DSCC Drops $1 Million To Hammer Gardner on Abortion

AP’s Phillip Elliot reports on the latest media buy from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, $1 million on an ad hitting GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner squarely on the issue of abortion:

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Thursday ordered a two-week ad buy that hammers Republican congressman Cory Gardner. The narrator in the 30-second ad says Gardner backed three amendments that would have banned all abortions.

Gardner supported changes to Colorado’s state constitution that would have banned stem cell research, some birth control and abortion. Gardner has since changed his position on the so-called personhood measure, and says now he opposes it.

From the DSCC’s release:

“If Congressman Cory Gardner had his way, Colorado women would be denied critical decisions about their personal health,” said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “Congressman Gardner’s record of backing measures to take women’s health care decisions away is simply too extreme for Colorado. Until Election Day, the DSCC will continue to highlight how Congressman Gardner is completely wrong for Colorado women, seniors, and middle class families.”

What’s particularly interesting to us about this latest TV spot is the lack of any mention of birth control–focusing strictly on Gardner’s support for banning all abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. Much of the advertising up to this point has tried to invoke the added consequence of banning birth control as a result of the Personhood abortion bans, and the federal Life at Conception Act that Gardner remains a co-sponsor of. Gardner has vigorously pushed back against the assertion that he wanted to ban even so-called “abortifacient” birth control as Personhood proponents did–going as far as voicing support for over-the-counter birth control as a means of deflecting the charge that he supports legislation that could ban it.

By avoiding the issue of birth control entirely and focusing solely on Gardner’s support for total abortion bans even in cases of rape or incest, the DSCC takes away Gardner’s ability to deflect. Regardless of whether or not you believe Gardner wanted to ban birth control when he supported legislation that could have that effect, there’s no question that Gardner has repeatedly sponsored and voted for legislation to ban all abortions without exception. To be honest, anecdotal conversations we’ve had with low-information voters suggest to us that the claim Gardner supported legislation to ban birth control, intentionally or not, is much harder to swallow than the argument that Gardner supports banning all abortions even in cases of rape or incest.

Given the public’s skepticism of election-season claims these days, it may indeed be better to stick to an argument that Gardner can’t, as local Republican consultant Katy Atkinson crassly admitted was the plan, “muddy up.”

Because we don’t think Gardner can say much about this one.

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Thank you, Colorado Pols, for finally admitting that the attacks on Cory over birth control are made up. Kudos to the DSCC, and I hope the false ads Mark Udall and others have released about Cory and birth control are taken off the air now.

    Now you owe Gardner an apology for spreading lies about his position on birth control.

  2. DawnPatrol says:

    GREAT ad btw, DSCC. A real sledgehammer. Keep 'em comin' — right between Con Man Cory's (political) eyes!

  3. MooMooMoo0MooMooMoo0 says:

    I mean, no matter how you slice it, Gardner supports a total ban on all abortions, whether or not he supports Colorado Personhood or US Personhood. 

    • Andrew Carnegie says:

      I hear he supports ex post facto abortions on Polsters, too. 

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Yup. Simple clear message, without the bewildering "pre-implantation vs. post implantation" technical biological ladyparts stuff. Way to go, DSCC.

      Now, could we please talk about something besides abortion? I know that you want the female votes, but, believe it or not, we do have other concerns.

      When Cory says that it's really all about jobs and the economy, fricking talk about that! Talk about the shutdown and the people who never got all of their pay! Talk about shutting off extended unemployment! Talk about how his emphasis on gas, oil, and gas at the expense of renewables has held Colorado's development back! Talk about how refusal to even consider extended day kindergarten or pre-K funding has kept a generation of Coloradans poor and ignorant.

      You get the idea, DSCC.

      • MooMooMoo0MooMooMoo0 says:

        Ex post facto abortions? Does he have a time machine?  

        Anyways, back to the situation at hand. Civil Rights and Liberties is the one thing that the "median voter" (probably someone who makes $40,000 a year in the suburbs, who is not in the Religious Right, TEA party or a liberal) in Colorado is squarely with the Democrats with. Then again, there are other "libertarianish" states (like Wyoming 10 years ago) that still rode the straight R express because they knew that either A) conservatives just say things to get elected and the Supreme Court stop them or B) they can just undo everything through referendum. If we mistake ambivalence about things like abortion with support, we could have trouble. The good thing about talking about these issues is that they are not as much conjecture as they used to be. Griswald, Roe and the entire privacy framework may not be used in five years if the country pushes any further to the right. God forbid, we may have to live with the consequences of our votes sooneer than later.

        These issues are important, but they aren't issues that should be front and center.

        One thing that Democrats really need to do is say that we are open to implementing some Republican policies on top of what we already have, but that ACA is a decent law that though isn't perfect, will bring the number of people who don't have access to legitimate health care in line with international standards without any lessening of care that people already recieve. The only people that ACA hurt would be underinsured rich people who are forced to buy insurance that they could easily afford and thus don't get subsidies. On top of that, it brings the pre-exemption tap income tax bracket to something that both liberals, moderates and a few conservatives would consider reasonable (~44% for those who make more than half a million a year).  In the end, ACA actually is solid. 

        If that isn't a good enough talking point- another talking point is the uncertainty that it would generate to ignore or repeal the law now. Do we really want the laws on healthcare to solely depend on who is in power?  Further, is ACA is repealed, does that mean we go back to the way things were? In the early 90s, HCR was tabled (but for the medcaid expansion for children called SCHIP) because the current system was "sustainable enough" but by 2009, it obviously wasn't if the nice couple on TV  that said "we can't afford health care reform" comes back and says "we hope the Government does something substantial". If the medical business makes that kind of about face, you know that alternative to what ended up happening probably wasn't very good. 


        Sorry to go on a diatribe, but the main thrust is that a lot of Republican talking points are impractical and vague. 

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        MJ, the two reasons they are talking about Abortion?

        First, they think that is all women care about.

        Do you want them to talk about Udall the 99% er?

        Udall the liar?

        Udall keeping people secure from government over reach?

        The second reason, that is all they have to talk about.

        • denverco says:

          Yes and con man cory doesn't answer any questions directly. Like you he deflects and hopes no one will notice. He has been caught in his web of lies and keeps digging his hole deeper and deeper. Is he or isn't he for personhood? Does he or doesn't he support immigration reform? Why did he choose to shutdown the government and hurt Colorado flood relief victims? Nobody knows for sure because he gives different answers depending on who he is talking to. This is why Colorado republicans always lose – they try to lie their way into office and always get caught.

  4. BlueCatBlueCat says:

    Completely agree, mama. Even the most pro-choice among us aren't just crazy for abortions. But you do have to make sure that low info voters who don't know much about either Udall or Gardner know where they stand on reproductive freedom issues. But that's not all they need to communicate. They definitely have to move on to other issues, very much including jobs and the economy. 

    Don't know why Rs are always assumed to have an advantage there and why Dems seem to cede it and want to talk about other things. Decades of stats show that we're a much more prosperous, upwardly mobile nation with lower deficits and more economic opportunity for all under Democrats than we ever are under Republicans. It's not as if  Dems are only good on social issues and Rs are good for the economy. They aren't. Conservative economic policies have a long record of dismal failure for the overwhelming majority. These things are just as important to women as to men. 

    So Dems had better not try to make it all about abortion and birth control to attract women. I get that the women's vote is very important to Dems for winning elections but we aren't just walking wombs. We care about all the issues. Besides, I do think that in today's political world most people assume a Republican candidate is going to be anti-choice and a Dem is going to be pro-choice anyway. The exceptions are extremely few and far between. It's pretty much a given. Those who are true swing voters want to hear about other things in making their decisions. And there is so much more Dems can use.

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