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Trivedi: I’m pro choice, despite what Pike says

Trivedi: I’m pro choice, despite what Pike says

Democrat Manan Trivedi’s campaign on Tuesday hit back against primary opponent Doug Pike for suggesting in a op-ed that Pike is the only “publicly pro-choice” candidate in the race. The spat was the first public flare up in a 6th District primary that could grow more contentious in the months to come.

In a statement, the campaign stated explicitly that Trivedi, an Iraq War veteran and Reading doctor, is pro-choice. It went on to point out an 1990 op-ed Pike wrote for The Inquirer, in which wrote of a former state lawmaker: “I support a woman’s right to an abortion—and the re-election of a zealous opponent of abortion.”

“[Former state Representative Stephen] Freind’s leadership and independence on other issues are more important than his crusade against the right to an abortion,” Pike wrote at the time.

Some Democratic insiders had wondered about Trivedi’s stance on abortion rights since it is not mentioned on the issues page of his campaign Web site. But people who have spoken with him describe Trivedi as adamantly pro-choice. And during a recent endorsement party in Malvern, while he did not directly take a stance on the Stupak amendment, the specific subject of Pike’s more recent op-ed, he railed against conservatives who disdain government intervention, “except when it comes to a woman’s body.”

The Trivedi campaign sought to clear up any confusion in its statement Tuesday.

“First we have the Doug Pike that endorses abortion ‘zealots’ and then we have the Doug Pike who boasts wildly that he is the lone public supporter of abortion rights,” campaign spokesperson Daren Berringer said. “While we don’t pretend to understand where Doug Pike really stands on this issue, two things are true:  Doug Pike will write or say anything to get the public’s attention and Manan Trivedi is pro-choice.”
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December 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments [22] | post a comment

  1. Anonymous

    Dec 1st, 2009

    wow, this just got kinda nasty

  2. Progressive Dem

    Dec 1st, 2009

    It’s rather immature to characterize something as a flip-flop when it really isn’t.

    In 1990, Pike clearly wrote “I support a woman’s right to an abortion” which is what he’s still saying now. I think it’s great he still feels the same way on the issue 19 years later.

  3. Moderate Dem

    Dec 1st, 2009

    This is a really poor attempt to take something written 19 years ago and spin it into a flip-flop. Doug Pike’s support for a candidate who he did not agree with on every issue shows that he does not have a one track mind and that he looks at the entire picture before making up his mind. He looked at a candidates as a whole, not just on any single issue. Reality is Trivedi is now in a retreat and this was his campaigns attempt to thwart Pike’s push forward. Sorry Manan, its not going to work.

    Also, Why wasn’t your support for a woman’s right to choose listen on the issues page of your website originally? You never answered that question.

  4. David Diano

    Dec 1st, 2009

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was pretty sure the pro-choice topic had come up when I saw Trivedi. I hadn’t recalled the context.

    It was plain silly for Doug Pike to pull this sort of nonsense on Trivedi. They both attended the Onorata last night and Pike had plenty of opportunity to question Trivedi’s position. Instead, he’s got egg on his face.

    If Doug doesn’t have more in his holster than a personal fortune, Trivedi is going to be more than just a thorn in his side.

    Bravo to Trivedi for coming back so strong. It sends three CLEAR messages:

    1) Trivedi’s position on a key issue

    2) That Pike shouldn’t try “implying” stuff about Trivedi, and needs hard facts before putting pen-to-paper (or fingers-to-keyboard)

    3) Trivedi’s got a good research team to come up with the Steve Freind hit. So people in glass houses shouldn’t be tossing any rocks his way.

  5. David Diano

    Dec 1st, 2009

    Progressive and Moderate Dems-
    Trivedi isn’t claiming that Pike isn’t pro-choice.

    What he IS doing is pointing out that Pike shouldn’t play the implication game. Pike’s implication against Trivedi was based on ZERO. Pointing out Pike’s support for ardent pro-lifer Freind is just to tweak Pike a bit and have a little fun at his expense with a little nugget from the past.

    Don’t get so bent out-of-shape about it. It’s an early lesson for Pike. Obama calls these “teaching moments”. :-)

  6. Progressive Dem

    Dec 1st, 2009

    Sounds like Trivedi is the one getting bent out of shape having to assure people of his position.

    And Trivedi’s campaign manager obviously questioned Pike’s position by saying “we don’t pretend to understand where Doug Pike really stands on this issue.”

    Hopefully Trivedi will learn from this and be more clear on his positions in the future.

  7. Hey Dave

    Dec 1st, 2009

    Pike didn’t imply. At the time of his statement he was the only candidate who had come out in public (not a fundraiser) to state he was pro-choice. He made it clear Trivedi hadn’t done so yet on his website or elsewhere for more than 12 people to hear or see.,

  8. David Diano

    Dec 1st, 2009

    I think Trivedi is just being sarcastic about Pike’s position.

    “Hey Dave”-
    There were a lot more than 12 people at Trivedi’s event. :-)\
    And, yes, but framing it the way he did, could be put into a textbook teaching about “implying”.

    Okay Pike fans…. Do you guys REALLY want to play the game of “Omitted position on website?”

    On his site… Pike takes a general position supporting equality for LGBT, and against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. However, there is a noticeable omission:
    Where is Pike’s position on Gay Marriage and the Defense of Marriage Act??

    It’s a fairly glaring omission, when you make a point of discussing the issue on your site in the first place.

    However, it’s understandable. Coming out FOR gay marriage is a deal killer for a lot of politicians, especially if they have to get conservative votes. Even if they are for it, they rarely advertise it and dodge the question. If you hand them the knife, they aren’t going to plunge it into themselves if they can avoid it.

    My advice to the Pike (and Trivedi) campaigns: Run a positive campaign about what YOU are going to do. Don’t go making unsupported statements (or inferences) about the other guy’s unstated positions.

    Each candidate will research and roll out his position papers on plenty of topics. Just because a topic hasn’t been addressed YET or fully flushed out, is no reason to make claims about your opponent’s position.

    My suggestion to the Pike supporters: either drop this line of attack or in your next post, explain Pike’s position on gay marriage.

    I’ll give you one guess which choice Pike would prefer you make.

  9. Brian Kline

    Dec 1st, 2009

    First, we have a race. The annointed frontrunner has just taken off the gloves. Second, Pike’s freefall has been so extensive for the past several months his campaign is now appealing to primary base voters in trying to win back support. Internal polling probably shows Pike losing support among Democratic women voters. The Trivedi campaign won another media cycle.

  10. Hey Dave

    Dec 1st, 2009

    I’m almost 100% positive Pike has touched on both DOMA AND DADT publicly. Either via email or on here to some regard. trivedi makes no mention of any LGTB issues. Certainly it seems he isn’t playing the progressive….is he shifting himself right? Why?

  11. Shikes

    Dec 1st, 2009

    I wonder how many of these people are supporters and how many are campaign staff?

  12. karlub

    Dec 1st, 2009

    Well, given the respective checkbooks, I would expect the only staff on here are Pike’s. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Nice Dinniman endorsement, btw, that Trivedi sported the other day. Andy was the one who, after no doubt being encouraged, helped clear the way for Pike. Seems Sen. Dinniman didn’t lose any time expressing how he felt about the subject.

    (FTR, not a staff member or supporter of either candidate!)

  13. Lee Levan

    Dec 1st, 2009

    “I wonder how many of these people are supporters and how many are campaign staff?”

    Great question, Yikes. I believe that, if you read the comments on the site on a regular basis, you can pretty much tell. There’s a clear difference between a reasoned argument and campaign spin.

  14. Lee Levan

    Dec 1st, 2009

    Sorry. I meant to type Shikes.

  15. David Diano

    Dec 1st, 2009

    I wonder how many of these staffers are aware of new FCC rules governing bloggers that took effect Dec 1st (today). Specifically, if you are hawking a product and getting paid (money or freebies) to do so, you are supposed to disclose your relationship, or face fines.

    I’m not sure if this has been applied to campaign staff for politicians, but it should. And, Dan can certainly set up a disclosure policy here for campaign staffers to adhere to.

    For myself, I currently have no financial relationship with any of the candidates. However, I am trying to develop a few to use my voter software. For any race where I have the candidate as a customer, I would clearly identify the relationship early on (though I wouldn’t repeatedly mention it on every single post). I would also make Dan Hirschhorn aware of it in more detail than I might reveal on the blog, to maintain some level of confidentiality (though eventually I’ll wind up on some campaign finance reports).

    Also, just because a candidate may be a customer for my software does not provide them an automatic shield from my criticism if they take a position I don’t like.
    Shield costs extra!

    (Just kidding. All of the candidates combined don’t have enough money to buy me off if they do something egregious.)

    Anyway, I think the campaign staffers should come clean, or they risk their candidates being associated with violating the spirit (if not the letter) of the new FCC rule.
    If you are a paid shill, just admit it.

    Lee L., Mario C., Brian K. and a few others besides me post under their real names. As incredible as some of the stuff I say may seem, it’s got more credibility with my name behind it than my anonymous critics. I know I have a lot more respect for my critics that use their own names.

    BTW, people ARE paying attention to PA2010. When I go to Dem events and people see my name tag, I’m getting recognized more and more for my blogging, and not just my voter software.

  16. Mike S

    Dec 2nd, 2009

    I agree with the comments previously. If anyone posting is paid campaign staff it is just wrong for you to be putting campaign spin on these websites.

    I also think that is apparent that the more versatile and agile media and political team right now belongs to Trivedi. He is obviously a good candidate and seems to win the media battle with every article. Pike better turn it around soon or have some major issues locking down his base even with his family money in the back pocket.

  17. Charlie

    Dec 2nd, 2009

    Are you kidding? Trivedi sounds like a kid throwing a temper tantrum.

    He needs to learn to grow up. Stop with the mud slinging and start talking about issues.

    It seems fair to ask an opponent to address an issue. It happens in almost every race I’ve followed including the presidential and senate races. To pretend it’s something else and turn it into a negative talking point seems like poor judgment.

  18. David Diano

    Dec 2nd, 2009

    Pike wasn’t interested in Trivedi’s position. If he was, he could have asked him face-to-face the night before. Instead, Pike tried to imply that Trivedi was not pro-choice and lumped him with the Republicans.

    Trivedi came back quick and hard to show he was no pushover, and threw in a little sarcasm to boot. Pike will think twice about trying to paint Trivedi with a position, just because it isn’t on his website yet.

    Pike had kicked around $620,000 of his own money, as of the end of September. Now, Trivedi’s come along and threatening that investment. I get it. Doug’s not happy with Trivedi upsetting the apple cart.

    Instead of trying to tarnish Trivedi, Pike needs to focus on why he’s a good candidate (and figure out why Trivedi has such instant appeal).

  19. Charlie

    Dec 2nd, 2009

    David – It’s obvious you feel strongly about Trivedi since you spend so much time defending every remark and trying to spin the narrative in his favor. But of course, that’s completely your right.

    However, I think your statement about “instant appeal” is a little ridiculous. I believe the importance of labor in a Democratic primary has been understated in most of the coverage about this race. I think it’s telling about the strength of the Pike campaign with the number labor endorsements they have, most of which seem to have come after Trivedi got into the race. The recent UFCW endorsement in huge.

    I will add a disclaimer that I am now a Pike supporter. When I first came across Trivedi, I’ll admit he had has interesting personal narrative that could have translated into a good discussion on the issue of healthcare. But what turned me off from him was the negative tone he’s willing to take at a personal level which started long before yesterday’s spat. It’s one thing to have a discussion on the issues or even call attention to someone’s positions, it’s another to take personal shots.

  20. David Diano

    Dec 2nd, 2009

    I liked Pike when he got in and even gave the campaign some fundraising leads. I respected that he was putting his own money on the line, and I liked his newspaper background.

    However, Pike is good “on paper”, but he’s failed to “connect” with me, so far. On the other hand, Trivedi resonated with me from the first time I met him a few weeks ago. He didn’t come off as a politician, but rather as a concerned citizen stepping up to do something.

    Trivedi is picking up steam. I think Pike made the mistake of trying to clear-the-field with a massive fundraising buy-in, becoming anointed, and not being prepared for a real challenger.

    Pike’s a smart guy, and I expect him to regain his footing. If he had been a bit smarter, and left Trivedi out of his “op-ed”, he would have been fine. He could have even been magnanimous and said something like: “I’m confident Trivedi’s position is similar to mine, and I look forward to his take on this important issue.”

    He could have avoided this whole sh1t-storm, and come off as confident in himself to be generous to his fellow Dem, and show some party unity against the GOP slate.

    I haven’t seen the “bad-side” of Trivedi that you have, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. I don’t consider that the recent “spat” qualifies as “bad-side” for Trivedi.

  21. […] [His weirdness on abortion dates back at least to 1988, where even an ostensibly pro-choice column of his insisted on the "gruesomeness" of the medical procedure which he called "this wholesale disposal of what abortion backers insist is less than a baby and what anti- abortionists know is more than a glob," asserting that the "annual toll still should turn the stomachs of people who have quietly gone along with Roe v. Wade," and extends to this campaign where he falsely claimed to be the only pro-choice candidate in the race.] […]

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