Yesterday, the anti-abortion National Right to Life PAC endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner, citing Gardner's longstanding opposition to "unrestricted abortion." From their press release:
Sen. Udall’s own radical abortion position is far out of the mainstream. Mark Udall supports a policy of abortion on demand, which allows abortion for any reason. He voted to keep the gruesome partial-birth abortion procedure legal (10/02/03, Roll Call No. 530). He opposed measures that would protect the rights of parents to be involved in their minor daughter’s abortion decision. Udall has also voted several times in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate to use taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions.
Rep. Gardner opposes unrestricted abortion. He voted for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act – ground breaking legislation to protect unborn children at 20 weeks, a point by which the unborn child is capable of feeling great pain when being killed by dismemberment or other late abortion methods (6/18/13, Roll Call No. 251). Gardner also voted for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would establish a permanent, government-wide policy against taxpayer funding of abortions (1/28/14, Roll Call No. 30)…
Cory Gardner stands in opposition to Obamacare – a law that created a national program of massive federal subsidies for insurance plans that cover abortion, and imposes rationing of lifesaving medical care – and he voted to repeal this destructive health care law. Sen. Udall voted for the pro-abortion, pro-rationing Obamacare law. Cory Gardner is needed in the U.S. Senate to help reverse the abortion-expanding and rationing effects of that law.
“Colorado mothers and their unborn children deserve better than Mark Udall’s extreme abortion policies,” Tobias added. “They deserve a senator who will stand up and give them a voice in the U.S. Senate. They deserve Cory Gardner.”
Interestingly, this release makes no mention at all of Gardner's strongest current pro-life position: his continuing sponsorship of the federal Life at Conception Act, which includes similar language protecting embryos "from the moment of fertilization" that Colorado's Personhood abortion ban initiatives contained. This is the language that could, in addition to banning all abortion even in cases of rape or incest, ban certain "abortifacient" forms of birth control. Given the problems Gardner is having reconciling his abandonment of Colorado's Personhood intiatives with his ongoing sponsorship of federal Personhood legislation, it's probably best that National Right to Life PAC keeps quiet about it.
This endorsement may be helpful for Gardner for shoring up his right flank, but it works at cross purposes to Gardner's larger objective of burying abortion as an issue to use against him well ahead of election season. Even among friends, Gardner doesn't want to talk about this, because any accommodation to one side of this polarized debate alienates him from the other–even more so since his recent flip-flops on the issue have been away from his base and record. He needed the right's support to get where he is, but what he needs most of all today is for them to shut up and let him run to the middle. That they're not doing so, giving Democrats new angles to revisit the issue, is an ominous development for Gardner.
So, that's one problem with this endorsement. Here's another.
This is the social media graphic National Right to Life is sharing to announce their endorsement. See the mountain in the background shot? That's Mount Moran of the Grand Teton Range in Wyoming. We've been there. It's pretty. But unfortunately, it's not in Colorado.
In our experience, using non-Colorado mountains in Colorado political advertising is the kiss of death. Perhaps not quite the disaster that the Colorado Republican Party's awkward dance with Personhood has been, but definitely not good. Be assured, locals don't appreciate it. It comes across as ignorant and patronizing, the product of outsiders to whom all "flyover state" mountains look the same.
Bottom line: to summarize National Right to Life's efforts on behalf of Cory Gardner, see title.