On conservative KNUS radio last week, GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner assured listeners that he remains "pro-life" even though he recently un-endorsed the personhood amendment, which would ban abortion in Colorado.
"I remain a pro-life legislator who believes that my record actually speaks for itself while I've been in Congress," Gardner told KNUS radio host Steve Kelley.
If his record speaks for itself, does Gardner stand behind it? Because left out of the radio conversation was the annoying fact that Gardner's legislative record in Congress includes his endorsement of federal personhood legislation, which he has yet to un-endorse. His name is still right there, having joined as a co-sponsor in July of last year.
Gardner also told Kelley:
"If you look at my record, it is a pro-life record. And that will always be on my record, and continue to be a part of it. So, I think that that is something that we have not been trying to turn away from." [Bigmedia emphasis]
Gardner's "pro-life" record, which (in case you missed it) he says "will always be on my record," also includes co-sponsorship of bills in Congress aiming to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to re-define "rape" to include only the "forcible" kind. (Gardner later said his effort to redefine rape was a misunderstanding.)
His "always-on-my-record" record at the state legislature includes sponsorship of legislation banning all abortion, even for rape and incest, as well as other anti-abortion bills, like one mandating ultrasounds prior to abortion. These have yet to be un-endorsed.
Gardner's response to Kelley, touting his anti-abortion credentials to receptive ears, sounds like Gardner's statement at a Tea Party forum in 2009, when he was running for Congress for the first time.
Gardner was asked if he'd carry legislation banning abortion, and he replied, "Yes. And I have a legislative background to back it up."
Partial transcript of appearance of Rep. Cory Gardner on KNUS' Steve Kelley Show, April 16, 2014.
KELLEY: .. Are you pro-choice? Are you pro-life?
GARDNER: Well, if you look at my record, it is a pro-life record. And that will always be on my record, and continue to be a part of it. So, I think that that is something that we have not been trying to turn away from.
KELLEY: So, no ambiguity, you're still pro-life, but -- and your votes support that. But as senator, will you continue in that vein?
GARDNER: Well, again, I'm not - I remain a pro-life legislator who believes that my record actually speaks for itself while I've been in Congress.
KELLEY: So, does the Personhood Amendment, -and again, just to refresh folks' memories, there was a change, not only you but Congressman Coffman, as well. What was the turning point? When you looked at it for what we'll be voting on. What changed your mind?
GARDNER: Well, if you look at the number of people who do not support Personhood, I think it might even come as a surprise to many people who aren't as studied on the issue as we have become, but groups like National Right to Life, groups like the Eagle Forum have raised serious questions if not outright opposing, uh, the effort. L0ok, I think there are things we can agree on, things we can disagree on. But the bottom line is, how do we find those common areas where we can agree and, and, actually make policy -- good policy choices that we can all work together on.
KELLEY: It's been suggested that that would be political - not political suicide, but it is a strategically wise move. Because it's much different being a senator than a congressman, and that you've got to appeal to wider swath of people, here. Was it strategic?
GARDNER: Well, again, I think if you, if you - people who have brought that question up, we brought it up before the Republican assembly. So, clearly we wanted to make sure that we were true to our record and true about our record, and not letting the, the opposition - Mark Udall, in this case - destroy my record.