Sen. Udall Heckled By Millionaire Donor To His Own Party
A millionaire donor to the Democratic Party heckled Colorado Sen. Mark Udall , turning what should have a been an inspired appearance at a get-out-the-vote rally less than 48 hours before Election Day into an awkward embarrassment.
According to an article in The Guardian, Udall was pumping up supporters who were preparing to go door to door in Centennial Sunday when he mentioned the primary plank of his campaign, one that even the Denver Post criticized him for highlighting at the expense of other issues — women’s reproductive rights.
“And by the way,” he said at the end of his speech, “I’m proud to stand with Colorado’s women. I’m proud to stand for reproductive freedom.”
According to the Guardian, the remark prompted angry voice from the crowd: “That’s not the only thing you stand for! Jesus Christ!”
“I’m sorry?” Udall replied.
“That’s not the only thing you stand for!”
The Guardian identified the heckler as 73-year-old Wall Street millionaire Leo Beserra, a regular donor to the Democratic Party who has given at least $10,000 to Democratic candidates this election cycle (although not to Udall).
Udall’s insistence on focusing his campaign on women’s rights has earned him the nickname “Mark Uterus” and it was a factor in the Denver Post endorsing his opponent, Republican Cory Gardner. The Post called Udall’s obsessive focus on abortion “obnoxious” and “insulting” to voters.
But as the Guardian noted, the criticism wasn’t often vented during the candidate’s speech — and by a millionaire supporter of his own party.
“I’m trying to figure out who in the hell decided this was how the campaign was supposed to go,” Beserra told the Guardian after the speech. He told the paper he’d just watched a Sunday morning news show in which Udall was mocked for running a poor campaign.
“Who is running the worst campaign?,” Beserra asked rhetorically. “Him. Because fucking abortion is all he talks about. He should not talk about it any more whatsoever. There are so many other issues.”
Democratic Party staffers contacted by the Guardian said Beserra was “an eccentric, sometimes outspoken figure.”
Campaign spokesman Chris Harris told CNN that Udall’s campaign “has focused on a wide range of issues.”
“Those who imply otherwise are simply wrong,” he said.
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