Gabriel Gomez Agrees to Talk About Abortion, Just Not to Say Much
Gabriel Gomez participated in an interview with the Boston Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert “specifically to explore his views on abortion rights,” which is strange given how little he seems to have done to inspire confidence that he has many views on abortion rights.
It seems like there’s no way Gomez could have prepared, because if he had been at all sentient during the 2012 Senate campaign, he probably would have known to come armed with something to say about the Blunt Amendment, a measure designed to exempt institutions with moral objections from providing their employees insurance coverage for birth control. Scott Brown supported Blunt, and Elizabeth Warren couldn’t wait to tell everyone in an effort to frame the election around women’s issues. It was a huge talking point for her in the 2012 campaign! He had to know the Democrats would come after him about it.
But Gomez came armed to say only that he has not read the Blunt Amendment. After saying that he didn’t want to give an opinion without reading the whole thing, he eventually made his way around to an answer:
“Oh, is this like the Catholic Church and all?” Gomez said, when pressed about the amendment. “Yeah, I don’t believe the Catholic Church – or any faith, any organization like that — should have to do something that goes against their doctrine.”
If his strategy going in was to plead ignorance and express no opinion (a questionable strategy, but hey) he didn’t do a very good job sticking to the script. The rest of the interview was peppered with other moments of confusion, too, as when Gomez referenced Justice Scalia’s opinion that Roe v. Wade is, at this point, established law. (He means John Roberts.)
Look, it’s tough for a Republican in Massachusetts trying to appeal to a wide swath of voters to talk at length about abortion rights. It’s great that Gomez agreed to go in depth on an issue in which voters are interested but don’t know much about his positions. But it’s odd that when he did so, he took a position that didn’t do much to appeal any voters. If you believe that life begins at conception, Gomez’s previously expressed stance—that he agrees with you but he thinks abortion should remain legal anyway—already wasn’t going to inspire much confidence. If you do support abortion rights, Gomez expressed an ambivalence and confusion about the issues at stake that’s already being exploited by pro-choice groups campaigning for Ed Markey. (Democratic campaign committees are already at work tweeting out quotes from the interview.)
At one point, Ebbert wrote that “Gomez said he hardly expects such issues to consume him at a time when he is focused on jobs, the economy, education, and veterans.” We bet Scott Brown didn’t want women’s reproductive issues to consume his campaign either. This interview doesn’t do much to move attention in another direction.