Reporter Has No Luck Understanding Gardner Hypocrisy

09/08/2014 02:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

One of the biggest mysteries of the current election season, consistently overlooked by Denver journalists, is why U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner withdrew his support of the personhood abortion ban at the state level. But he's still a supporter of federal personhood legislation that would do the same thing. What gives?

9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman tried to get to the bottom of this in an interview with Gardner, who's running against Democrat Sen. Mark Udall, over the weekend:

Rittiman: 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.

Rittman followed up by pointing out that other co-sponsors of the bill say it it is federal personhood, and asking, "But it's still a piece of legislation that says abortion ought to be illegal, no?"

Gardner: No. It says life begins at conception. Look, Sen. Mark Udall is trying to say that it's something that it's not.

Rather than letting Gardner's false statement slide, Rittiman reported:

Rittiman: At the very least, the bill is meant to set up a legal challenge to a woman's right to choose. [Factcheck.org supports Rittiman's reporting here.]

So while the facts are clear, the mystery of why Gardner is saying one thing here in Colorado and doing another in Washington lives on.

Why is Gardner saying, "There is no federal personhood bill," when he's a co-sponsor of it? What more could a reporter like Rittman, who wants to get to the truth, do at this point?

I'm not sure, to be honest, except maybe read the text of the bill directly to Gardner and ask him how he could interpret the text of the proposed law as anything other than an attempt to ban all abortion, even for rape and incest.

So I leave you with full title of the proposed law in question:


"To implement equal protection under the 14th article of amendment to the Constitution for the right to life of each born and preborn human person."