Bringing a Denver Metro Chamber Chamber of Commerce candidate forum in Denver to a close Friday afternoon, ABC’s Jake Tapper asked Weld County DA and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck whether he regretted the language he used in talking to a rape victim in 2005 about whether he would prosecute her case, language the victim found offensive and humiliating (pdf) and that has drawn a firestorm of national media coverage questioning Buck’s view toward women and women’s rights.
Buck explained at length that he drew in staff and experts to weigh the case and they all agreed it would be a very difficult case to argue. He didn’t say he regretted the language. Tapper asked him again.
“I did the best I could,” he said. “I had an obligation to the victim to tell her frankly how a jury would view her case.”
Projected on large screens placed at the two front corners of the Sheraton grand ballroom in downtown Denver, the senate candidate’s face remained expressionless.
Tapper apologized for ending the debate on such a somber note.
Sitting next to Buck on stage Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet alluded twice earlier in the debate to Buck’s strong support for the controversial anti-abortion Colorado “personhood” amendment during the GOP primary campaign, a position Buck has backed away from in the last weeks, drawing the ire of pro-life groups, one of which, American Right To Life Action, withdrew its Buck endorsement Friday before the debate.
The amendment would give full citizen rights to fertilized human eggs, ending abortion as well as some birth control, fertility treatments and stem cell research in the state. Rights attorneys and women’s rights advocates have said the bill might seriously infringe on the liberty of pregnant women, who could be subject to laws limiting their behavior and prosecuted for taking risks with or damaging the eggs in the wombs.
Buck has said he opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest and has gained increasing numbers of critics who say women will not come out to vote for Buck.