Vice President Kamala Harris visits Connecticut ahead of key midterms
In a trip to Connecticut on Wednesday, Vice President Kamala Harris issued a dire warning about abortion access. The visit was part rallying cry and part campaign event for Rep. Jahana Hayes, the most vulnerable of the state’s five congressional Democrats.
The event at Central Connecticut State University was billed as a “roundtable,” but the political undertones were clear.
"This is not a political event, but it is a fact that in 34 days there is a midterm coming up,” she said.
Harris warned that a Republican majority in Congress could lead to a national abortion ban. Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade this summer, about half the states have banned or severely restricted the procedure.
Hayes said other rights could be in jeopardy too.
“This ruling did not only have implications for abortion access, but for the right to contraceptives and the legality of same-sex and interracial marriages,” she said.
Hayes is facing a tough reelection fight against GOP former state Sen. George Logan, who’s well-funded. Her 5th Congresional District is historically a swing seat, but it hasn’t elected a Republican since 2004.
FiveThirtyEight still favors Hayes to win, but Politico just moved the race from "lean Democratic" to a "toss up."
Outside the event, roughly 200 protesters gathered. Some oppose abortion.
"I'm pro-life, and this is, to me, the most serious issue in our country,” said Louise Cody of New Britain.
Others were Logan supporters who said Democrats need to shift their focus to other issues.
"We've had enough,” said protester Colleen Dabkowski. “We're paying high taxes, crime rate is high."
Connecticut Republican Party chairman Ben Proto predicted Harris' visit could backfire.
"What's foremost on the minds of people in the state of Connecticut is how they're going to pay their bills this month, and how the Biden-Harris administration has destroyed our economy,” he said.
Abortion access has helped give Gov. Ned Lamont and Sen. Richard Blumenthal double-digit leads, with huge advantages among women.
Back inside, the vice president became emotional talking about reproductive rights.
"I have an 81-year-old mother-in-law -- Doug's mother,” she said. “Ella, our daughter, will have fewer rights than my mother-in-law.”