On Wednesday, Gabriel Gomez, the Republican candidate in the Massachusetts special election to replace John Kerry in the Senate, called fellow Republican Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) “a moron” for comments he made in a House committee hearing on Wednesday about abortions of pregnancies that result from rape.
Gomez told ABC News, “I think that he’s a moron and he proves that stupid has no specific political affiliation.”
Gomez’s decision to criticize a fellow Republican from another part of the country less than two weeks before the special election came in a campaign in which his opponent, Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA), has consistently attempted to paint him as “anti-woman.”
Congressman Franks has introduced a bill in the House that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. During hearings on that bill in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Franks claimed, “The incidents of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low. When you make that exception, there’s usually a requirement to report the rape within 48 hours and, in this case, that’s impossible because this is in the sixth month of gestation and that’s what completely negates and vitiates the purpose of such an amendment.”
Gomez also told ABC he will not support the bill Franks has sponsored. He added, “I have no idea what goes into the mind of a moron like that. These kinds of comments only come from a moron and they shouldn’t be tolerated one bit.”
On Friday, the Markey campaign released a web video that once again attempted to portray Gomez as “anti-woman.” Markey and his advisers believe that Gomez is vulnerable on women’s issues and have decided to make that issue a focal point of the remaining days of the campaign.
An anonymous source who works on the Markey campaign told TPM on Friday, “Gabriel Gomez has shown a serious vulnerability on women’s issues, and so we’re going to continue to highlight his willingness to support pro-life justices for the Supreme Court who’d overturn Roe v. Wade and refusal to take a position on measures like the Blunt Amendment.”
But the Gomez campaign has effectively defused the Markey campaign attacks on women’s issues. Spokesperson Will Ritter pointed out that “the only candidate in this election who supported a constitutional ban on abortion is career Washington politician Ed Markey,” referring to a vote Markey made early in his Congressional career.
The special election will be held in less than two weeks on June 25. The race between Gomez and Markey remains close. One recent poll shows Markey up by 7 points, while another shows it as a dead heat.
On Wednesday, Americans for Progressive Action, an independent expenditure political action committee, announced that it was making a huge $700,000 media buy in support of Gomez’s Senate candidacy.