9NEWS' Brandon Rittiman takes a look at the new ad from Sen. Mark Udall's campaign, hitting GOP opponent Cory Gardner on his longstanding support for banning abortion and the "Personhood" initiatives–and unlike his recent Truth Test of an Americans for Prosperity ad falsely attacking Udall, Rittiman finds Udall's ad to be largely truthful:
CLAIM: "Gardner sponsored a bill to make abortion a felony."
In 2007, as a member of the state House of Representatives, Gardner was listed as a sponsor of SB-147.
The bill would have made it " a class 3 felony to perform an abortion," so the felony charge would have applied to abortion providers, not women who underwent abortions.
CLAIM: The bill Gardner supported would make abortion a felony in "cases of rape and incest."
SB-147 did contain an exception to save the life of the mother. Aside from that, the bill would have outlawed abortion with no other exceptions…
As for the hardest-hitting claim in Udall's ad, that Gardner "championed an 8-year-crusade to outlaw (common forms of) birth control," referring to the "Personhood" abortion ban initiatives? This is where Rittiman gives Gardner a little more leeway:
Cory Gardner supported Personhood campaigns in Colorado, but this year he changed his mind. [Pols emphasis]
His campaign says Gardner wanted to ban abortion, not birth control, pointing out that the above-mentioned 2007 bill did include language to protect contraceptives.
The Udall campaign counters that it is dishonest for Gardner to claim he didn't know the Personhood questions could affect birth control, because supporters said that it would.
However, the Udall campaign was unable to provide evidence of Gardner on record directly saying he opposes birth control. [Pols emphasis]
We understand why Rittiman is making this distinction, but we also can see why others plausibly would not be so charitable to Gardner as he flip-flops on this issue. It was indeed common knowledge as far back as 2008 that the "Personhood" abortion bans would outlaw certain forms of so-called "abortifacient" birth control–the Denver Post argued against Amendment 48 in 2008 for exactly this reason, and proponents who most certainly do oppose such forms of birth control campaigned on it. And while Udall might not have Gardner outright saying he wants to ban birth control, Gardner is on the record with his proud support for Personhood in 2010–years after these facts were common knowledge.
Bottom line: the worst Udall got was a single "debatable" rating for this ad, on what we'd say is still a very defensible claim. The rest of the ad is true. When you compare that to the unflinchingly mendacious (and now backfiring) ads from Udall's opponents…well, there's really no comparison, is there? Next time you hear someone complaining about those endless, grating political ads, maybe mention how it's considerably worse to endure them when they're not true. And then show them this Truth Test.