Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner has made national headlines for adopting a campaign strategy that de facto concedes he can not run on his record, because his Tea Party-era positions are much more conservative than is Colorado.
This is the case on litmus test issues such as climate change, renewable energy development, health care reform, LGBTQ equality and, most dramatically, women’s reproductive rights. His obfuscation on his support for hardline anti-abortion legislation casts a light on the present state of contemporary Republican politics, where candidates around the country wrestle with the fact that the party, wrangled by its activist base, has moved far to the right of the country.
As a state and congressional representative for conservative eastern plains districts in Colorado, Gardner championed the anti-abortion personhood movement, which would outlaw abortions in all cases as well as many forms of contraception and it would tank much fertility research and treatment being conducted in the state. After announcing he was running statewide for the U.S. Senate, he said he could no longer support “personhood in Colorado” because he didn’t realize it could outlaw contraception. No one really believed that, on the right or the left.
“It was his ambition, not his position that changed,” as Democrats put it.
To bolster that argument, they have underlined the fact that Gardner remains co-sponsor of the Life at Conception Act in Congress — a personhood bill. The act is a proposed federal law that would outlaw abortions in all cases as well as many forms of contraception and that would tank much fertility research and treatment being conducted…. in every state of the Union, including Colorado.
Gardner now has come to adopt what bloggers at Colorado Pols call the “Jedi mind trick” approach to the question, in which he moves his hands and just says what he wants you to believe is true but that is not actually true. He says “There is no federal personhood bill.”
But there is a federal personhood bill. It’s called the Life at Conception Act and he is the cosponsor.
Here’s a “Cory Gardner Jedi Mind Trick” mashup by Colorado media blogger Jason Salzman: