In response to the Denver Post’s endorsement of Colorado senatorial candidate Cory Gardner, abortion rights organizations in Colorado purchased a full-page advertisement October 19 in the Post, arguing that Gardner’s positions on key issues contradict the newspaper’s editorial positions.
The endorsement, which ran last Sunday, blasted Gardner’s opponent, Sen. Mark Udall, for running an “obnoxious one-issue campaign” on women’s issues, stating that Udall has “devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives.”
Gardner is a co-sponsor of a bill that could ban all abortion and some forms of birth control, as pointed out in Sunday’s ad, sponsored by MoveOn.org Political Action and NARAL Pro Choice America PAC.
The ad listed four editorial positions of the Denver Post: protecting a women’s right to choose, fighting global warming, supporting comprehensive immigration reform, and valuing compromise and fresh ideas.
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Then the ad stated that Gardner “still backs a bill that would ban abortion,” “voted to block progress on combating carbon pollution,” “opposes the bipartisan Senate immigration bill,” and “holds a consistently right-wing voting record in the House.”
The Post, in its endorsement of the Republican, argued that “contrary to Udall’s tedious refrain, Gardner’s election would pose no threat to abortion rights.”
Gardner is a long-standing opponent of abortion under any circumstance.
In March, however, Gardner withdrew his support for state “personhood” amendments, angering Colorado personhood organizers, though he left his name on the federal personhood bill. In Congress, he’s voted to redefine rape and defund Planned Parenthood.
During the past week, commentators from around the country joined pro-choice groups in attacking the Post’s Gardner endorsement.
In an open letter to Post Editor Gregory Moore, former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart wrote, “For you to conclude that Mr. Gardner will be anything other than a consistent vote for a Tea Party dictated agenda on the major social and economic issues of the day is confounding.”
Gardner, in a Fox News appearance over the weekend, shot back.
“Everybody knows [Gary Hart’s] claim to fame. So, I`m not too worried about what Gary Hart thinks about, and he can take his monkey business other places,” Gardner said.
The New Republic’s Danny Vinik chastised the the Post, writing that the endorsement was “baffling, because the Post doesn’t agree with Gardner on almost any issue.”
Gardner has criticized the media multiple times in recent years as being biased toward liberals, but he tweeted that he was “honored and humbled” to be endorsed by the Post.
Gardner’s race against Udall is widely considered a toss-up.