he runs with it all the way to November.

        • DavieDavie says:

          Unemployment down, deficit shrinking, economy rising, renewable energy increasing, same-sex marriage winning approval. 

          It's just outrageous that Obama hasn't knuckled under in the face of GOP obstruction and defiance!

          The only way GOPers can live down G.W. "Worst Prez of All Time" Bush is to try and drag Obama down to their level.

          No wonder they want Iraq War 3 to divert attention away from their pathetic policies and bankrupt ideas.

  4. BoulderDem says:

    Wow. This is a classic Hail Mary, a huge risk that you normally only take if the polls show a devastating attack you need to deflect no matter what. It's a fine ad of that genre, but the fact that Gardner feels he needs to run it is horrible news for those rooting for him. The polls must look bad.

    • ModeratusModeratus says:

      Wrong. Gardner needs to deal wth Democrat lies about his record, and put the evolution on Personhood in the proper context. I think the ad is a wonderful game changer that should finally take this nonissue off the table. Personhood is a dead horse.

      • Ralphie says:

        Good spin moddy, if you were talking to a bunch of low-information loons.  Unfortunately, Gardner's record of votes and sponsorships has left fingerprints that you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to see.

      • CaninesCanines says:

        By the way, how does Gardner stand on evolution?

      • BoulderDem says:

        Why would Udall stop using personhood because of this ad? It appears to be absolute gold, and will continue to be until Gardner addresses the hypocrisy of opposing it on the state level but supporting it on the federal. That's as bad as John Kerry's "I was for it before I was against it."

      • VoyageurVoyageur says:

        Gardner's problem isn't somebody lying about his record — it's the TRUTH about his record that is killing him!

         

      • BlueCat says:

        Modster, you keep saying Dems lie about his record. His record is that last time he had a chance, he supported federal level personhood, pretty much just like the state level proposals. His record is that he still supports the things in the personhood proposals that the overwhelming majority of Colorado voters object to as they have shown by defeating personhood by huge margins in elections. It didn't even make the ballot last time, as I recall. 

        Which specific statements are Dems making about Gardner's record on that are untrue? Is it untrue to say he opposes all abortion, even in cases of rape or incest? Can you produce a statement of his calling for exceptions for rape and incest? If not and Dems say he supports forcing unwilling women to carry to full term babies conceived via rape and incest then you need to stop saying that Dems are lying because that's what no exceptions means. Put up or shut up.

  5. BoulderDem says:

    Gardner out with ANOTHER response ad now. He's flailing. Trying a "so's your mama" gambit by talking about Obamacare. Not gonna work. 

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