Frantic Republicans Try Really Weird Pivot on Women’s Issues

Laura Carno

Laura Carno

It's no secret that Republicans in Colorado have been having a heck of a time trying to convince women to vote for them in recent years. In 2010, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet defeated Republican challenger Ken Buck thanks primarily to strong support from female voters (assisted by Buck's tone-deafness around women's issues). In 2014, Republican candidates such as Bob Beauprez, Cory Gardner, and Mike Coffman are facing similar electoral conundrums when it comes to appeasing their right wing base and trying to attract the support of moderate women in Colorado.

Republicans have yet to figure out how to deal with their problem of (not) appealing to female voters — and make no mistake about the size of the problem. As noted on Colorado Pols today, Beauprez is on the record in a very Todd Akin-like manner on abortion, declaring that he believes abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions for rape or incest. Both Cory Gardner and Mike Coffman are rowing the same boat.

If you are a Republican, how do you reach out to women voters while your candidates are simultaneously making them cringe? When all else fails, apparently, you do your best to tell women that these issues don't really matter anyway. Check out this guest commentary from the Denver Post over the weekend in which Republican activist/consultant Laura Carno sacrifices the interests of the GOP base at the altar of election-year panic:

Since the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision, Roe vs. Wade has "survived" the pro-life presidencies of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush

…a deafening barrage of political commercials is now telling women their reproductive rights are in danger. Let's be clear: They aren't. [Pols emphasis]

In other words, don't worry about Bob Beauprez's far-right view on abortion because Republicans can't or won't change the law anyway.


Lest you think these are the words of a lone wolf activist, you should know that Carno is the founder of an organization called "I Am Created Equal," which lists among the members of its "Advisory Board" — wait for it — Bob Beauprez himself.

You can't make this stuff up.

Carno's guest commentary is incredibly enlightening in offering a peak at Republican strategic thinking on the even of the election. Clearly, the GOP has no idea how to deal with their "women voters" problem, which is never going to go away until Republican candidates stop taking positions that are offensive to female voters.

Without putting forth more moderate candidates, this is certainly a difficult conundrum for Republican strategists to ponder. But we dare say that Carno's messaging isn't helpful for a lot of reasons.

For one thing, there are plenty of right-wing Republicans waiting in the wings who will use this message to defeat moderate Republicans in future Primary Elections.

And then there is this closing argument from Carno, which takes us full-circle back to the original problem:

The option for a woman to choose a legal abortion is only one issue out of many. And since that option is not likely in jeopardy, look at the other choices that are important to you and your family, including health care, take-home pay and your family's safety.

Why would you bring up "take-home pay" for women when politicians such as Rep. Mike Coffman have voted again and again and again to deny legislation that would ensure equal pay for women? Why would you bring up equal pay for women when Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is the co-sponsor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and your Republican candidate for Governor (Beauprez) is on the record in opposition?

See, female voters shouldn't just worry about issues like abortion, because Republican candidates are just as bad on fair pay for women!

Carno is trying really hard here to discount the idea of a "War on Women," while at the very same time demonstrating that Republicans wouldn't be fighting for women if such a war did exist. (Not) well played.


26 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    "These aren't the droids you're looking for."

  2. Gray in Mountains says:

    even Carno admits it is "one issue"

  3. JBJK16 says:

    They should just say "if you favor a woman's right to choose" to terminate a pregnancy/ kill a zygote or fetous, vote for someone else.




    ps, it hi that should be a d, not a p.

  4. BlueCat says:

    Hey, why stop there? Republicans shouldn't worry about choice, birth control or equal pay because they're just as bad on everything.  

    Worried about security? It was Republican Condi Rice who advised Republican GW to just ignore the memo saying an attack plan was definitely in the works and who also ignored or was unaware of intel warning that using planes as bombs was  part of the chatter being picked up. Then it was Cheney/Bush who quite uselessly destabilized the region by blowing up Iraq while ignoring the hunt for mass murder mastermind Bin Laden, GW even proclaiming he wasn't even thinking about getting him. Nothing at all comparable to  9/11 has happened under Obama. Benghazi doesn't come close no matter how hard the Rs try to  spin it.  Not even when Cheney says it's the worst thing that's happened in his lifetime. Seriously.

    Worried about the economy? Take a look at decades of stats proving that the trickle down/austerity policies the Republicans favor have never worked and have in fact dragged the economy down. Just look at solid red led Kansas and Democratic led Colorado to see how how much better  the economy does with Democrats leading the way.  Colorado's success with a Dem Governor and legislature couldn't be more illustrative compared with its opposite in failing flailing Kansas. The job growth promised by Republican Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin in return for draconian union busting directed against all public sector workers has never materialized. Instead of pain for gain it's just been pain.

    Worried about education? Look at what the far right school board in Jeffco is trying to do. Do you want your kids to be educated or do you want them to be as ignorant of what really goes on the world as children educated under totalitarian regimes, trained to be obedient little Borg members who will never question what the "authorities" tell them? Never agitate for rights as women and African Americans did to get the vote and fight for equality?  Do you want our children to be taught not to judge for themselves but to blindly believe that anything our country does is right because we can never be wrong and to therefore find some "other" to blame whenever things do go wrong?

    Worried about climate change? Republicans claim it's a myth, just like evolution. Worried about the environment? Republicans claim that's just a lot of tree hugger nonsense. Want your kids to have healthy air and water and a source of energy that isn't finite and an energy economy that doesn't gobble up communities in boom and bust cycles? Republicans say you must be some kind of anti-capitalist commie. 

    Yes, their problem with women does go way beyond "women's" issues . That's because women are also people and today's backward looking, extremist Republicans are just as bad on all the issues for all the people.

    • Duke Cox says:

      well said, BC..

    • Duke Cox says:

      and, since you mention it. ..

      while ignoring the hunt for mass murder mastermind Bin Laden, GW even proclaiming he wasn't even thinking about getting him.

      On another thread, we were discussing the Carlyle group. What so many people still don't get is the reason why he wasn't trying to get Osama…because he and his daddy have, for many years, been in business with the bin Laden family…

      • BlueCat says:

        And doesn't anybody remember what a top priority it was at the time to get all of Bin Laden's family members out of the country? Odd thing to be at the top of the Cheney/GW to do list. They couldn't get the subject changed from anything and everything to do with Bin Laden and what actually happened on 9/11 to invading Iraq and installing (so they hoped) their boy Chalabi fast enough. Cheney complained about being expected to go after Bin Laden in Afghanistan at all. 

        The sheer breath and depth of the cynicism with which they used 9/11 as nothing more than an excuse to invade a country that had nothing to do with it would be stunning coming from anyone but the reptilian Cheney. I still think GW was not much more than Cheney and neocon's dim frat boy empty suit.  With daddy issues.

  5. doremi says:

    Interesting the Post gave Ms. Carno an entire op-ed, when they wouln't publish my letter to the editor questioning Cory Gardner's disingenousness on so many issues.  (Wind power…you think he was present at the creation) and reproductive health being just two.

    • Davie says:

      The GOP has a bunch of phony-baloney candidates and the Denver Post is trying to keep the lid on it so they all don't blow up before the election.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Yeah, they didn't publish mine, either.

    • BlueCat says:

      I've noticed how few letters they publish on anything political this far into election season. In the past, I've hardly ever had to send in more than two letters before getting one published. Now they seem to have completely cut me off. Not that you're going to reach very many people through that rag anymore

      • Davie says:

        I've started posting on their website under the articles and The Spot Blog.  Sometimes you'll get an interesting thread going, but mainly, it just feels good to say my piece for the record to the editors and web readers and get it off my chest. 

        They haven't deleted any yet to my knowledge, and the feedback is pretty immediate.

    • TruB says:

      A similar Guest Editorial appeared in the Gazette meanwhile their new policy claims to no longer print political letters from the reader OR political Guest letters.

  6. mamajama55 says:

    Carno tried really hard to sell magazine size as a women's issue. That attempt fell pretty flat. People eligible for concealed carry permits can still get them, regardless of the gender of the person.

    I wonder if "low information voters" are really uninformed enough to not know that  it is Republicans who are blocking a vote on raising the minimum wage, and mandating equal pay for women. Can that actually be spun as an Obama or Pelosi policy? My Senator, George Rivera, said publicly that he is not in favor of minimum wage laws -period, full stop. Not just raising the ceiling, he doesn't want a floor.

    How can that possibly be spun  for Republicans protecting worker's "take home pay"?

    Carno must have complete contempt for the mental capacity of the women she claims to advocate for.

    • Miss Jane says:

      There is good reason for Carno to to have such contempt.  Many gop women do believe it, or just need to believe it to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance.  Others just don't think it affects them, or think only the gop can keep them "safe" from criminals and "evil doers" and brown people. She helps them all rationalize their votes for these increasingly substandard candidates.   

  7. Duke Cox says:

    Carno must have complete contempt for the mental capacity of the women she claims to advocate for.

    That seems to be a common characteristic of the New Republican leadership..they each think they are the smartest person in the room.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      It's like they are the little brother on Ritalin.  They are a danger to themselves and others when they are off their medication and in the case of Republicans the medication is humility.  Have you met a Republican recemt;u who isn't preening and self-absorbed about how righteous they are?  It Republicans ever start taking doses of humility again, you'll probably see a lessening of hostility and paranoa.  Humble people don't think the whole world is out to get them and their bank account.  Republicans have a humility problem that is hurting them with their uncontained hubris.

  8. mtnrunner2 says:

    When the GOP figures out the difference between potential and actual human beings, they might reap the benefits of actual vs. potential voters. Same on immigration.

  9. Denver Yankee says:

    Would you buy a used car from that woman?

  10. DawnPatrol says:

    Wanna know just how terrified the GOTP is about their "woman" problem, and get a real sense of how utterly, devastatingly effective the Dems' ads are proving against them?

    Just look at how completely and publicly they're crapping their pants over it. The desperation is so thick you can cut it with a knife. This lame-ass "piece" written by this two-bit GOTP shill is Exhibit A.

    Too bad for the GOTP that most women are far, far smarter and far more rational than a bunch of angry, old, bitter, racist white Ammosexual men.

    • MooMooMoo0 says:

      Is Ammosexuality a lifestyle choice or a hardwired trait?

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      And it used to be a winning wedge issue.  Ramp up the social issue hysteria while concealing how badly the rubes are getting screwed economically by the wealthy elites.  Bennett was the first to totally push back and win on marginalizing the anti-women extremists.  It's been full retreat since then.  This is more proof that they haven't changed their position.  They just don't want it to be made public otherwise it is a death blow to their political power mongering agenda.

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