Search Results for: cory gardner

Top Ten Stories of 2017 #1: Cory Gardner’s Slow-Motion Career Crash

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) rolled out his “angry face” in 2017.

(Yeah, yeah, it’s January 10th. At least we finished this — Colorado Pols)

How bad was 2017 for Cory Gardner? Consider this: When Gardner materialized in the Philippines in June glad-handing a murderous dictator, it wasn’t even the low point of his year.

The biggest Colorado political story of 2017 was the slow-motion destruction of Sen. Cory Gardner’s political career. The Yuma Republican was heralded as a rising star in the GOP when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014, and the hype grew to such extreme measures that Gardner was even mentioned as a potential candidate for Vice President in 2016. But after a terrible 12 months as a member of the Senate Republican leadership, it’s fair to wonder whether Gardner can even hold his own seat in 2020.

In the last couple of years, Gardner has traveled the country supporting various Republican candidates in a transparent attempt to raise his own national profile. He was rewarded for his efforts in late 2016 when he was selected to head up the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for 2018 – a job he had lobbied for back when it seemed absurd that Donald Trump might get elected to the Presidency. Gardner figured that he would have little trouble guiding the NRSC to victory in 2018 with Hillary Clinton in the White House, but now it looks like he’ll be the guy in charge when Republicans lose their Senate majority in November.

Gardner’s struggles at the helm of the NRSC are killing his political reputation, with damaging charges of voter-list theft the cherry on top of a terrible year trying to raise money for the organization. By the end of 2017, the White House was openly fretting about Gardner’s fundraising problems at the NRSC.

But it wasn’t just trouble with the NRSC that plagued Gardner in 2017. He was pummeled for most of the year over his inexplicable refusal to hold a town hall event in Colorado – a strange strategic decision that caused endless headaches for the Senator and led to the creation of a famous cardboard version of the Yuma Republican. When Gardner finally faced Colorado voters in mid-August after some 500 days of avoiding them…well, let’s just say people were justifiably pissed off. It doesn’t help Gardner’s cause that his Senate offices have basically stopped trying to respond to constituents.

Gardner’s approval ratings plummeted accordingly. By the end of the year, Gardner had become one of the 10 most disliked Senators in the entire country — ripped on social media and mocked on late-night television as a blathering stooge for Senate Republicans. Vocal Colorado Republicans began to attack Gardner as well, and national conservative voices became pointed critics.

It’s telling that Gardner isn’t listed anymore as a potential “swing vote” in national stories – not after the way he embraced every iteration of a failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act while trying to explain his actions with loads of gibberish to the media. This is a problem for Gardner’s made-up “moderate” image, and it indicates the extent to which reporters – with the exception of Gardner transcriber/CBS4 reporter Shaun Boyd — are no longer buying this presentation.

As the 2018 year in politics gets underway, Gardner is trying hard to present himself as some sort of Weed Warrior while also shining Donald Trump’s shoes and hoping nobody notices the contradictions. In other words, Gardner has no idea how he is going to extricate himself from the political morass he stumbled into in 2017. His best hope is just that 2018 can’t possibly be any worse than the year he just finished.

Weed over kids: Cory Gardner’s priorities?

You probably saw it on TV last week. After Trump’s attorney general made another threat to shut down Colorado’s legal marijuana industry, Sen. Cory Gardner spoke out on the floor of the U.S. Senate and threatened to stall Justice Department nominees.

Marijuana is a billion-dollar business in Colorado, and money talks. But here’s the problem: while Cory Gardner says he’s willing to go to extremes to protect the marijuana industry (which is debatable considering his parade of broken promises), 90,000 Colorado kids are in danger of losing their Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage. Uncertainty in Washington has forced Colorado to spend money we don’t have to temporarily cover kids who qualify for CHIP in our state, but that won’t last forever.

Send a message to Cory Gardner now: tell him to stand up for Colorado’s kids.

If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that Gardner’s priorities are hopelessly out of whack. Gardner spent all of last year trying repeatedly to destroy the Affordable Care Act and slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans, despite the fact that poll after poll showed that’s not what Coloradans wanted. Gardner claimed to support health insurance for children, but Republicans in Washington have refused to take action to fund CHIP for the long-term.

If Cory Gardner can shut down Justice Department nominations over marijuana, why can’t he do as much for 90,000 Colorado kids who need health coverage? Tell Gardner to do the right thing—even when there aren’t campaign donations and a billion-dollar industry at stake.

Thanks for helping us hold Gardner accountable to his promises. We’ll make sure he gets your message.

Cory Gardner Doesn’t Want to Talk About Tax Bill

I’m doing good, right?

Earlier this week Congressional Republicans rammed through a tax plan that ranks as the most unpopular piece of legislation to pass through Capitol Hill in literally decades. Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Denver) opposed the measure — as did all Senate Democrats — and has not been shy about voicing his concerns. Colorado’s other Senator, Republican Cory Gardner, voted YES on the tax plan but isn’t really all that interested in talking about it.

Senator Bennet spoke with Colorado Public Radio (CPR) on Thursday and did not mince words about his disgust with the legislation:

“…the way I look at this is that they’ve been kind enough to spread some crumbs around for middle America to make it appear like there’s a middle-class tax cut, when the reality is they’re borrowing money from the middle class to finance these massive tax cuts for the wealthiest people the country. I don’t think that’s satisfactory. In fact I would say this is the worst piece of legislation that I’ve seen in the nine years that I’ve been in this job.” [Pols emphasis]

There’s certainly no mistaking Bennet’s position here, but why is Sen. Gardner supporting a tax plan that offers little help to middle-class Colorado families? That’s a good question…without much of an answer. As radio host Jo Ann Allen explained after Bennet’s interview on CPR:

“We’ve asked Republican Senator Cory Gardner numerous times for an interview on the tax bill and other topics. So far, he has not set aside the time.” [Pols emphasis]

Gardner isn’t just ducking Colorado Public Radio — he’s been noticeably silent on the tax plan since it really started picking up steam in November. Gardner issued a generic statement of support after the vote this week, but otherwise he hasn’t been very eager to talk about his enthusiasm for legislation that the entire country dislikes.

It’s not a huge political mystery as to why Gardner supported the GOP tax plan. Gardner is the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and his anemic fundraising is setting off alarm bells all over Washington D.C.; he is absolutely desperate to win back the support of major Republican donors before his entire political career goes up in flames, and if that means supporting legislation that his constituents don’t like…well, whatever, right?

Still, is it really too much to ask for Gardner to actually defend his position on the only significant legislative accomplishment for Congressional Republicans in 12 months?

Don’t answer that.

It’s Not Too Early to Wonder About Cory Gardner in 2020

Rep. Paul Ryan poses with then-Rep. Cory Gardner. Four years from now, both might be gone from the halls of Congress.

Colorado has had seven U.S. Senators since 1990. Three have been re-elected at least once: Democrat Republican Ben “Nighthorse” Campbell, Republican Wayne Allard, and Democrat Michael Bennet. As for the other four: Republican Hank Brown retired after one term, Democrat Ken Salazar left early to become Interior Secretary, and Democrat Mark Udall lost his bid for re-election in 2014 to Republican Cory Gardner.

In modern Colorado political history, our elected Senators have been more likely to retire or leave the job early than to be rejected by voters. In fact, only one incumbent Senator other than Udall has lost a re-election bid since 1978 (Democratic Sen. Floyd Haskell lost to Republican Bill Armstrong that year). Colorado’s next Senate election isn’t scheduled until 2020, when Gardner will be nearing the end of his first six-year term, but recent other high-profile decisions to retire or not run for re-election are turning many local eyes toward the Yuma Republican.

The most recent example is that of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who is reportedly intent on leaving Congress in 2018 rather than run for another term. As Politico wrote this week:

Ryan was tiring of D.C. even before reluctantly accepting the speakership. He told his predecessor, John Boehner, that it would be his last job in politics—and that it wasn’t a long-term proposition. In the months following Trump’s victory, he began contemplating the scenarios of his departure. More recently, over closely held conversations with his kitchen cabinet, Ryan’s preference has become clear: He would like to serve through Election Day 2018 and retire ahead of the next Congress. This would give Ryan a final legislative year to chase his second white whale, entitlement reform, while using his unrivaled fundraising prowess to help protect the House majority—all with the benefit of averting an ugly internecine power struggle during election season.

There are some obvious similarities between Ryan and Gardner. Both are 40-something lawmakers with ambitions to roam the White House one day, and both are seeing their political careers bogged down by intense Republican infighting and the daily whims of a President whose very existence (and massive unpopularity) threatens other Republican politicians around the country.

Cory Gardner’s most recent poll numbers show him with a disapproval rate (39%) that has nearly eclipsed his awful approval numbers (40%)

Gardner does not have nearly the national name-recognition of Ryan, but he is starting to get more national notice for the wrong reasons. In just the last couple of months, Gardner has struggled to raise money as the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) while facing difficult questions about a large-scale donor list theft that took place under his watch. Gardner was lampooned during the monologue of “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” just a few weeks ago, and earlier this week a political panel on CNN openly laughed at Gardner’s absurd statement that Democrat Doug Jones should vote with Republicans once he takes his seat as Alabama’s junior Senator. Gardner’s Senate office is barely functional, and his approval ratings are in the toilet as the eighth-least liked Senator in the entire country. Social media users seem to hate Gardner even more than they dislike President Twitterer himself.

If President Trump is somehow still in the White House in 2020, then he’s likely going to be running for re-election. Team Gardner can’t be very enthusiastic about the idea of sharing the same ballot as the most unpopular President in the history of polling, and Gardner may come to the same conclusion as Ryan: That in order to live and fight another political battle he would be best-served by going away for awhile.

Angry Cory

We don’t need to tell you that a lot can change in three years, but this current political trajectory does not favor a Gardner re-election campaign. There is a massive Blue Wave coming to America in 2018, and perhaps beyond, thanks in part to the insistence of Congressional Republicans on passing the least-popular legislative proposals in a generation. Republican efforts to dismantle Obamacare and give away massive tax breaks to the rich are not going over well with American voters — and Gardner has been at the front of the parade on both issues (he votes with President Trump more than 94% of the time).

For a politician as young as Gardner, it may make more sense for him to walk away before 2020 than to risk a crushing re-election loss just six years after being hailed as one of the GOP’s brightest stars. It certainly would not be an unprecedented move in Colorado.

Gardner had visions of running for President in 2020 had Democrat Hillary Clinton defeated Trump in 2016. Even if Trump is not the GOP candidate for President in 2020, it’s going to be damn near impossible for any Republican to maintain the support of Trumpians while still appearing reasonable to a general electorate.

In politics, timing can be everything. Gardner’s 2014 timing was perfect; everything since then has been an absolute mess. Gardner may well decide that 2020 will be time for him to do something else.

There’s Tone Deaf, And Then There’s Cory Gardner

UPDATE: Watch a CNN panel laugh raucously at Sen. Cory Gardner:

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Roy Moore, Cory Gardner.

Denver7’s Blair Miller reports on the response by National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, to last night’s come-from-behind victory by Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones of Alabama–a Democratic victory that puts Gardner in a difficult position as one of the Republicans who abandoned Roy Moore as allegations of child molestation beset Moore’s campaign:

Sen. Cory Gardner, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Tuesday that Alabama voters deemed Roy Moore unfit for election, but also that he hopes Democratic victor Doug Jones will vote with Republicans once in the U.S. Senate.

“Tonight’s results are clear – the people of Alabama deemed Roy Moore unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate,” Gardner said in a statement. “I hope Senator-elect Doug Jones will do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”

Gardner’s statement whistles right past the enormous divisions Roy Moore’s Senate run opened within the Republican Party, with President Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee having fully committed the party’s brand in support of Moore. Gardner himself went back and forth on Moore through the course of the Alabama special election to replace Jeff Sessions, supporting appointed incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in the primary, then enthusiastically backing Moore as the primary winner before souring on Moore again with Mitch McConnell’s apparent consent after decades-old allegations of sexual misconduct against girls as young as 14 resurfaced. After Trump endorsed Moore, McConnell’s rhetoric suddenly went soft leaving Gardner out on a limb. Gardner stopped calling for Moore to be expelled at that point, but still voiced his personal opposition.

As for Gardner’s thoroughly lampoonable call for Jones to essentially caucus with Republicans, yes–we get why he said this. You could even argue that Gardner’s opposition to Moore was meant to set up the circumstances by which he could call for something like this with a straight face. But in the end, the ability of a Democrat to prevail in deeply red Alabama as happened yesterday is more than the admittedly shocking allegations against one Republican candidate. Elections across the country in 2017 have clearly indicated a huge shift of support away from Republicans since Trump’s election. In some cases, the 20-point or larger swings still weren’t enough to flip safely Republican seats, but if you apply those equivalent swings across the nation the 2018 elections begin to look very, very good for Democrats–a landslide, in fact, that could reach historic proportions.

So no, sorry Sen. Gardner, we don’t see Doug Jones caucusing with Republicans! If anything, after next November that might be a whole new punchline. In the meantime, the deep divisions created by Moore’s campaign within the Republican Party, in which Gardner is now fully entangled, are going to be fascinating to watch play out.

Cory Gardner: Let The Moore Backpedal Begin

Back that a** up, Cory.

Republican leaders such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are softening their tone on accused pedophile and former judge Roy Moore as Tuesday’s U.S. Senate election in Alabama approaches. And now so is Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma).

Gardner maintains that the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which he helms for the 2018 cycle, will absolutely not support Moore’s candidacy. Of that, Gardner has been fairly consistent…but now he’s starting to backpedal on what happens if Moore wins on Tuesday.

Here’s the exact exchange between Gardner and Fox 31 reporter Joe St. George, as reported today:

JSG: “If Roy Moore wins, should he be seated?”

GARDNER: “Again, that’s a question…that’s a Constitutional question to the Supreme Court.”

 

This is a considerably different answer than the one Gardner gave on November 13. As the Denver Post reported at the time:

“I believe the individuals speaking out against Roy Moore spoke with courage and truth, proving he is unfit to serve in the United States Senate and he should not run for office,” Gardner said in a statement. “If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate.”

President Trump, the latter of whom is doubling-down on his support of Moore. Trump is in Pensacola, Florida today for a rally that is totally not at all about Roy Moore and the fact that Pensacola is in the same television market as Mobile, Alabama.

It’s Official, Cory Gardner: Roy Moore Won’t Be Expelled

UPDATE: President Trump is now “all in” on supporting Moore, as CNN reports:

President Donald Trump fully endorsed Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore on Twitter Monday morning.

Trump had hesitated to throw his full support behind the embattled Republican candidate in the wake of explosive accusations against him. His tweet Monday comes as recent polls show a close race…

…Moore expressed gratitude for Trump’s public support, which comes eight days before the special election.

“Thankful for President Trump’s support. The America First agenda will #MAGA. Can’t wait to help him #DrainTheSwamp. #ALSEN” he tweeted.

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Roy Moore, Cory Gardner.

Politico reporting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is sounding the retreat from previous statements that accused child molester Roy Moore should be expelled from the U.S. Senate in the event he wins the December 12th special election in Alabama–leaving Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, whose National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) pulled support from Moore and who also called for Moore to be expelled if he wins…

We believe the correct description is “with his ass hanging in the breeze.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Sunday shifted his tone on allowing Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore to serve in the Senate if elected.

Multiple women have accused Moore, who is facing Democrat Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, of making sexual advances on them when they were teenagers. When the allegations first appeared, McConnell said he believed the women and said Moore should drop out of the contest.

“I’m going to let the people of Alabama make the call,” McConnell said on ABC’s “This Week.” He said he thought the Senate Ethics Committee would handle the allegations against Moore if he is elected: “The ethics committee will have to consider the matters that have been litigated in the campaign should that particular candidate win.”

That’s well short of a vote to expel, of course–and just like Cory Gardner quietly ate his words after calling for now-President Donald Trump to pull out of the presidential race last October, you can now officially start the vigil for Gardner to commence backpedaling on Roy Moore as well. It would be preferable to see reporters track that change as it occurs, rather than allowing him to “go dark” for the next week and issue the inevitable “everybody should have the opportunity to live down pedophilia” statement once Moore’s accession to the U.S. Senate is a fait accompli.

These signals coming from the highest Republicans in the land that they are ready to capitulate to Moore are the best tacit support they can possibly give Moore and his embittered hard-right base. With over a week left before the election for this reality to be absorbed by Alabama voters, Moore’s election–and the greatest moral moment of truth for Republicans since Trump himself–is once again the most likely scenario.

There is of course the possibility that Gardner could surprise us, but we have no reason to expect it.

At this point, absolutely none.

Cory Gardner’s NRSC Accused of Stealing Donor Info

Get used to seeing this Gardner face

As Politico reports, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), which is helmed for the 2018 cycle by Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, is being accused of stealing donor information…from House Republicans:

Staffers for Senate Republicans’ campaign arm seized information on more than 200,000 donors from the House GOP campaign committee over several months this year by breaking into its computer system, three sources with knowledge of the breach told POLITICO.

The unauthorized raid on the National Republican Congressional Committee’s data created a behind-the-scenes rift with the National Republican Senatorial Committee, according to the sources, who described NRCC officials as furious. It comes at a time when House Republicans are focused on preparing to defend their 24-seat majority in the 2018 midterm elections. And it has spotlighted Senate Republicans’ deep fundraising struggles this year, with the NRSC spending more than it raised for four months in a row…

…The donor list that was breached is among the NRCC’s most valuable assets, containing not only basic contact information like email addresses and phone numbers but personal information that could be used to entice donors to fork over cash — information on top issues and key states of interest to different people, the names of family members, and summaries of past donation history. The list has helped the NRCC raise over $77 million this year to defend the House in 2018.

“The individuals on these lists are guaranteed money,” said a Republican fundraiser. “They will give. These are not your regular D.C. PAC list.”

We’ve talked before in this space about how bad things are looking for Gardner in 2018, but this is a whole new level of trouble. The Politico story quotes NRSC Executive Director Chris Hansen — a longtime Gardner advisor — vehemently denying the charges, though you can read between the lines here:

The NRCC became aware of the hack in October, and it has been the subject of whispers throughout the Republican campaign world in recent days, with one source comparing it, jokingly, to Russian hacking during the 2016 election.

Whether or not Gardner is publicly blamed for this colossal mistake is not entirely relevant at this point — the whispers among Republican donors will be devastating. Gardner is about to find himself leaving a lot of voicemail messages that will never be returned.

Betraying major donors is a cardinal sin in politics. It’s not hyperbole to say that this could ultimately end Gardner’s career.

Trump Opens Door For Moore: Joke’s on You, Cory Gardner!

Roy Moore, Cory Gardner.

From today’s White House press conference–so much for the Republican Party’s attempt to put daylight between itself and embattled U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, as CNN reports:

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Trump continues to believe that the people of Alabama should decide Roy Moore’s fate in the Senate race, but reiterated that Trump wants elected officials who “support his agenda” in Congress.

“Obviously the president wants people both in the House and the Senate that support his agenda,” Sanders said Monday in the White House press briefing.

“The president feels that it’s up to the people of Alabama to make that determination of who their representative will be,” Sanders said.

Cory Gardner can say what he want. Moore just got greenlighted by the highest Republican in the land.

And if Moore wins, the odds of a vote to expel just dwindled.

Hey Cory Gardner, Remember Rodrigo Duterte?

Sen Cory Gardner, Filipino strongman Rodrigo Duterte.

The New York Times reports on President Donald Trump’s time this weekend with the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte–whose human rights record has earned his regime worldwide condemnation, and became a serious political hot potato after Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado snuck into Manila to visit Duterte for a diplomatic visit earlier this year:

President Trump said on Monday that he had a “great relationship” with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, making little mention of human rights at his first face-to-face meeting with an authoritarian leader accused of carrying out a campaign of extrajudicial killings in his nation’s war on drugs.

In a stark break from past practice by American presidents, who have pressed foreign leaders publicly and privately about allegations of human rights abuses, Mr. Trump instead pursued his own transactional style of diplomacy, dwelling mostly on areas of common ground during his meeting with Mr. Duterte. On the sideline of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit meeting, Mr. Trump focused on combating the Islamic State and illegal drugs as well as on trade issues, the White House said…

Mr. Trump “appeared sympathetic and did not have any official position on the matter and was merely nodding his head, indicating that he understood the domestic problem that we faced on drugs,” said Harry Roque, Mr. Duterte’s spokesman. “The issue of human rights did not arise; it was not brought up.”

After Gardner’s visit with Duterte was disclosed (mind you, not before), Gardner went to great lengths to insist that yes, he did caution President Duterte about human rights abuses alleged to have occurred during the ongoing Filipino “war on drugs.” There was never any proof that Gardner had broached this subject with Duterte, since no audio from the meetings ever emerged. On Filipino television, Gardner’s visit was treated like a routine visit from a foreign dignitary–certainly with nothing to indicate any controversy.

Again, it’s important to establish clearly that Gardner made no advance statement about his trip to Malina, and only expressed his concerns about Duterte’s record on human rights after his visit there was exposed. If there was any actual change in policy as a result of this visit, nobody ever reported on it.

And folks, this is not a photo that connotes troubled relations.

For Americans who, like Sen. Gardner claims to, care about human rights around the world, this is an incredibly embarrassing photo. For Gardner in particular, who if we are to believe him traveled to Manila to express reservations about the extrajudicial killings and other crimes alleged to have been committed under Duterte…

How is this not a betrayal? How can Gardner not be outraged?

Unless, of course, Gardner never was.

Sorry Cory Gardner, Roy Moore Says He’s Sticking

FRIDAY UPDATE: With outrage growing, Cory Gardner’s “if true” avoidance qualifier becomes less tenable by the minute:

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UPDATE #2: The Hill:

Embattled Alabama GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore told supporters on Thursday that he would not back down amid calls for him to step aside from the race following a new report that accuses him of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor in 1979.

“I refuse to stand down,” he said in a new email.

Moore blasted the accusations, levied in a new story by The Washington Post, in a fundraising email to supporters. He called the allegations attacks from “the Obama-Clinton Machine’s liberal media lapdogs.”

“The forces of evil are on the march in our country…I have a duty to stand up and fight back against the forces of evil waging an all-out war on our conservative values,” he wrote.

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UPDATE:

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Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

FOX News reports on the huge scandal brewing in the Alabama special U.S. Senate election, threatening to upset the campaign of far-right Republican Roy Moore ahead of his up-to-now likely victory:

Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore is firing back after The Washington Post published the account of a woman who claims the former judge and staunch social conservative initiated a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 – allegations that have rocked the race in the final stretch…

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who backed Moore’s rival Luther Strange in the GOP primary, said in a statement: “If these allegations are true, he must step aside.”

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., head of the Senate GOP campaign arm, called the allegations “deeply troubling” and said: “If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election.” [Pols emphasis]

But Moore’s campaign issued a statement saying the report is “baseless” and false.

There hasn’t been anything as of this writing that’s surfaced to cast doubt on the reporting in the Washington Post’s story today, but the allegations date from the year 1979. There is no physical evidence one way or the other to support the allegations, and the statute of limitations for the offenses that would have been committed is long past. That means it’s highly unlikely that new information will come out to “prove” these allegations one way or the other, and Moore has denied everything. You could reasonably conclude from this that National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Cory Gardner just said he’s leaving it up to Moore to decide.

So what happens next? That depends. The swift condemnation of Moore from some other fellow Republicans, including Sen. John McCain’s call for Moore to “immediately step aside and allow the people of Alabama to elect a candidate they can be proud of” disregards the possibility that Moore is not guilty, simply arguing that Moore is unacceptably tainted by the allegations–and with the election fast approaching, that Republicans should find somebody else now. Moore’s embarrassingly fringe politics, public awareness of which has been getting worse with each passing news cycle, were already making him a political liability to fellow Republicans. Now, needless to say, it’s a lot worse.

But the bottom line is, if Moore doesn’t want to get out of the race, nobody can really make him. And if he wins? We already have a precedent for what will happen then. In President Donald Trump. And that is why Cory Gardner can’t make the call on his own.

Because he might have to eat his words, just like he did with Trump.

Morality’s got nothing to do with it, folks.

GOP Donors Close Their Wallets, Like Cory Gardner Said

Don’t you wish, Cory.

Vox’s Dylan Scott reports on a most revealing moment of candor from GOP Rep. Chris Collins of New York:

The House Republican tax overhaul has already made a lot of enemies.

Moderate Republicans from New York and New Jersey worry their constituents would lose big if they can no longer deduct their state and local taxes from their federal tax bill — one of the key ways Republicans are hoping to pay for the corporate tax cut at the center of the plan. Outside groups on the right, like Club for Growth, also object to the bill, saying that taxes for millionaires should be cut even more. Outside estimates project that millions of middle-class Americans could end up paying higher taxes.

Yet the bill is still expected to pass…

Why? Consider this comment from Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), one of those New York Republicans who theoretically might be upset that his constituents would be expected to lose under the GOP bill.

Rep. Collins’ remarks as reported by Christina Marcos of The Hill are a close paraphrase of what Sen. Cory Gardner, head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, told fellow Senators during the health care fight:

Mr. Gardner is in charge of his party’s midterm re-election push, and he warned that donors of all stripes were refusing to contribute another penny until the struggling majority produced some concrete results.

“Donors are furious,” one person knowledgeable about the private meeting quoted Mr. Gardner as saying. “We haven’t kept our promise.”

It’s acknowledged with varying degrees of frankness among Republicans that the failure to accomplish any part of the 2016 GOP agenda other than small and controversial actions by the administration is doing frightful political damage to the party with each passing day. It’s a bizarre situation, in which the party in unchallenged control of every branch of the federal government is suddenly paralyzed by the consequences of what they’ve promised for years–but are only now in a position to deliver. Now, all those harsh policy prescriptions so useful for firing up the right-wing electorate look like career-enders as Americans who cheered on “smaller government” began to understand what that means for themselves personally. The result is a tiny but highly influential Republican donor base fully indoctrinated by the promises conservatives have made outraged that elected Republicans in total control over the government won’t keep them.

The fact that these promises cannot be responsibly kept is beside the point. Republicans now face the politically nightmarish choice of betraying either their wealthy donors or the rest of the country. And there are just not enough rich people to win elections by themselves.

How do you bridge this gap between a platform of political fantasy and reality? Damned if we know, folks.

“Mailbox Pt. 2″—Cory Gardner, Now The Cancellations Are Real

With debate stalled in the U.S. Senate over a measure to reauthorize federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which lapsed due to congressional incompetence last month, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released a “sequel” to Sen. Cory Gardner’s 2014 campaign ad in which Gardner cited “cancellation letters” for health coverage as a reason to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“In 2014, Sen. Cory Gardner filmed a campaign ad holding a letter he claimed was a notification of ‘cancellation’ of his family’s health coverage,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “It wasn’t true: Gardner never lost coverage, and the letter he was holding was actually a renewal notice. Colorado’s uninsured rate has dropped to historic lows since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which would have been impossible if Gardner’s claims that hundreds of thousands of Coloradans ‘had their plans cancelled’ were true.”

“Today, tens of thousands of children in Colorado face the loss of their health coverage—and this time, the cancellations will be very real,” said Silverii. “Cory Gardner says he supports funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but the U.S. Senate isn’t moving to take up the issue even as states warn their funding is quickly running out. What’s more, the CHIP bill passed by the House makes unacceptable trade-offs, slashing public health funds to address the opioid crisis and cancer research in order to cover kids.”

ProgressNow Colorado’s new video spot, “Mailbox Pt. 2,” features a young man from Colorado directly addressing Sen. Gardner about the importance of reauthorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The video’s setting closely parallels Gardner’s original 2014 “Mailbox” ad, in which Gardner holds up a letter he claims was a notice of cancellation for his family’s health coverage. In truth, Gardner was able to renew his family’s coverage with coverage meeting the Affordable Care Act’s standards, just like the overwhelming majority of Coloradans who received such notices during the ACA’s implementation.

“Our message for Cory Gardner is simple: under the Affordable Care Act, more Coloradans than ever obtained health coverage,” said Silverii. “Unfortunately, Cory Gardner has repeatedly voted in 2017 to take health coverage away from Coloradans. The first thing Gardner needs to do is fight for a CHIP bill that doesn’t gut public health programs in exchange for covering children. And then Gardner must stop trying to cancel the health coverage of hundreds of thousands of Coloradans, by ending his misguided obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

It (Still) Sucks to be Cory Gardner in 2018

Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma), pretending that another major donor hasn’t already hung up the phone.

Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner is the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for 2018, and it’s turning out to be a pretty crappy job. We’ve been documenting the extent to which Gardner’s role as NRSC Chair is becoming quite a headache for the first-term Senator, and on Sunday, Mark Matthews of the Denver Post dug into the subject with more detail:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee has seen a recent plunge in fundraising, driven by what many donors see as the party’s stymied agenda in Congress.

Potentially more troublesome is the civil war between party leaders and Republicans aligned with former White House adviser Steve Bannon. This rift has already drawn the committee into an Alabama primary election in which it first backed the unsuccessful establishment candidate and later the far-right insurgent — and eventual nominee — Roy Moore.

The shift in support risks attacks from both a vocal faction of Republicans as well as Democrats eager to tie the NRSC to candidates such as Moore, who once wrote that U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, a Minnesota Democrat and Muslim, shouldn’t be allowed to serve in Congress because of his religion.

Taken together, Gardner should expect to walk a tightrope for the rest of his two-year term, said one political observer who described some Republicans as “in open revolt.”

Matthews notes that fundraising for the NRSC — a primary job for Gardner — is not going well compared to opponents at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). The DSCC outraised the NRSC by a 2-to-1 margin in the last three months with Republican insurgents — led by former Trump adviser Steve Bannon — growing more emboldened in their rejection of the GOP establishment.

Matthews also asked Gardner about political difficulties in backing candidates such as Alabama Republican Roy Moore, who is crazy as shit. Gardner responded with a typical nonsense quote:

Gardner would not name examples but said he would “make it clear where I agree and disagree with anyone — and I have done that over the past many years — and I will continue to do that going forward.”

According to recent polling, Gardner is the 8th least popular U.S. Senator in the entire country.

Cory Gardner’s Office Not Even Trying Anymore

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma)

Fox 31’s Joe St. George reached out to members of Colorado’s Congressional delegation on Monday to get their reaction to the news that two former campaign staffers for Donald Trump were indicted on federal charges related to an investigation into potential collusion with Russia.

We’ll let St. George take it from here:

Sen. Gardner did not issue a new quote regarding indictments, instead directing to a statement he made in May.

“I fully support the decision to appoint former FBI Director Robert Mueller to oversee the ongoing investigation into Russia. We need to get all the facts, and Mueller is the type of person that is respected and trusted by both Republicans and Democrats and will put country over politics.”

Yup. This is the exact same statement Gardner released in May when asked to comment on the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.