Colorado Republican wants to ‘bring balance to women’s rights.’ Gee, thanks

Colorado Republican wants to ‘bring balance to women’s rights.’ Gee, thanks

Colorado Republican Senate nominee Joe O’Dea hasn’t drawn the attention of some of his counterparts in other states, but he’s still a Republican in the year 2022, and that means he has to answer questions about abortion rights—and Donald Trump. He’s not doing a great job with either, and local TV news reporter Kyle Clark pinned him to the wall on it, despite his best efforts to wriggle away.

O’Dea wants the headline to be that he supports abortion and will work with Democrats. But when Clark asked what part of President Joe Biden’s agenda he would support over the objections of his fellow Republicans, he drew a blank, saying, “I don’t know of anything that’s blocked right now that I could help him get done, but if it’s good for Colorado, then I’m going to be there for him.” That’s not what you’d call a firm commitment.

RELATED STORY: ‘They’re getting killed among women’: Republicans frantically try to salvage Senate hopes

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On abortion, O’Dea has said, “I believe that for the first five months, a woman should have the right to choose. And after that, rape, incest, the health of the mother, that decision should be between a woman and her doctor.”

He’s got the wording all packed in there—right to choose, decision between a woman and her doctor. But it’s not that simple. He supports a host of carve-outs, from parental notification to exemptions for religious hospitals to a ban on government funding of abortion. What’s most telling, though, is how he explains his overall approach: “I’m going to the Senate to negotiate a good bill that brings balance to women’s rights.”

Can’t have the little ladies just plain having rights! Oh, no, we need a balance of rights when it comes to women. Men have rights. Women have carefully calibrated rights that must not go too far. Which doesn’t actually sound like rights—“something to which one has a just claim” or “something that one may properly claim as due.” 

Balancing women’s rights? More like balancing his viability as a general election candidate with his actual beliefs.

Then there’s the Trump question. O’Dea has said he would vote for Donald Trump if Trump is the Republican nominee in 2024, but now … he just doesn’t want to say. 

“I don’t believe either one of them should run—Trump or Biden,” he told Clark, repeatedly answering the question of whether he would vote for a nominee Trump with his hope that Trump wouldn’t run, but refusing to say yes or no to the question being asked. And that’s a yes, he would vote for Trump, but it’s a politically inconvenient thing to say right now as he approaches a general election against Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

O’Dea is trying to sell himself as a moderate guy who tells it like it is, but he’s showing himself to be a weasel who can’t be trusted.

NEW: Colorado GOP Senate candidate @ODeaForColorado acknowledges his pledge to protect abortion rights comes with strings attached and he wants to bring “balance to women’s rights.” #cosen #copolitics

— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) September 9, 2022

Abortion rights, climate change, and gun safety are all on the ballot this fall, and there are literally thousands of ways to get involved in turning our voters. Plug into a federal, state, or local campaign from our GOTV feed at Mobilize and help Democrats and progressives win in November.

RELATED STORY: Michigan Republican has an eye-popping response to abortion rights ballot measure

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