Cynthia Coffman: “We Defunded Planned Parenthood”

Back during the 2010 GOP U.S. Senate primary, candidate Jane Norton faced an uphill (and ultimately unsuccessful) battle for the right wing of the party against Weld County DA Ken Buck. Buck appealed to social conservatives early in this race with his strident rhetoric against abortion–even volunteering unbidden that he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and/or incest.

In response, Norton made much of her work as director of the Colorado Department of Health under former Gov. Bill Owens to "defund" Planned Parenthood. This wasn't enough to put Norton over the top in 2010's GOP Senate primary, as you know–and some argued that campaigning on defunding Planned Parenthood was waiting to backfire on her during the general election, much as Buck's view on the issue wound up damaging him. After all, in the mid 2000s, abortions made up only about 3% of Planned Parenthood's services–with contraception, STD treatment, and cancer screening accounting for the vast majority of the organization's work (see chart upper right).

As it turns out, Norton had help on the 2010 campaign trail telling Republican primary voters about her efforts to "defund" Planned Parenthood. Check out this video from the North Denver Candidate Search 2010 Forum, hosted by "Tea Party" groups Revive Our American Republic, the Denver/Front Range 9.12 Project, the Broomfield 9.12 Project, and the now-defunct People's Press Collective

That's right–one of Norton's lead surrogates on the 2010 campaign trail was Cynthia Coffman, now a Republican candidate for Attorney General facing a primary against House Minority Leader Mark Waller. Which sets up some interesting dynamics–will Coffman campaign for AG on her record of "defunding" Planned Parenthood? Might that push Waller to the right on the issue? Might that in turn become a liability or whichever of them wins the primary, given how poorly abortion restrictions (and the candidates who favor them) have fared in recent elections?

Then again, Cynthia Coffman could play it like husband Rep. Mike Coffman and shake the Etch-a-Sketch.

But the success rate for that is historically kind of low as well.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Cynthia Coffman is a Republican.


  2. rathmone says:

    To be fair, this was recorded before the GOP released its "Growth & Opportunity Party" guidelines:

    "Be conscious of developing a forward-leaning vision for voting Republican that appeals to women. The Republican Party needs to offer that same vision and message demonstrating that our policies, principles and vision address the concerns of female voters…Republicans need to make a better effort at listening to female voters, directing their policy proposals at what they learn from women, and communicating that they understand what a woman who is balancing many responsibilities is going through."

    I mean, how could she know that bragging about "defunding Planned Parenthood" wasn't on message?

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