In an explosive interview broadcast Sunday, Republican senatorial candidate Cory Gardner told Fox 31 Denver's Eli Stokols four times that a federal "personhood" bill does not exist, even though Gardner cosponsored such a bill just last year.
But Stokols repeatedly challenged Gardner, first saying, "Cory, the people who wrote that bill, Congressmen Duncan Hunter of California, Paul Broun of Georgia, they say-Personhood USA says-that that is what the Life at Conception Act is."
Gardner tried to change the topic, but Stokols would have none of it, interrupting Gardner and saying, "The facts are--"
Gardner quickly interrupted Stokols, and said, "No, the facts are, Eli, that there is no federal personhood bill. There is no federal personhood bill. I think what you're seeing, Eli, is an effort by Sen. Udall to run away from his record on energy, to run away from his failed record on the economy. Here is a man--"
Stokols told Gardner he'd "grill" Udall next week on his show, but for now, he wanted to know about the federal personhood bill, which aims to ban abortion, even for rape, and some forms of birth control.
"The bill that your name is on defines personhood as beginning at the moment of fertilization," Stokols told Gardner. "Many think it has the potential to ban a number of forms of birth control. Factcheck.org says that you still support a federal bill that would prompt the same concerns over birth control as the state measure that you reject on the same grounds."
"I do not support legislation that would ban birth control. That's crazy! I would not support that. I do not support efforts that would ban birth control... Mark Udall is running away from his record and trying to distract the voters with things he would like people believe that simply aren't true."
"He's not the only one who sees the Life at Conception Act as a personhood bill," Stokols told Gardner. "The sponsors do. Personhood USA does. ..You are sitting here telling me that a bill that everyone says is basically a personhood bill at the federal level, you're telling me it's not?"
Sparks flew a while longer, but Gardner got the final utterance before a commercial break.
"There is no federal personhood bill," Gardner said, never saying what he thinks Life at Conception Act actually is.