In addition to the memorable debate between candidates for CD-3 at this weekend’s Club 20 event in Grand Junction we discussed earlier today, another noteworthy forum featuring the candidates for Colorado attorney general, Republican George Brauchler and Democratic candidate Phil Weiser, laid out a stark contrast that every voter in Colorado should take the time to watch.
We’ll have a detailed Debate Diary up in this space later today, but we wanted to highlight a particular exchange between Weiser and Brauchler, on the increasingly likely possibility of a direct challenge to the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in favor of women’s abortion rights, which you can watch above–transcribed below:
WEISER: You, um before have been quoted as saying you believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned. If this issue is before the Supreme Court, what position do you take for Colorado?
BRAUCHLER: I don’t think the AG has a role in this, and two I have not said that, what I have said is I’m pro-life. And that I do not expect the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, whether Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed or not. But then the attorney general of Colorado maybe files an amicus but doesn’t have a role to play in that particular argument.
WEISER: So, this is the Elbert County Republican questionnaire, where I think you said that “the results of Roe v. Wade are wrong, and do not make us a better people. I believe Roe v. Wade was decided based on a claimed right, that was interpreted from and not expressed in the Constitution.” Did you say that? Is that still your view?
BRAUCHLER: If that’s in there, that is correct, but that’s not the same thing as seeking to have it overturned. [Pols emphasis] I disagree with Roe v. Wade because I think this is a matter that doesn’t, that should be going to the states, but the Supreme Court ruled differently, and now I’ll embrace that law.
WEISER: Well, if it’s before the Supreme Court, an amicus brief, what would you do?
BRAUCHLER: Uh, I’d have to think about that. What I would do.
BRAUCHLER: Boo all you want. [Pols emphasis]
MODERATOR: Next question, next question.
In just over a minute’s time, Brauchler’s credibility on the issue of abortion is more or less devastated. First he airily asserts that Roe v. Wade will not be overturned, despite the fact that this is a more likely possibility than ever with legal challenges to test legislation already making their way through the courts. Then Brauchler says that Weiser is misleading about Brauchler’s view of Roe v. Wade.
That denial lasted exactly as long as it took to read Brauchler’s own response to Elbert County Republicans in a candidate questionnaire, in which Brauchler makes it plainly obvious that he thinks Roe should be overturned. This leaves Brauchler with no choice but to parse words ridiculously–and then cops out so badly when Weiser returns to the central question, that the audience not only booed but were morally compelled to boo. This was such an abject collapse on an issue of such importance in the upcoming elections that both abortion supporters nor opponents should be outraged.
Brauchler’s faceplant on abortion at Club 20 this weekend is perhaps only mitigated by the fact that not very many voters will likely see the event or even reporting about it. But for everybody who does see it, we have to call it something close to disqualifying. If Brauchler’s dishonesty doesn’t turn you off, his cowardice will.