No issue has dogged Rep. Cory Gardner's (R) Senate campaign in Colorado more than a policy known as "personhood," which would ban abortions and many common forms of birth control. In a bit of a surprise, the far-right congressman has decided to ride this train straight through to Election Day.
Gardner has long been a culture warrior, championing personhood at the state and federal level, even after Colorado voters rejected it (twice). After launching a statewide campaign, the Republican tried to flip-flop
on the issue, but Gardner struggled to even do this properly -- the congressman announced he no longer supports the state
personhood policy, but he would remain a co-sponsor of the federal
With Election Day nearing and Gardner locked in a very close race with Sen. Mark Udall (D), would the conservative Coloradan complete the reversal and walk away from the right-wing legislation? Apparently not. Jason Salzman reported
Friday that "the die is cast."
The House of Representatives adjourned at noon today, meaning Colorado senatorial candidate Cory Gardner has officially missed his chance to withdraw his name from the Life at Conception Act, a federal personhood bill, prior to the Nov. election. To un-cosponsor the bill, Gardner would have had to make a statement from the House floor, and now the House is out of session until Nov. 12.
There's simply no ambiguity here. Over a year ago, Gardner signed on
to the Life at Conception Act (H.R.1091) as a co-sponsor. The Colorado Republican ostensibly changed his mind about the issue a few months ago, but nevertheless kept his name on the federal personhood bill, despite having ample opportunity to withdraw his support.
And now it's too late to do anything about it.
The NBC affiliate in Denver recently caught up with
the congressman to ask about this, and the exchange helped underscore the problem.
KUSA: How do you square your recent change on personhood at the state level with the bill that you still are on in Congress. The Life Begins at Conception Act? Gardner: Well, there is no federal personhood bill. They're two different pieces of legislation, two different things.
This is plainly incorrect. According to Personhood USA and other Republican co-sponsors of the legislation, the Life Begins at Conception Act is, as a matter of policy, a federal personhood bill.
It's literally unbelievable that Gardner wouldn't understand this -- he's not only championed personhood for years, he also probably read the bill before signing on as a co-sponsor.
Looking ahead, Gardner's critics will probably spend quite a bit of time reminding Colorado voters for the next 43 days that the Republican congressman is a personhood supporter, his rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. And thanks to Gardner's own decisions, those critics will be correct.