NextGen hits Gardner on climate change, abortion rights

NextGen Climate, led by billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer, released a TV advertisement Tuesday criticizing Rep. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerRepublicans jockey for position on immigration Bipartisan bill would toughen North Korea sanctions, require Trump's strategy GOP senators push for delay of ObamaCare insurer tax MORE’s (R-Colo.) positions on climate change and abortion rights.

It’s the first ad in the Colorado Senate race, in which Gardner is running to unseat Sen. Mark UdallMark UdallDemocratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups Gorsuch's critics, running out of arguments, falsely scream 'sexist' MORE (D-Colo.)

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“He thinks he knows better than the scientists, NASA and the U.S. military on climate change,” the ad’s voiceover said, referring to Gardner’s belief that humans are not causing the climate to change, in contrast with major government agencies. 

“He led an eight-year crusade that would outlaw birth control and make abortion a felony crime,” the ad says. Gardner supports legislation to define life as beginning at conception, which would outlaw abortion and could ban some forms of contraception.

The ad also hits Gardner’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

“As an elected official, Gardner has relentlessly tried to impose his extreme views to reduce or stop the funding of science research on climate change and to interfere on women’s health issues to the point where he would have made abortion a felony,” Abby Leeper, a spokeswoman for NextGen, said in a statement.

“Congressman Gardner’s voting record is outside the mainstream in Colorado, and NextGen Climate will continue to point that out through the election.”   

The ad is part of Steyer’s goal to spend $100 million in the midterm elections to support pro-environment candidates. NextGen spokesman Bobby Whithorne said it will air the ad for several weeks in the Denver and Colorado Springs markets, but he declined to say how much the group is spending.