DENVER — The flap over Senate President John Morse’s “sickness from our souls” comment has reignited as the Morse campaign moved Tuesday to pull a pro-recall television spot from the Colorado Springs airwaves.
The ad, released by Free Colorado, shows video of Morse speaking March 8 on the Senate floor as the narrator says, “Morse called gun owners a, quote, ‘sickness from our souls.’”
“Cleansing a sickness from our souls doesn’t come easily,” says Morse in the ad.
An attorney for Morse and state Sen. Angela Giron (D-Pueblo), who is also facing a recall, filed a cease-and-desist Tuesday order with Xfinity, the cable-television provider, in an effort to pull the ads, according to KDVR-TV.
“To insinuate that I referred to gun owners as a ‘sickness from our souls’ is obscene,” Sen. Morse said in a statement Tuesday.
The broadside has reignited a new round of debate over what exactly the Colorado Springs Democrat meant, focusing more attention on the remark just two weeks before Morse goes before the voters in the Sept. 10 recall election.
The Morse campaign has insisted that the Colorado Springs Democrat was referring to gun violence, not gun owners, when he made the comment. The “sickness from our souls” phrase comes from a 1968 speech made by Robert F. Kennedy in the aftermath of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination.
Last week, the campaign released a video blasting Jon Caldara, who first brought up the issue on his Colorado Public Television program “Devil’s Advocate.”
On the show, Caldara accused Morse of having a “tantrum” on the Senate floor. “During this, he [Morse] went on a tantrum and starting saying we gun owners, that we have a sickness in our soul, we have a sickness in our soul. It was personal,” said Caldara.
In response, A Whole Lot of People for John Morse released a video denouncing Caldara. “Even pretend journalists need to do their homework,” the ad says in a caption.
The video also shows video of Morse on the Senate floor. “Robert F. Kennedy said after Martin Luther King’s assassination that violence breeds violence, repression breeds retaliation, and only a cleansing of our whole society can remove this sickness from our souls,” says Morse.
Not to be outdone, Caldara shot back with another video Monday challenging Morse to appear on “Devil’s Advocate” and discuss the matter.
“Come on my television show, ‘Devil’s Advocate,’ and we’ll go through what you said, line by line, and you can explain how this sickness in the soul does not refer to those of us who oppose your silly gun laws,” said Caldara
So far, he said, Morse has not responded to the invitation.