A video clip of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner shot about a week ago by a "tracker" with the national liberal organization American Bridge captures Gardner once again forced to address the subject of abortion–an issue that, although great for Gardner to flog during his long career running for office in safe Republican seats, is today a major liability in his statewide race. This encounter is from Gardner's recent "jobs and economy" tour on the Western Slope, as transcribed below–staying on message seems to be a bit of a problem.
VOTER: I wanted to say thank you, I had to look up the name of this bill, because I can never remember. But about a year ago, the U.S. House voted on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. And you voted for that. Um, I thought that was a wonderful bill, the media paid it very little attention, and I thought it was a very reasonable approach to a complicated and controversial problem. And you'd vote for it again as a Senator, would you not? [Pols emphasis]
GARDNER: Yes. [Pols emphasis] Thank you.
VOTER: Well, and I think you need to let people know that you did that. Because there are, I don't know, in this day and age, (inaudible) it might be a better approach than the Personhood thing.
GARDNER: Good to see you. Thank you.
VOTER: Thank you.
It's not quite a reaffirmation of Gardner's support for the Life at Conception Act, the "Personhood" federal legislation Gardner is a co-sponsor of that would have the same impact on so-called "abortifacient" birth control as the state-level Personhood amendments Gardner has disavowed. But make no mistake: the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, an arbitrary ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, would still directly challenge the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision. Roe v. Wade upheld abortion rights for a longer period based on the standard of fetal viability outside the womb. Pro-choice advocates note that most abortions performed this late address severe medical problems either with the mother or the fetus.
All of this helps explain why Gardner didn't appear at all eager to be discussing this issue in front of a tracker. Gardner's answer will please the anti-abortion groups who are rushing to shield him from criticism over his abandonment of Colorado's Personhood amendment. But for Gardner's larger objective of escaping the danger the issue of abortion represents to his campaign for the U.S. Senate, it's the last thing he needs.
And this won't be the last time he has to answer these uncomfortable questions.
Your attempts to oversimplify and confuse people about this issue will fail, Colorado Pols. The truth is, many Democrats support a late term abortion ban. Roe v. Wade is no longer adequate now that we understand what fetuses can experience. No one wants to make a human being suffer, not even a woman who wants an abortion.
Also, it's time to stop calling Gardner a flip flopper on abortion. He's not, and real pro lifers know it.
Women know that Gardner wants to terminate their right to seek an abortion, and that he feels he and his male GOP cohort have the right to dictate what a woman can and cannot do with her own body.
Everything else is mere spin.
He is shamelessly, transparently lying about his alleged "change of heart" re Personhood, and no one but the most ardent of his supporters believes his absurd flip-flop on the subject for one nanosecond.
There is no confusion among women that conservative Republicans are devoted to making access to family planning, routine healthcare and screenings as well as to abortion more difficult. Republicans brag about these very things when addressing their base and push through draconian, restrictive legislation everywhere they hold legislative majorities. It's not even slightly confusing to pro-choice, pro-family planning, pro-healthcare access women. And that's most of us.
moderatus, don't worry you little troll you, we are going to continue to expose Gardner's extreme anti-women record
You're right, he's not a flip-flopper. He just pulls his support for things he believes in for political expediency – and that is far, far worse.
Real pro life?
You must mean me.
And I know a lying weasel when I see one. And befor he can ask, or you, my own eyes*.
*it was Chico.
Why should we stop calling him a flip-flopper, when he continues to be one?
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
Ergo, Republicans and other supporters of restrictions on abortion rights are lying to pursue an agenda.
Furthermore, as noted above, most abortions at advanced gestational age are done for fetal anomalies. So lets prevent those abortions under the hypothetical pretense that the fetus might suffer a moment of pain, and consign them and their families to a lifetime of pain. That's compassionate.
Moderatus wrote: "….many Democrats support a late term abortion ban." Perhaps. But the basic issue here is that a decision to have a late term abortion; generally due to some sort of medical complication; must be made by the woman, in consultation with her family and her doctor. This is not an issue for pandering politicans or busybody activists who seem determined to impose their religious views on everyone else.
Blue Cat wrote: "conservative Republicans are devoted to making access to family planning, routine health care & screenings as well as to abortion more difficult." I wouldn't go that far; not every conservative. But B.C. is correct in suggesting that Republicans have a big problem. We can't call ourselves "conservative" on fiscal, economic & jobs issues with one hand; then, with the other hand, call for big government regulation of citizens' private lives.
I'll offer that true conservatives will support individual rights, freedom of conscience, and religious liberty (NOTE: calling for "religious freedom" does not give one the right to tell other people what to do).
Libertarian isn't Conservative, CHB.
A conservative by definition is one who acts cautiously and with restraint. Conservatives tend to resist change until they know it is the right thing to do. They might resist new spending or taxes, distrusting the purposes to which that new money will be put. But a conservative who grows up "knowing" that interracial marriage is "wrong" will also resist changing that view, doing so only after a full re-evaluation and overcoming their personal knowledge.
The current Republican Party make up is largely a result of recruiting disgruntled conservative Southern Democrats, the Moral Majority, and the Tea Party into the business-minded Republican Party of the past. Each group is conservative in its own way, its own mindset, and in order to gain the support of these groups, existing Republicans have adapted the language and often the beliefs of the group being recruited. Hence we now have a party that's for big business, against many of the civil rights laws passed in the 60s and 70s, strongly supportive of fundamentalist Christian conservative positions, and ever-increasingly anti-government.
(Of course, even Libertarians have their blind spots on abortion. See Ron and Rand Paul…)
Note that the evolution of the Republican Party I describe above would seem to violate the conservative ideal of accepting change only after evaluation. But as shown by the astroturfing of the Tea Party by big money Republican groups, there are some smart people sitting behind the curtains.
At its core – for now – the GOP is still about those big business types. They've turned the racial distrust into for-profit prisons and "lazy people" exploitable for cheap labor. They've taken "send me $200 or God will take me off the air" televangelists and elevated their profit-making prattle in to a major Christian movement. And they've taken the Tea Party frustration with big government and (I've seen more than a hint of this) corrupt financial institutions and used it to fight for things that make big business more profitable. Whenever one of thse groups looks like they might be veering off-course, there's always a new scandal or cause to be taken up – one that is either (or both) a Quixotic adventure or something sure to rouse the emotions of whatever group they need to haul back in to the fold.
Almost no pols or orgs calling themselves Libertarian are Libertarian either. For one thing a real Libertarian would be pro-choice like their goddess Ayn Rand.