February 2nd, 2010
11:15 AM ET
12 years ago

Colbert grills Ford over positions

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/02/02/art.fordh.2006.gi.jpg caption="Harold Ford, Jr. appeared on Comedy Central's Colbert Report Monday night."](CNN) - As he continues to mull a potential primary bid against New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. defended what appears to be his shift to the left in the four years since he ran for Senate in Tennessee.

In an appearance on Comedy Central's Colbert Report Monday, Ford specifically defended his more liberal language on the issues of abortion rights and same-sex marriage. In his 2006 Tennessee Senate bid, Ford regularly referred to himself as pro-life and said he was an opponent of allowing gays to be married.

But with respect to abortion rights, Ford maintained Monday he has always been "pro-choice" and said he used the term "pro-life" in 2006 to describe his stances on separate issues.

"When I'd walk into forums, I'd look before the audience I'd say let's tell all the people we are really the pro-life ones, we are the ones who support education, and health care, and veterans benefits," he said. "I stand by that."

On same-sex marriage, Ford acknowledges changing his stance on the issue since his years out of politics, but said he now has a "better position than the president on this."

"It's a changed position, I would agree with you," he said. "If you are looking for politicians who are static in thinking, I'm not your guy."

Ford represented Tennessee's 9th Congressional District for 10 years before losing his 2006 senate bid by 3 percentage points. He is currently the chairman of the Democratic Leadership Committee, an organization formed in the 1980's with the mission of tapping Democratic candidates who embraced more moderate policies.

The young lady I'm looking about running against, Senator Gillibrand, who I know and like, she flipped on this and I might add President Obama is not in favor of marriage equality... So in some ways I have a better position than the president on this."

Filed under: Harold Ford Jr. • Kirsten Gillibrand
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Bill NY

    Colbert is a joke, unfortunately not a very funny one!

    February 2, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. Drew

    (Mickey) Ford is a Democrat not a Republican.

    February 2, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. Jay1975

    Mickey, are you really that uninformed? Ford is a Dem and has been for a long time.

    February 2, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. joel T.

    Hey New Yorkers,

    Look back several weeks ago and you will SEE a post that I wrote warning you about this guy. He AND the rest of Ford family come from the bottom of the barrel. Real winners.

    You want your state run like Memphis, Tn??? Elect this chump and you will have Memphis North. The next arm pit of this country.

    February 2, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. Conservative Voice

    Since when does Pro-choice mean anything other than pro-abortion? You just don't want to say outright that you are all for killing children in the womb....

    February 2, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Giles

    Carpetbagger. Nothing more. Just like Hillary. Doesn't New York have any of its' own politicians anymore? Why do they like to outsource so much?

    February 2, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  7. Sloppy partisans?

    Uh, note to Mickey: Ford is a d-e-m-o-c-r-a-t. I think your knee jerked before the doctor tested your reflex response.

    February 2, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. File under "Sarcasm"

    At least he knows how to use apostrophes and comma's in his statements. Gillibrand barely knew how to put in a period in the attack statement you reported on last week. Maybe she should take advantage of the ESL programs the government supports.

    February 2, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "You see, this is where a politician really does them self in. You move to somewhere more liberal and we're supposed to belive that you have suddenly changed."

    It's worse than that. Who says his blather in TN was how he really feels? The reality is, no matter which party we're talking about, these people say anything because the vast majority of US PEOPLE will freekin swallow it if it's what we want to hear. That being said, and even though I don't register as one or the other, I'd also say it goes just as much for the current "Independent" movement espoused by that self-satisfied smiling wanker CNN always has floating around. Self-proclaimed enlightenment based on an ideology rooted in "it's all bad," "trust nobody," "we need a third party" and "it's all broken" gets us nowhere just as fast as behaving like a brainwashed partisan lemming. It's becoming just as ideological, i.e., moving rapidly away from reality.

    February 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "We only say we are pro-life, but in truth, we enjoy seeing people die, not only in unjust wars, but also, Americans without affordable health care."

    Indeed. Ask them if they believe in evolution and they'll say "no"...all while behaving as if social darwinism is an acceptable belief system.

    Newsflash: animals that exhibit altruism go extinct less often.

    February 2, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  11. rjt

    Typical democrat who like Obama changes his opinions on everything and anything just for a vote.

    February 2, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. coolchange

    Ford is a Loser.

    February 2, 2010 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  13. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    It too bad he lost Tennessee, but now he just comes off as a flip-flopping carpetbagger.

    Mr. Ford, do yourself, the country, the state, and your party a favor, and don't run!


    February 2, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  14. Vivian McRae

    Go Back to tennesee sir

    February 2, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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