Our View: Too Early for Campaign Mud Fight

March 20, 2014
Mud season has come early for the Udall campaign.

Mud season has come early for the Udall campaign.

The rapid response team from Sen. Mark Udall’s campaign war room went berserk on Wednesday in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from their massive treasure chest of funding and onto their opponent’s wallet.

Not the Republican opponents who are actually challenging the Democrat for the Senate seat, but private citizens who didn’t like Udall’s vote in favor of Obamacare.

Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, a group primarily funded by Charles and David Koch, launched a $970,000 ad campaign Monday in the Denver and Colorado Springs markets criticizing Udall’s support for President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

It’s a drop in the financial bucket for the wealthy businessmen and philanthropist brothers, who recently donated $100 million to the New York Presbyterian Hospital to build an ambulatory care center.

The standard political reaction from most incumbents would be to remain silent and refuse to acknowledge the temporary advertising campaign and its stated goal of pressuring Congress to overturn Obamacare, especially in the early stages of a campaign season.

Udall has nearly $5 million in the bank as well as the backing of billionaire Tom Steyer, who has pledged $100 million to make climate change the dominant campaign issue that would presumably take the focus off of the Obamacare debacle. Plus, fellow Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet is head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the cash cow that will also be shoveling money into the Udall campaign.

So why engage?

Most likely it’s the dwindling poll numbers and support in Colorado for both Udall and Obamacare, and it seems to have created a panic in the Democrat’s camp.

At the rapid response team’s official Twitter site, “Team Udall” campaign staffers responded to the Obamacare ads by frantically issuing Tweets of bizarre claims against Republican Rep. Cory Gardner that bore no relation to congressional issues or actual votes taken by the House.

Ignoring the traditional role of elder statesman, the campaign took on the appearance of a juvenile schoolyard bully and littered the Twittershpere with random accusations that the congressman had somehow “failed” women, Hispanics, the LGBTQ community, and working Coloradans.

Ludicrous issues were created and voting records were distorted to suggest Gardner wanted to “allow hospitals to hide emergency contraception from rape victims” or ban common forms of birth control.

Udall campaign staffers were throwing everything they could think of at the Twitter wall to see what nastiness might stick to Gardner’s character.

We’re surprised he wasn’t accused of hating puppies and kittens, or personally causing the extinction of unicorns.

Udall’s campaign strategy appears to be, if it sounds maniacal, claim it.

Gardner opposed flood relief for Colorado? Please, the congressman has a clear record of fighting for the money.

The Republican wants to take health care away from the elderly? Nice try, but Coloradans aren’t likely to forget that it was Udall who endorsed and voted for Obamacare.

Which would explain why the Udall camp is throwing a temper tantrum over one television ad that reminded voters of that support.

The Republican Party has yet to even formally select their candidate but the message from Udall is clear – he’s going to make it a long and nasty fight.

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