Colorado Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) has had an interesting few months in what has been a fascinating time in American politics. You might not be aware of this, because we only seem to hear from Gardner via prepackaged nothing burger statements with no meaningful follow-up from relevant media outlets.
Colorado Republican Sen. Cory Gardner, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on East Asia and Pacific affairs, said he looks forward to working with the president-elect to find ways to “strengthen our relationship with our ally and friend, Taiwan.”
“The friendship between our two countries is important, and I am glad to hear the president-elect is committed to that friendship,” Gardner said in a statement.
That’s…it? Really? Nothing else about how the call might affect U.S. relations with friggin’ China?
Today the Denver Post has a story — via the Washington Post — with more specifics about the Trump-Taiwan call, including the fact that the “protocol-breaking” phone call was “an intentionally provocative move” by the incoming administration. We don’t need to tell you that you shouldn’t bother looking for a quote from Gardner in this story, nevermind that Colorado’s junior Senator is the CHAIRMAN ON THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE ON EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC AFFAIRS.
— Michael Littwin (@mike_littwin) December 5, 2016
It hasn’t exactly been difficult to locate Gardner in the last couple of months. When he wasn’t busy trying to convince people that Hillary Clinton was dead, Gardner spent most of his time in the final stages of the 2016 election traveling around the country helping Senate candidates in tough re-election contests (so long as they weren’t named Darryl Glenn). Gardner’s Senate-stumping paid off after the election when he was named as the new head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, which puts him in charge of Republican efforts to maintain their Senate majority in 2018.
On the topic of the biggest political issue in the
country world — the election of Donald Trump as President — Gardner has skated along without having to answer any real questions from reporters. Gardner half-assedly endorsed Trump for President in August but quickly called on the GOP nominee to drop out of the race altogether after multiple stories emerged about Trump sexually harassing women. Gardner has been mostly silent since Trump’s surprise victory, but don’tworryeverythingisfine. As Bloomberg News reports today:
Another group of former Never-Trump senators is trying to move past the campaign, including Cory Gardner of Colorado, one of several Republicans who unendorsed Trump after the “Access Hollywood” tape on which he bragged about groping women. Early on, Gardner referred to Trump as a “buffoon.”
“I’ve had several conversations with Trump and the Trump administration and look forward to working with them,” said Gardner, who will head the Senate Republicans’ campaign arm for the 2018 cycle.
Uh…okay. That’s it? The election has been over for nearly a month now, and we still haven’t heard anything substantial from Gardner about Trump. That’s not okay.
Just last week, Mark Matthews of the Denver Post made a point to chastise Rep. Jared Polis (D-Boulderish) for refusing to comment on the election of Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader. It was silly for Polis to not just pause and answer a question — we’re certainly not excusing Polis here — but where is Matthews’ dogged determination in following up with one of Colorado’s two U.S. Senators on issues that are much more relevant to most Coloradans? What about asking Gardner to explain how he supports “bailouts” for the insurance industry in repealing Obamacare when Gardner has railed on exactly this subject for years?
No elected official in Colorado regularly gets away with saying nothing quite like Cory Gardner.