WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Axios Denver:
Colorado GOP congressional candidate Barbara Kirkmeyer scrubbed her hardline anti-abortion stance from her campaign website, part of a broader overhaul to moderate her image…
What they’re saying: Kirkmeyer spokesperson Alan Philp told Axios the changes came after the campaign did “a complete redesign” of its website.
Other issues removed were education, cost of living, agriculture and more. The site now just highlights her stances on spending, energy and crime. “We are focused on the three issues in which voters have expressed the most interest,” Philp added.
Short version: of course we shook the Etch-a-Sketch. Everybody is doing it!
Politico reports today on attempts by a growing number of Republican candidates around the country to de-emphasize their formerly strident views against abortion rights, ahead of a general election in which the issue is expected to be a major problem for Republicans facing an angry and mobilized pro-choice electorate:
Democrats have been hammering GOP candidates on abortion since the fall of Roe v. Wade. That’s left some Republicans scrambling to try to figure out how to soften the blow.
A number of Republicans are trying to avoid political fallout from the Dobbs decision by quietly deemphasizing their past position on abortion on campaign websites and on the trail. Another handful of GOP candidates — especially those in contests in states that are more of a reach for the party — have gone up with TV ads looking to counter Democrats’ attacks on abortion.
We’ve written quite a bit in this space about the struggles of GOP U.S. Senate candidate Joe O’Dea to position himself favorably on abortion with Colorado’s pro-choice majority of general election voters. O’Dea hurt himself from the outset by trying to have it both ways on the issue during the primary, claiming to be “personally very pro-life” while still somehow supporting Roe v. Wade–and simultaneously condemning the new Colorado law codifying abortion rights into statute passed just before Roe’s repeal. Then O’Dea tripped himself up again on the issue of abortion by admitting unbidden that he supported 2020’s Proposition 115, an abortion restriction measure overwhelmingly rejected by Colorado voters.
But we didn’t expect today’s story about Republicans throttling back their message on abortion to snare another marquee Colorado Republican candidate, Barb Kirkmeyer running for the brand-new ultracompetitive CD-8:
In a newly created Colorado battleground district, Republican Barb Kirkmeyer listed defending “the Sanctity of Life” on an issue page of her website, according to a July 5 archived version of the page. An old version also included a video of her speech at the 2022 March for Life event. Both references now appear to be gone. [Pols emphasis]
This after less than two weeks ago, when the very same Barb Kirkmeyer had this to say about her position on abortion when asked directly by the Colorado Sun’s Jesse Paul:
“I’ve been very transparent, very open about my position on abortion,” Kirkmeyer said. [Pols emphasis] “It’s a settled question in this state, so I don’t know why they want to keep bringing it back up other than for political reasons. People know who I am.”
How does one square Kirkmeyer’s claim to be “very transparent” on abortion with sanitizing her campaign website of material on the same issue? It’s simple: you can’t. Kirkmeyer just got caught red-handed acting out the opposite of “transparency.” Despite some weak recent attempts to run cover for Kirkmeyer on abortion by untrustworthy fellow Republican surrogates, it’s quite true that she has been for most of career very up front about opposing abortion anywhere at any time.
Until now. Kirkmeyer saw poll numbers that scared her, and her values evaporated like thin morning fog.
Ah, the old fashioned site scrub. Won't they ever learn about the Wayback Machine?
No, and don't tell them!
Knows her true beliefs don’t align with CD 8 constituents so she hides in plain sight like Kavenaugh. Anyone who trusts her ‘transparency’ on this issue is going to get fooled again. Brett, to his crefit, had his fingers crossed bahind his back when he perjured himself before the senate judiciary committee. Kirkmeyer doesn’t have McConnell to help her make her real positions disappear from public view. She needs to get Udalled this election. Her phoniness about it becomes a number 1 campaign issue.
Speaking of Udall, I just can't help mentioning that he was more on target than we imagined when people were mocking his "all abortion, all the time" speeches and calling him Mark Uterus.
Different times. Lyin' Cory and his complicit pet Denver Post sold the "abortion rights are not at risk" lie to just enough undecided voters to swing the election. This is a very different election, post-Dobbs.
Yes, more than unfortunate that he was slammed by Dems for his message. And here we are . . .
Udall never was “All abortion, all the time.” I heard him debate Gardner in Pueblo, and it was a balance of economy, environmental, abortion, health care, and other issues.
But because he spoke frankly about abortion at all, when most other politicians wouldn’t mention it, he was pilloried as “Mark Uterus”.
In terms of the mail pieces his campaign put out, they were all sad women bemoaning the end of abortion. But that was just cynical campaign consultants figuring that women were single-issue voters. Angela Giron’s anti-recall campaign made the same mistake.
Abortion needs to be put squarely in the context of cost of living and access to health care. That’s how most of us experience it.
Hey Barb. If abortion is a "settled issue" in this state, how come there is at least one bill in every session of the Legislature that would ban abortion?
I suggest she purchase a new dictionary with a more accurate definition of "settled."
It isn't a "settled issue", and she knows it. Republicans in Congress are already crafting legislation to make the procedure illegal from coast to coast (after years of saying it should be an issue left to the states). If the folks of the 8th are stupid enough to send her to DC, you can bet she will be one of the sponsors of the bill.