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February 15, 2006 09:00 AM UTC

Ritter Dodges Old Answer on Colorado Pols

  • by: Colorado Pols

Democrat Bill Ritter is learning to avoid a question that may have gotten him in trouble in a Colorado Pols Q&A last year. from The Denver Post:

Although governors usually don’t have much direct involvement in abortion legislation, a weakening or overturning of Roe vs. Wade could leave the issue up to the states to decide.

If the Supreme Court overturns that key decision recognizing abortion rights, Ritter’s campaign has said that he would prefer that any question about legalizing abortion in Colorado go directly to voters rather than through the legislative process, which would put the final decision on his desk.

Asked in an interview last week if, in that instance, he would sign a bill to ban abortion, Ritter replied: “I’m not answering that question. I have come to appreciate how nuanced this whole thing can be and how dangerous it can be to answer the hypothetical.”

Last June, however, he told the political website [our emphasis] that he would sign the bill “only if it provides protections for women who are victims of rape or incest or to protect the life of the mother.”

Ritter’s failure to answer the question now may cause political headaches for him later.

In Virginia’s race for governor last year, Republican candidate Jerry Kilgore refused in a debate to say whether he would sign a bill banning abortion in cases of rape or incest or where it would save the mother’s life. He too called the issue “hypothetical.” Voters, politicians and newspaper editorials dogged him, demanding an answer.

His loss to Democrat Tim Kaine, also a Catholic who opposes abortion rights, was not determined by that issue, said Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. He said voters in Virginia, like in the rest of the country, have moved abortion down on their list of concerns, behind such matters as health care, education and transportation.

But in politics, trying to sidestep issues, especially controversial ones, often brings the candidate unwanted attention. “He would be better off answering it and moving on, especially because the abortion issue will be less critical in the final outcome than people now think,” Sabato said.


12 thoughts on “Ritter Dodges Old Answer on Colorado Pols

  1. Ritter has other problems.  I know it is convenient to focus on the abortion question (the press loves to do that) but there are other issues with Ritter. 

    Most have to do with his electability.  I don’t care what polls say at this time, because he will face an onslaught and I am not sure that he has the ability to fight back.  This has the feel of a John Kerry campaign. 

    He does not excite the base, and cross-over vote doesn’t do you any good without a strong turnout in your base.  The issue here is also beyond abortion.

    An example of the above is the selection of Barbra O’Brien.  Instead of trying to mitigate the problems Ritter has with the more liberal elements (bring everyone together) he chooses a lackluster running mate (also from Denver) who is Pro-vouchers and supported Bill Owens (yes, she like Peggy Lamm was on that list of Democrats for Owens.)

    All of this says that he does not have the political savvy to fix his problems within his own party; demonstrates a lack of judgement; and does not inspire either confidence or leadership.

    There is also, as noted above, a lingering sense that he is not tough enough or political fighter enough to win this kind of campaign.  His past performance as a candidate reinforces this.

  2. “There is also, as noted above, a lingering sense that he is not tough enough or political fighter enough to win this kind of campaign. His past performance as a candidate reinforces this.”

    Wrong. Ten years ago Ritter ran for re-election against a well-financed, high name recognition, former Denver DA’s office insider, the neither-meek-nor-mild Craig Silverman. Ritter had some vulnerable spots (as DA’s often do, ask Dave Thomas), Silverman was tough and aggressive, and it was the most hotly contested horserace that season. . .and Ritter trounced him.

  3. If Ritter is the answer we are asking the wrong question.

    Please Alice consider running otherwise this is shaping up to be a bad year.

    I will NOT vote for Ritter and that my CHOICE.

  4. Coming soon to a polling station near you.

    Both Ways Bob & Bill!

    We already know the first half of the story.  BW Bob likes this referendum, now he doesn’t like it.  It wins, and now we don’t know what BW Bob thinks.

    In the second half of the script, BW Bill says he is all about personal convictions, and his say NO to abortion rights.  Then his running mate pushes commentary from her staffers to the Denver Post, saying BW Bill will defend those rights.  Now Poor BW Bill doesn’t want to talk about it, as it is no longer an issue.  Funny.  You made it an issue.  Now answer the stinkin’ question!

    Both of you!  Or which ever way the wind blows, is that how it’s gonna be Both Ways.  Many wish they could vote Both Ways, and now it seems that no matter what, everyone will.

    ps.  Silverman WAS a goof.

  5. Did someone really say Silverman was “tough and aggressive?”

    Ritter’s standing will dive big-time once the GOP stops targeting each other and targets him. It will be over very quickly.

  6. Bill Ritter was not a very good district attorney.
    Let us over look that and his opposition to freedom of choice. Bill Ritter due to pressure from the Archbishop says he would have vetoed Rep. Boyd’s bill to provide contraceptive counseling to rape victims. Never mind that the pill is not an abortion bill but a contraceptive pill. Never mind that pro life Republicans such as Lynn Hefley supported this bill. Bill Ritter places the political whims of the Archbishop over the very real needs of the victims of rape.
    Is that who we want as our Governor?

  7. Since the topic has come up, it’s worth mentioning again that some pro-lifers are spreading rumors that Ritter declined to even investigate the phenomenon of statutory rapists who escort their pregnant underage lovers into the Planned Parenthood abortuary at 14th & Vine.  The mandatory child abuse reporting laws are very selectively applied to only the choicest perpetrators.

  8. How did mild  mannered Bill Ritter manage to dodge the life issue, knock  one of the most popular mayors in the US out of the running, called Alice’s bluff and emerge the next governor of Colorado without, evidently, breaking a sweat.

    Those ex altar boys are tough.

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