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]
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.
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!