Harold Ford Gets It Wrong On Harold Ford

January 12, 2010 5:39 pm ET

In a January 12, 2010 op-ed in the New York Post, former Congressman Harold Ford made a litany of false statements about his record in Congress.  Despite his new claims, Ford has a well-documented history of being hostile to reproductive rights and the needs of the LGBT community.

Harold Ford Falsely Claimed He Had "Always Been" Pro-Choice

Harold Ford:

I am pro-choice -- have always been since I entered politics almost 15 years ago. My cumulative grade with NARAL during 10 years in Congress was right at 80 percent. Any assertions to the contrary are false. [Ford op-ed, New York Post, 1/12/10]

In reality, NARAL virulently disputes Ford's claim.  In fact, they recently released this video:

Alan Colmes: You were pro-choice at one time, what happened?

Harold Ford: No, No.  I was not pro-choice at one time, we don't have votes like that in the Congress.


Harold Ford: [To Tucker Carlson] I'm pro-life, I'm pro-life Tucker. So I mean, I don't run from that.

Harold Ford Falsely Implies He Followed The Same Gay Marriage Trajectory As Sen. Schumer

Harold Ford:

And from the moment I arrived in Congress, I supported civil unions. Like New York's senior senator, after listening to and participating in the national conversation about full equality and fairness, I support same-sex marriage. [New York Post, 1/12/10]

Ford's Spokesman: Ford Is "Paying Attention To The Arguments And Reaching The Same Conclusion That People Like Bill Clinton And [Sen.] Chuck Schumer Were Allowed To Make." As reported by the New York Daily News, "Ford spokesman Davidson Goldin insisted Ford's conversion is sincere. 'It's a sad day in American politics when someone is maligned for listening to the debate, paying attention to the arguments and reaching the same conclusion that people like Bill Clinton and [Sen.] Chuck Schumer were allowed to make.'" [New York Daily News, 1/12/10]

Yet as the New York Daily News added: "Neither Clinton nor Schumer (D-N.Y.) supported an outright constitutional ban on gay marriage." Harold Ford , on the other hand, did... twice.

In Congress, Harold Ford Voted TWICE FOR A Constitutional Amendment To Ban Same Sex Marriage. In both 2004 and 2006, Rep. Harold Ford voted with the Republican majority for a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. [HJR 106, Vote #484, 9/30/04; HJR 88, Vote #378, 7/18/06]

  • In The Senate, Sen. Schumer Voted TWICE AGAINST A Constitutional Amendment To Ban Same Sex Marriage. In both 2004 and 2006, Sen. Chuck Schumer voted against a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. [SJR 40, Vote #155, 7/14/04; SJR 1, Vote #163, 6/7/06]

Harold Ford Has A Long Anti-Gay Record

Ford: "I'm Opposed To Gay Marriage... I Voted For The Amendment That Would Ban Gay Marriage." During an appearance on MSNBC's Hardball, then-Rep. Harold Ford said, "I'm opposed to gay marriage and, you know, I could be wrong on this. We'll let the courts make that determination. But I voted for the amendment that would ban gay marriage. And that's a decision that a higher power will have to make later -- much later and in a much longer time after I'm gone from this earth." [MSNBC, Hardball, 5/10/06; emphasis added]