Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

GOP Senate candidate: No abortion in cases of rape or incest

Ken Buck, the Tea Party backed Senate candidate who's leading in polls for the Colorado GOP nomination, may be heading into a general election with an extreme position on abortion: He opposes it even in cases of rape or incest.

Buck, who holds an edge over Jane Norton with the election set for next week, ruled out abortion in those cases in an exchange with a constituent yesterday. The moment was captured on video by a Democrat who sent it my way:

QUESTION: How do you feel about abortion? Are you for abortion, against abortion, are you for it? In what instances would you allow for abortion?

BUCK: I am pro-life, and I'll answer the next question. I don't believe in the exceptions of rape or incest. I believe that the only exception, I guess, is life of the mother. And that is only if it's truly life of the mother.

To me, you can't say you're pro-life and say -- if there is, and it's a very rare situation where one life would have to cease for the other life to exist. But in that very rare situation, we may have to take the life of the child to save the life of the mother.

In that rare situation, I am in favor of that exception. But other than that I have no exceptions in my position.

That position is similar to that of Sharron Angle, who recently said she also opposes abortion in cases of rape or incest, suggesting rather colorfully that one could instead make "lemons" into "lemonade."

Buck didn't quite go this far, obviously. But he did appear to say that you can't be pro-life unless you only support taking the life of the unborn when the only alternative is losing the life of the mother. It's another mark of the Tea Party's influence on GOP primaries, and of the challenges national Republicans face as Tea Party-backed candidates head into general elections.

Buck is holding a small lead over both potential challengers, former State House Speaker Andrew Romanoff and Senator Michael Bennett.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 3, 2010; 4:15 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: What's Anthony Weiner's position on Ground Zero mosque?
Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

I'm trying to come up with a snarky comment that expresses my disgust at this mindset, but all of my comments rely upon 4 letter words that are unsuitable for this venue.

I think Mr. Buck lacks empathy. Maybe he needs to be raped, maybe then he might catch a clue. Or if he had a close family member impregnated through rape he might understand.

But I doubt it.

Posted by: nisleib | August 3, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

That lead won't last long. Colorado is a pro-choice state. If the media does its job and highlights the differences between the dems and repubs, buck will lose...

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

"It's another mark of the Tea Party's influence on GOP primaries."

What does Buck's opinion about incest abortion have to do with the "Tea Party"?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 3, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I think we can safely apply Reid's "They've either taken leave of their senses or their principles" to everything these GOP folks say.

They sure do like government to tell everyone what to do....

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"What does Buck's opinion about incest abortion have to do with the "Tea Party"?"

Teapartiers are right wing extremists that must be rooted out.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | August 3, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

@BG, yeah, they want government to tell people what to do, and yet be smaller at the same time. They want illegal immigrants rounded up and deported, which will take a significant increase in goverment staff and facilities, but they want smaller government at the same time.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 3, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

"What does Buck's opinion about incest abortion have to do with the "Tea Party"?"


these very conservative candidates are more competitive in GOP primaries than they otherwise would be, and are ending up the nominees.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: I am curious if you have any evidence showing that Tea Party supporters are radically anti-abortion in the case of rape/incest?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 3, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess Buck won't be getting NARAL endorsement anytime soon.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 3, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: Correct me if I am wrong, but the GOP platform does not recognize exceptions for rape/incest.

Buck's opinion is not evidence that the Tea Party is pulling the GOP to the right.

Posted by: sbj3 | August 3, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Here in Illinois, the National Democratic Governors Committee has been running TV ads targeting Republican Bill Brady for his opposition to rape in the case of incest/rape, as well.

At this point he still has a slight lead in the polls. But every time I see the ad I wonder if it will have an effect. We'll see.

Posted by: bmcchgo | August 3, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: Well Angle is a tea party darling who is no abortions under any circumstances. Buck is the tea party choice and his views are only slightly less repugnant than Angle's.

Have the tea partiers supported a pro choice candidate yet? I don't know of one.

So it is just a coincidence that the tea partiers have supported the more rabid anti abortion candidates in the primaries. I am happy for you to show me some counter examples.

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

OT:

This is pretty huge, imho, just out at The Upshot:

* Beck’s Holocaust comments prompt Fox News meeting *

Fox News host Glenn Beck is known for generating controversy on television and the radio. But some Jewish leaders recently felt Beck went too far, and made their grievances known to Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes.

Simon Greer, chief executive of Jewish Funds for Justice, told The Upshot that when Greer approached them, Ailes and senior vice president Joel Cheatwood agreed that Beck crossed the line in comparing Greer's worldview to that of the Nazis and promised to speak with Beck about the matter.

Two days later, Greer said he received a handwritten letter from Beck.

[...]

It's true that Beck routinely bring up the Third Reich. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, who's writing a book on Beck, recently added up the post-Obama inauguration references on Beck's Fox show to Nazis or Nazism (202), Adolf Hitler (147), fascism (193), and Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels (24).

[...]

[Greer] said that Ailes and Cheatwood agreed "that the use did cross a line."

"They took things very seriously and I have a lot of respect for that," Greer said.

Greer received the letter from Beck last Wednesday. Although Greer said he wouldn't categorize the letter as an apology, he said that Beck explained he'd been informed of the organization's s concerns and took them very seriously.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_upshot/20100803/cm_yblog_upshot/becks-holocaust-comments-prompt-fox-news-meeting

Glenn Beck is as disgusting as he is outrageous. While I'm glad to see him reprimanded, it took too long. He crosses the line of decency frequently and should not have a paid platform for his hate speech, period.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 3, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

to reiterate, I was not saying that the Angle/Buck positions are necessarily Tea Party positions.

Rather, the point is that more conservative candidates are more competitive than they otherwise would be in GOP primaries because they have Tea Party support. as a result, they are becoming the general elex candidates.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 3, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

these very conservative candidates are more competitive in GOP primaries than they otherwise would be, and are ending up the nominees.

Proof? And just pointing to three races is not proof of this. You just have this perception due to a couple of high profile races where a conservative defeated a moderate and because the center left CW. If you looked at GOP primaries everywhere you'd see that conservatives aren't winning primaries a any greater a rate than a typical year. Conservatives win primaries of conservative voters.

Posted by: Truthteller12 | August 3, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Quinn will pull the gov race out in IL, I think. Brady has an even bigger closet full of skeletons than Quinn.

The race will heat up starting in early Sept. Too early to credit polls right now.

Same with the Senate race here.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

truthteller, Greg is making an argument. And what he's saying is that instead of being marginalized in the primaries for having extreme views, these candidates are winning/leading in several cases. Not ALL cases.

The profile of the Tea Party "movement," especially aided by a bored and lazy media, has allowed for such candidates to have a legitimacy they haven't had before.

Shorter: the GOP electorate is much narrower and more conservative than in earlier election cycles.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Colorado is going to be a fun state to watch in the fall. With Tancredo running on a third party ticket for Governor, I think it is going to be difficult for Buck to move to the center much. The infighting among the extreme conservatives and the state GOP leadership is not going to help Buck, either. Oh well, so sad.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 3, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

If you're pro-life, then Buck's position would seem to be the most coherent. If you believe in the sanctity of every fetus, then it doesn't make any sense to say that there's an exception to that rule for fetuses that are produced by rape or incest. It's not the fetus's fault.

To me, that shows the problem with the pro-life position generally. But again, if you're pro-life, then Buck is right.

Posted by: simpleton1 | August 3, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@BG: "Instead of being marginalized in the primaries for having extreme views."

But how can this be an extreme view when it is a part of the GOP platform?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 3, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

@sue: Won't Tancredo make Buck look centrist/sane by comparison?

Posted by: sbj3 | August 3, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

sbj, it wasn't that long ago that Buckley kicked the Birchers out of the GOP, or at least its mainstream, public face.

The Tea Party signals a return by the GOP to its more extreme factions. There has been a false separation between the two, but I'm convinced that the TP has always been a stalking horse for people in the GOP who were moving the party to the right in response to Obama and the Dems but also following the celeb conservatives who create the message (Fox hosts, Rush, et al.).

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

sbj, no, I don't think so. Tancredo in the race will give the Dems some wiggle room to the right to pick up the moderate Repubs, but it keep Buck over on the extreme right. Tancredo is also a huge ego, and he's already picking fights with the GOP in public. I think he would relish the opportunity to be the purity guard in Colorado.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 3, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3: Tancredo is a total joke in CO. And actually, Buck and Tancredo share much the same world view and priorities. It will be hard for Buck to field questions on Tancredo's positions without alienating the tea partiers which is his base. So, no Buck doesn't look sane next to Tancredo because they look pretty much the same, both hanging out in farrightwingnutistan. Fortunately, Colorado is not going to open a consulate there....

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I know we talked about Bob Inglis losing his primary and his reaction already but here's a more in depth interview by David Corn. It's pertinent to the conversation you're all having right now and fascinating in a weird way.

"While he was campaigning, Inglis says, tea party activists and conservative voters kept pushing him to describe Obama as a "socialist." But, he says, "It's a dangerous strategy to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible...This guy is no socialist." He continues:

The word is designed to have emotional charge to it. Throughout my primary, there were people insisting that I use the word. They would ask me if he was a socialist, and I would always find some other word. I'd say, "President Obama wants a very large government that I don't think will work and that spends too much and it's inefficient and it compromises freedom and it's not the way we want to go." They would listen for the word, wait to see if I used the s-word, and when I didn't, you could see the disappointment.

Why not give these voters what they wanted? Inglis says he wasn't willing to lie:

I refused to use the word because I have this view that the Ninth Commandment must mean something. I remember one year Bill Clinton—the guy I was out to get [when serving on the House judiciary committee in the 1990s]—at the National Prayer Breakfast said something that was one of the most profound things I've ever heard from anybody at a gathering like that. He said, "The most violated commandment in Washington, DC"—everybody leaned in; do tell, Mr. President—"is, 'Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor.'" I thought, "He's right. That is the most violated commandment in Washington." For me to go around saying that Barack Obama is a socialist is a violation of the Ninth Commandment. He is a liberal fellow. I'm conservative. We disagree...But I don't need to call him a socialist, and I hurt the country by doing so."

http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/bob-inglis-tea-party-casualty?page=1

Posted by: lmsinca | August 3, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca: Its funny how losing to a more right wing looney tune makes the less looney temporarily look and sound more sane...

Doubtless, We wouldn't be hearing as much about this from him if he had won the primary...

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

srw, you think that's part of the TP strategy? It does make the GOP look like a "moderate" alternative, or at least like something reputable, compared to some of the TP crazy. After Bush they needed to remake themselves and so instead of having ideas they thought maybe a right-wing surge would make the GOP look shiny again.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

As a Flaming, out and proud TeaBagger, the talk of some Grand Coordination between us Flamboyant TeaBaggers and The Republican Party is hilarious. I guess if it helps you to put the current political climate into context, go for it. It just makes me snicker every time I hear it.

It reminds me of some people's view of the CIA, that it's some omnipotent all controlling entity. When in reality, I do not think the CIA has predicted anything correctly. Not the fall of the Eastern Block, their military readiness or capabilities, the rise of Terrorism in the form of Al Queda, the subsequent attacks, etc. Sure, it's probably good that the rest of the world thinks the CIA can and does all, but let us professionals at least acknowledge the truth. The same for us TeaBaggers. The fact that anybody can agree on a time for a protest is a miracle in an of itself.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 3, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/happy_hour_roundup_63.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 3, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Troll, tell it to Dick Armey.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

@BG: The problem with that analysis is that Repbubs are crawling over each other to stand IN the midst of the tea party, not distance themselves from it.

I think that the tea party is actually political cover for republicans because the republican brand is still kind of toxic.

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

srw: "I think that the tea party is actually political cover for republicans because the republican brand is still kind of toxic."

That's really what I meant. I was just suggesting that the tail is wagging the dog.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to tell it to Dick Armey, but he wont return my calls! Seriously! I live in his state and help with a local Tea Party, er, TeaBagger group in it's largest city. Plus, he said, not long ago, that Republicans should distance themselves from us TeaBaggers.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38625.html

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | August 3, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

"It just makes me snicker every time I hear it."

Not near as funny as you referring to yourself as a "Flaming, out and proud TeaBagger".

Posted by: schrodingerscat | August 3, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Troll, I suppose it has occurred to you that he thinks the rank and file aren't fit to shine his shoes.

Dick Armey is a terrible human being. But that's never stopped anyone from leading a political movement.

Posted by: BGinCHI | August 3, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

@TrollMcWingnut: It reminds me of some people's view of the CIA, that it's some omnipotent all controlling entity. When in reality, I do not think the CIA has predicted anything correctly.

Well, they may not predict but they were pretty good at toppling governments that were unfriendly to US corporate interests.

In Iran the CIA installed the Shah and the US and British oil companies along with the infamous SAVAK secret police complete with extra judicial killings and torture.

In Chile, the CIA did a fine job removing the legally elected governnment and installed Pinochet along with 20 years of extra judicial killings and torture, along with "Chicago School" economics favorable to business.

That sounds pretty potent to me...

There are others but I have to catch my bus...

Posted by: srw3 | August 3, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

simpleton1: "If you're pro-life, then Buck's position would seem to be the most coherent. If you believe in the sanctity of every fetus, then it doesn't make any sense to say that there's an exception to that rule for fetuses that are produced by rape or incest. It's not the fetus's fault."

You're right: this is the intellectually coherent position. If it's a person from conception, the situation doesn't matter because abortion is still murder. The only possible exception is when another life (the woman's) is at stake.

But few pro-lifers take this stance, which should prompt the question: why? If there are exceptions for rape and incest, then do these people really believe that the fetus is not yet really a full-fledged person? If so, then we can start to have a discussion.

There's a similar problem with the true pro-life position regarding punishment for abortion. If it's really murder, not only should the woman and her doctor be prosecuted for murder but murder for hire, which in some states is subject to the death penalty. Again, few pro-lifers are willing to go this far. But if it's really murder, why not? Or deep down, do they think that it's not really murder after all?

But I give Buck credit for consistency, though I obviously think he's wrong.

Posted by: dasimon | August 3, 2010 11:47 PM | Report abuse

I expect that Buck opposes the death penalty and all war, under all circumstances.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 4, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Buck-Tancredo would be Christmas in November for Colorado Democrats.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | August 4, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA: "I expect that Buck opposes the death penalty and all war, under all circumstances."

That's a possible inconsistency if one believes all killing is wrong.

But one can argue that the death penalty and war are justified killings while the taking of a life of someone who hasn't done anything is in no way justified. So supporting the death penalty and excusing killings in war are not necessarily inconsistent with opposition to abortion. One may not agree with it, but it's at least coherent.

Posted by: dasimon | August 4, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

dasimon @ August 4, 2010 10:41 AM: I disagree strongly with your post. The gentleman did not talk about justified killings, or anything to that effect.

But granting 'justified killings', you are making an assumption that everyone killed in war is guilty of something. The fact is that most are simply unlucky enough to be in the wrong place. And I am not even including 'friendly fire'.

If you are pro-life, then be pro-life. If, instead, you are anti-abortion, just say so. But do not talk about 'justified killings' because even the state makes mistakes and convicts the wrong person.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | August 4, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA: "The gentleman did not talk about justified killings, or anything to that effect."

True. But I don't know what he believes, so I'm not going to assume anything. I was arguing that the anti-abortion/pro-death penalty is not necessarily an inconsistent position.

"But granting 'justified killings', you are making an assumption that everyone killed in war is guilty of something."

Not at all. One can argue that those in the military have accepted the risk and are involved in a kill-or-be-killed situation. One can also argue that civilian casualties, while tragic and inevitable, are necessary to prevent greater and more tragic losses of innocent life. Again, I'm not adopting this position, only saying that it's not inconsistent with opposition to abortion in (almost) all circumstances.

"But do not talk about 'justified killings' because even the state makes mistakes and convicts the wrong person."

That argument goes to application. Perhaps one could limit the death penalty to only the most clear cases (perhaps where the defendant freely admits the charges and there is no coercion involved) which would negate that part of the issue. (I personally oppose the death penalty, by the way, even if the state could get it "right" all of the time.)

"If you are pro-life, then be pro-life. If, instead, you are anti-abortion, just say so."

I don't know if you mean "you" in the general sense, not to me personally. As for me, I am neither "pro-life" nor "anti-abortion." I'm just saying there are consistent positions one can take that justify being anti-abortion but pro-death penalty. I don't have to agree with them. But since we don't know where Buck stands, we shouldn't assume he's being inconsistent if he turns out to be pro-death penalty (or not opposed to all war, for that matter).

Posted by: dasimon | August 4, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

We don't allow "real" murder in the cases of rape and incest, right?

Posted by: clawrence12 | August 5, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company