Archive for August, 2016

Another election year, another journalist exposes a Republican Senate candidate talking in different directions on personhood abortion ban

Monday, August 1st, 2016

If you look at the Colorado Right to Life website, you’ll see that Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn is labled “pro-life.”

What does that mean, if you’re Colorado Right to Life? It means Glenn answered questions on seven “pro-life issues,” revealing his position “through specific language with no weasel-room.”

Colorado Right to Life states:

No candidate who supports abortion for any reason is “pro-life.” Regardless of what they may say, any truly pro-life citizen/candidate believes that government has an obligation to protect all human life from conception forward, and therefore pledge to oppose all abortion (with the understanding that a doctor may take action to save a woman’s life while also trying to save the baby’s life, even if the baby’s survival is doubtful due to other factors) – every innocent human being has an inalienable Right to Life at every age or stage of development.

But as the Durango Herald’s Peter Marcus reports today, Glenn appears to have described his abortion stance differently to different audiences.

Marcus quotes Glenn in an appearance on “Devil’s Advocate,” a television show sponsored by the conservative Independence Institute.

Glenn told Caldara: “As a person who has two adult daughters, I put myself in that situation. And I want to make sure that when we’re talking about health care, you want to make sure that women have the ability and access to health care, so that they understand all the different options that are out there. And at some point in time, maybe they might have to make that decision. But that is a personal decision that they have to make between them and… God.

Marcus’ report included a reaction to the Caldara interview from Colorado Right to Life:

“I’m willing to say on behalf of our organization that his comments were not nearly as strong as we would hope,” said Susan Sutherland, vice president of Colorado Right to Life. “He was just trying to play a little bit of political maneuvering there.”

Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner ran into a similar situation in 2014 when he defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Udall. To defeat Udall, Gardner walked more to the middle on the abortion issue, attempting to distance himself from personhood.

Glenn proudly leaned to the right during the primary, which helped propel the relatively unknown El Paso County commissioner to success in a crowded GOP field.

And, of course, before Gardner, there was 2010 Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck, who, after the GOP primary, oops, took back his support for a personhood abortion ban  because, he said at the time, he didn’t understand the proposed amendment.

Like Buck, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman was cozy with the poor folks at Colorado Right to Life, before he jumped ship and took back his personhood support a couple years ago–though he’s never offered up much detail on why and how his position evolved on the issue.

I woudn’t be feeling very good if I were in the shoes of Colorado Right to Life, but we all agree that it’s better to have journalists expose the buckpedaling than leaving it buried in candidate questionnaires few people bother to read.

Reporters should continue to reference Coffman’s pledge to back Trump — and seek explanation for shift

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Last week, the Aurora Sentinel became the latest media outlet to point out that Rep. Mike Coffman’s spokeswoman told the Colorado Statesman in February that Coffman would “obviously” support Trump over Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Coffman originally endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for the GOP presidential nomination and has not publicly endorsed Trump, though a Coffman campaign spokeswoman in February told the Colorado Statesman — when asked if the congressman would support the GOP nominee over Clinton or Bernie Sanders — that “the answer is obviously yes.”

Back in May, when Coffman shifted and stated he wasn’t sold on Trump, 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman also referred to Coffman’s previous pledge to back the celebrity mogul over Hillary.

Both the Sentinel and 9News are doing the right thing not to let Coffman hide behind his spokesperson and then, later, to contradict what his spokesperson said.

Trouble is, reporters have yet to ask Coffman for an explanation. Why was his spokesperson so adamant that Coffman would back the GOP nominee?

And what’s changed about Trump since February, assuming that Coffman’s spokesperson wasn’t spreading misinformation about her boss?

Some have speculated that there were 11 GOP candidates in the race when Coffman promised to endorse the nominee. Does that mean he’d support all of the rest of them if they’d been selected as the nominee, but not necessarily Trump? Which ones might have Coffman rejected?

And since Coffman himself is backtracking on a previous pledge to support the GOP nominee (and now saying Trump has to “earn” his support) it’s also a completely legit question to ask what Coffman will do with his vote if he doesn’t give it to Donald.