Rachel Maddow on how Dems are turning Tom Tancredo into Todd "Legitimate Rape" Aiken

Today is primary election day, when voters in Colorado will determine which Republican gubernatorial hopeful will try to unseat Governor John Hickenlooper in November -- and to set the stage, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow capped her show last night with a segment interpreting one technique Hick supporters are using to try and guarantee victory.

Maddow's theory: Colorado Dems are deploying a canny strategy to help former Representative Tom Tancredo win the nomination, because they see him as the equivalent of doomed Missouri senate candidate Todd "Legitimate Rape" Aiken. Details and multiple videos below.

As you'll recall, Akin, a Republican determined to defeat sitting Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill, became a national laughingstock/figure of ridicule in 2012 after this explanation for why he opposes abortion even in the case of sexual assault: "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down."

Maddow notes that McCaskill saw Akin as the easiest of her potential opponents to defeat. So her campaign spent millions airing ads proclaiming him to be Missouri's "true conservative" -- the idea being that if Missouri Republicans thought he was the candidate furthest to the right, they'd vote for him.

The approach worked: Akin won the Republican primary, only to be destroyed by McCaskill in the general election.

Buoyed by McCaskill's success, pro-Hickenlooper forces decided to try the same tactics here on behalf of Tancredo, who lost to Hick in 2010 as the standard-bearer for the American Constitution party. Hence, an ad entitled "Futile," in which Tancredo is deemed "too conservative" in part because he branded Obamacare a scam "just when it's starting to work."

In addition, Maddow notes that Dems also launched ads going after ex-Congressman Bob Beauprez, who some observers see as the more formidable candidate (even though he, too, has lost a race for governor, in 2006 versus Bill Ritter). However, those spots imply Beauprez isn't conservative enough -- a message thought to boost Tancredo by comparison.

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The assorted ads clearly tickle Maddow, who says Dems are "trying to trick Republican voters into picking the wingnut" -- a description she justifies by referencing past Tancredo remarks about bombing Mecca, calling Miami a third-world country and impeaching President Barack Obama. But she leaves out one amusing side note: Tancredo's backers have created a spot in which the "Futile" ad is followed by Big Tom saying that even though Democrats produced the commercial, he endorses the message anyway.

Look below to see the aforementioned Maddow show segment, followed by the original "Futile" ad, the doctored version from the Tancredo campaign and the spot aimed at Beauprez.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive circa December 2013: "Marijuana: Tom Tancredo says skip the scare tactics and give Amendment 64 a chance."

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