Mark Udall on the political fight for his life and why he supports Obamacare

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DENVER -- Democratic Sen. Mark Udall hasn't run a TV ad yet touting his support for the Affordable Care Act, but he insists he's proud of that vote and his voting record of siding with his party 99 percent of the time.

"The health care system was broken. It discriminated against women, you could be thrown off your policy at a moment's notice; there were far too many Americans who were uninsured and we needed to do something about it," Udall said Sunday during a wide-ranging interview on #COpolitics: From The Source.

"I've talked a lot about it on the campaign trail. There are a lot of positive stories of families who have been helped by the Affordable Care Act; we have some 400,000 new enrollees in the exchanges," he continued. "All in all this has been a success. You don't have to look further than the fact that premiums aren't going to go up but two percent this year and we have more additionally covered Coloradans."

Udall also insisted that he has not asked President Obama, who he avoided during a July fundraising trip to Denver by staying in Washington, not to come to Colorado to campaign -- and that he's stood up to the White House even though his voting record doesn't reflect it.

"When the president's right, I'm going to stand with him," Udall said. "When he's wrong, I'm going to stand up to him like I've done on the NSA [domestic spying program], like I've done on the Veterans Administration. I was the first Democrat to call for the VA secretary's resignation."

Udall also dismissed attacks from Gardner and the NRSC over his statement that ISIL "does not pose an imminent threat to the U.S.".

"If Congressman Gardner wants to focus on semantics, be my guest," Udall said. "I'm focused on beating ISIL, creating a coalition in the Middle East where the Arabs take more of a leading position; I'm focusing on politics ending at the water's edge."

Udall, whose campaign has focused mostly on Gardner's positions on women's reproductive health issues, arguing that his support for a federal personhood bill makes him "too extreme", defended his 2000 vote against a ban on partial-birth abortions and reaffirmed his support for Roe v. Wade, which protects a woman's absolute right to an abortion.

"Roe v. Wade allows the states to make the decisions about what the right balance is, and we have the right balance here in Colorado," Udall said. "We should trust the woman and her family and her religious counselors and the people she wants to help her make that decision."

Udall also denied pushing Democratic leaders to pursue cap and trade legislation aimed at combating global warming ahead of immigration reform back in 2010, as Gardner alleged last Sunday on #COpolitics: From The Source.

According to a Denver Post report from April 2010, Udall "said that the climate change bill should go first in the Senate’s busy calendar and that immigration should wait until later."



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