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Liberal Groups Petition Denver Post To Retract Cory Gardner Endorsement

It’s been nearly three weeks since the Denver Post endorsed Republican Cory Gardner for Senate and the newspaper is still taking heat from the left.

On Tuesday, representatives of MoveOn and NARAL Pro-Choice America delivered to the paper’s headquarters about 12,000 signatures calling for the paper to retract its endorsement.

“As a woman and a supporter of women’s rights and marriage equality, I am totally gasping at the Post’s endorsement of Cory Gardner,” wrote Jamie Chesser, who originated the petition on MoveOn.org. “Please Denver Post retract your endorsement of Cory Gardner.”

Previously, the two groups ran a full-page ad in the Post calling Gardner “reckless, extreme and wrong for Colorado.” It called out the Post for endorsing a candidate who cosponsored a federal bill that would ban abortions and opposing a bipartisan Senate immigration reform bill, among other issues.

This is only the latest criticism of the newspaper’s choice for senator. In mid-October, former Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Gary Hart delivered a scathing rant in the Huffington Post in which he said he was “dumbfounded and appalled” that the Post snubbed Gardner’s opponent, Sen. Mark Udall.

“You have chosen to support a conventional partisan over a serious legislator concerned with the national interest,” he wrote, adding that Udall “has the gravitas concerning the future of our nation that a partisan such as Mr. Gardner will never have in his lifetime.”

But the Post made it clear that Udall’s mono-focused campaign, which was run almost exclusively on painting Gardner as anti-woman, was “obnoxious” and “an insult to those he seeks to convince.”

“Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign 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,” the paper wrote in the Oct. 10 endorsement. “Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision.”

Udall is still banging that drum, releasing a new campaign ad this week highlighting Gardner’s cosponsorship of the Life At Conception Act, which everyone but Gardner admits is the same as the “personhood” bills he says he doesn’t support at the state level.

While Gardner’s staunch refusal to admit as much is both awkward and disingenuous — he calls the bill simply a “statement” that he supports life — his campaign doesn’t seem to be suffering from it. Gardner has led in every poll but one since September.

“Udall probably needs a late break or for the polls to be simply incorrect to pull this out,” according to an analysis of the race by Real Clear Politics.

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