As the Denver Post's Allison Sherry reports:
Gauging from the response to last night’s State of the Union address among Colorado’s Republicans, you wouldn’t think Rep. Mike Coffman is amid a re-election battle in a dramatically changed, bluer district. [Pols emphasis]
Coffman, R-Aurora, skewed sharply partisan after the president’s speech late Tuesday. In his canned statement, he lashed more than Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma or Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Cortez. Both Tipton and Gardner are considered safe at the moment and don’t exactly have independently streaked voting records…
“Unfortunately, the State of the Union address has deteriorated into a sort of partisan pep rally, so I frankly don’t put a whole lot of stock into it one way or the other,” Coffman’s statement said. “The president’s partisan chest thumping over his demands for more government spending and mandates as the panacea to all of our problems rings hollow. If not for Obamacare and the reckless spending of the last ten plus years, this economy wouldn’t be in the sputtering malaise that it is.”
In an apparently separate statement, the Post reports Coffman said it was "positive" that President Barack Obama didn't get into specifics about immigration reform–whatever that means. Looking at Coffman's full official statement, he also gives a small nod to the President (and Sen. Mark Udall) on treating veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. But Sherry is absolutely right that Coffman's overall angry partisan tone in his response to the State of the Union address last night was way off. Obama's address is getting good reviews and high polling marks, so to be so vocally unhappy with this speech when other, much safer Republican members of Congress are trying to sound conciliatory? It doesn't make sense.
Unless you take it as another sign that Coffman has failed to adapt to the reality of his new situation. This is, after all, the same Rep. Coffman who was caught on tape saying that President Obama "is just not an American" in 2012–while running in this new district. The same Coffman who calls Social Security a "Ponzi scheme," and backed Rick Perry for President in the 2012 Republican primary.
"The impediment to working families right now is the president's own policies, starting with Obamacare and continuing all the way down the line."
Instead of coming across like the moderate he needs to portray himself as in one of America's most competitive districts, Coffman sounds like he's delivering the Tea Party Express response. It stands out in stark contrast against the rest of the Colorado GOP delegation, and even Coffman's own sometimes-conciliatory rhetoric depending on the audience. But it fits very well with extremist "birther" Rick Perry-loving Coffman.
In the end, maybe this is just who Coffman is. New Coffman™ can't hold it back.