Women’s Group Spends $800K to Attack Buck’s High Heels’ Comment
The Women’s Voices Women Vote Action Fund is spending big bucks to remind local voters that Colorado Senate hopeful Ken Buck (R) has a history of making controversial, off-the-cuff remarks that are unfriendly to women.
The national women’s group has spent more than $800,000 on an ad that started Wednesday and will run through the end of the cycle. WVWV purchased a fairly large buy, 669 gross rating points, in the pricey Denver market, according to a campaign source that tracks media spending.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee countered with a statewide television independent expenditure buy on broadcast and cable aimed at propping up Buck’s image in the wake of this and other attacks from Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and other supporters of the incumbent who have criticized the GOP challenger for recent remarks he made about homosexuality and the environment.
In the NRSC’s 30-second spot, the voice-over refers to Buck as a “husband and father with deep Colorado roots … a reasonable, rational and competent choice.” Republican sources acknowledged a desire to keep the campaign focused on jobs and the economy following off-the-cuff statements by Buck that have become fodder for Democrats in the final days of the campaign.
The Democratic strategy for a Bennet come-from-behind victory has included a sharp focus on motivating female voters to support the incumbent. The WVWV television spot fits that tactic.
“Colorado women deserve respect,” a Colorado mother tells voters in the 30-second ad, which can be viewed below. “We need leaders who will stand with us, whether we’re in high heels or cowboy boots.
“Ken Buck thinks he’s more qualified because he doesn’t wear high heels, because he’s not a woman,” she says. “This coming from a DA who refused to prosecute an admitted rapist, saying the victim had buyer’s remorse.'”
Long before his GOP primary, Buck was asked why voters should pick him over Republican opponent Jane Norton. “Because I don’t wear high heels,” he responded in an exchange that was captured on video.
Republicans maintain the comment was taken out of context, but Democrats hope it should motivate female voters to support Bennet on Election Day. The ad comes as the White House and Democrats are placing an emphasis on female voters this week.
The NRSC called the ad an attempt to distract voters.
“As the Democrats desperately try to save appointed Sen. Michael Bennet, it’s not surprising that they are trying to smear Ken Buck’s public service and distract voters from Bennet’s failed economic policies,” said Amber Marchand, spokeswoman for the NRSC.
Democrats hope that the re-emergence of a July controversy that some had long forgotten suggests others might surface in the next 12 days.
Local reporters and gay activist groups this week pounded Buck for linking homosexuality to alcoholism during an appearance on “Meet the Press,” and he has drawn negative coverage for statements regarding Hispanics, Afghans and a rape victim, all of which were referenced in the new television spot.
Also this week, even as Buck had hoped to keep his message focused on jobs and the economy, he remarked on the campaign trail that he agrees with Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), who has said that the idea of man-made global warming is a hoax. Democrats and Democratic interest groups, such as the League of Conservation Voters, have seized on this.
However, it remains unclear how much Buck’s lack of campaign discipline will help Bennet.
One Republican consultant based in Colorado said Thursday that Buck’s comments on global warming don’t matter much at this point in the race, other than “it keeps Buck distracted from talking about his strength and his advantage, which is the economy.”