The Corner

Democratic Senator Udall Flubs Response to Contraception Question in Debate

Incumbent Senator Mark Udall (D., Colo.) struggled to answer a question from Republican congressman Cory Gardner about contraception at a raucous debate in Pueblo, Colo. last night. Udall has focused his campaign on challenging Gardner’s positions on social issues, but when Gardner asked him if he opposed making contraception available over-the-counter, a position Gardner has taken, Udall bungled his response. “Let me ask this question of you,” Udall began before being forced to pause by an audience that laughed and shouted. “The way you propose to have over-the-counter coverage is the wrong way to proceed. The wrong way to proceed, Congressman.” 

The debate in Pueblo proved to be the most raucous one yet, and the moderator told the Colorado Springs Gazette he was almost afraid to ask questions about abortion and contraception because of the audience’s behavior. The moderator reportedly tried to prevent the crowd from shouting down Udall by telling the audience, “You’re embarrassing yourself.” But some of the crowd’s most vocal members appeared fed up with Udall’s decision to focus solely on social issues as a way to attract female voters.

Udall is trailing Gardner by six percentage points in one new poll, and will be fighting for his political life when the candidates take the debate stage for the final time next week.  

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