Friday Open Thread

“I think that America will not trust a party to defend America that isn’t willing to defend itself.”

–James Carville

Forget the rabbit hole, Coffman is opposed to a path to citizenship for immigrants

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

9News anchor Kyle Clark did an excellent job interviewing U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman Tuesday, and his Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll Monday, pressing them on a range of issues.

On immigration, Clark asked Coffman what he’d propose for adult undocumented immigrants:

Coffman: “As long as they haven’t violated criminal laws to give them a legalized status that would allow them to work here without fear of deportation.

Clark: “Not citizenship but legal status?”

Coffman: “Legal status.”

Clark: “Any path to citizenship for those people?”

Coffman: “No. No.”

But without skipping a beat, Coffman kind of contradicted himself, with the camera rolling, saying he could possibly support a path to citizenship.

Coffman: “I don’t want to box myself in. If we get into negotiations, and there’s everything that I like, and it would be a very long path, and very selective. You know, I don’t want to totally back myself—but ideally I would say no.”

If you’re a journalist, what do you do with Coffman’s qualifier? Do you say he’s opposed to a citizenship path? Against it, unless he’s for it?

In a news segment yesterday based on the interview, Clark contrasted Coffman’s stance against a path to citizenship with Carroll’s position in favor of it. He didn’t mention Coffman’s qualifying comments.

In an email, I asked Clark why he apparently concluded that Coffman is against a path to citizenship.

Clark: “I took Representative Coffman’s answer to mean that he is not in favor of a path to citizenship but stopped short of saying he’d never support it,” wrote Clark.

Clark could have gone down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out, specifically, what Coffman means by theoretically favoring a citizenship path if negotiations produce “everything that I like.”

But it’s a rabbit hole other reporters have tried to go down without coming up with specifics on what Coffman wants for citizenship. And besides, Coffman’s statement, especially with “ideally no” tacked on, is clear enough as it is.

So Clark was right to conclude Coffman opposes a path to citizenship.


Gardner, Cruz Crisscross U.S. for Senate Majority

gardnercruzmapAs Ernest Luning reported via Twitter, former GOP Presidential candidate and current Texas Senator Ted Cruz is coming to Colorado on Wednesday to stump for Colorado Senate candidate Darryl Glenn.

Cruz endorsed Glenn prior to the June 28th Primary, which no doubt helped the El Paso County Commissioner on his way to the Republican Senate nomination in Colorado. Cruz’s latest visit to Colorado on behalf of Glenn has been about as “under the radar” as you can get in politics, in part because stumping for Glenn in any capacity is virtually pointless.

And where was Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) this week? Why, in Missouri, of course, campaigning for embattled Sen. Roy Blunt. As KBIA radio reports:

In a sign of how competitive Missouri’s U.S. Senate contest has become, the two major candidates – Republican incumbent Roy Blunt and Democrat Jason Kander – held dueling roundtables with area military veterans…

…Blunt’s roundtable featured a similar mix of veterans and was held in Overland at the VFW hall. He was joined by fellow GOP Sens. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Cory Gardner of Colorado. Cotton is an Army veteran.

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Not in Colorado)

Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Not in Colorado)

If you’re scoring at home, it would be difficult to gauge the relative merits of campaign visits from Cruz or Gardner. In fact, Gardner’s presence in Missouri is a bit of an ominous sign for Blunt; earning the support of Gardner has not generally turned out well for candidates in prominent races. Gardner did endorse Cruz for President, but only after his first choice, Sen. Marco Rubio, flamed out of the race in February. After the Cruz for President campaign fizzled, Gardner eventually decided to back Donald Trump for President (Gardner has since called on Trump to drop out of the race for President).

We’re not sure what the moral of this story might be, other than to say that nobody seems to want to be seen with Darryl Glenn at the moment.


Get More Smarter on Thursday (October 20)

Get More SmarterDonald Trump now says that he will accept the election results…so long as he wins the race. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


Got ballot? Your 2016 ballot may be sitting in your mailbox at this very moment; election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information. And one more thing: Don’t take selfies with your ballot, please.


The third and final Presidential debate took place in Las Vegas, Nevada on Wednesday night and…well…at least it’s over now. You can find a list of debate “Winners and Losers” over at “The Fix,” but there’s really only one relevant story from last night. As the Washington Post reports:

Donald Trump’s defiant assault on the election’s integrity reverberated Thursday among his allies and rivals as the GOP campaign and Hillary Clinton’s inner circle argued over how best to face the outcome after the votes are counted.

Trump on Wednesday amplified one of the most explosive charges of his candidacy: that if he loses the election, he might consider the results illegitimate because the process is “rigged.”

Questioned directly as to whether he would accept the outcome should Democratic nominee Clinton prevail Nov. 8, Trump demurred. “I’ll keep you in suspense,” the Republican nominee said. [Pols emphasis] Clinton called Trump’s answer “horrifying,” saying he was “talking down our democracy.”

The morning after Donald Trump’s unprecedented statement that he may not concede the election, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was spinning in circles:

In a separate interview on Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends,” Conway said Trump has “been reading stories about irregularities. . . . So it’s not without basis.”

In other words, Conway says Trump is being influenced by news reports that the election might be rigged…stories which are almost entirely based on Trump’s OWN bombastic claims that the election might be rigged. Trump must be fascinated to be reading about this other Trump fella who is also running for President.

Just when you think Trump has reached rock bottom, he figures out a way to dig deeper.


The most pivotal debate of the 2016 election in Colorado takes place tonight when Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) and Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll square off for the last time in a 30-minute rhetorical battle on 9News (live at 7:00 pm). Coffman has bombed in the previous two debates between the two candidates, and he’s entering tonight’s contest on the heels of a disastrous interview with Kyle Clark of 9News.

Here’s a preview of tonight’s debate from 9News.


► Democratic Senate candidate Rachel Zenzinger (SD-19, Arvada) has filed a criminal complaint regarding ads that repeatedly claim she took a taxpayer-funded trip to China (this entire attack has been disputed repeatedly over the course of the last two years). We’ve called the so-called “China Girl” attacks “The Most Knowingly False Campaign Advertisement” of 2016, and local media outlets are starting to really push back on these claims. From Denver7:

On July 5, Denver7 PolitiFact checked the facts of a mailer from “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” that was sent in opposition of Zenzinger.

That mailer read, “Rachel Zenzinger voted to use taxpayer money on a trip to China…”

“While serving in the city council, Rachel Zenzinger voted to use tax dollars to take a taxpayer funded junket to China,” the mailer said.

Denver7 PolitiFact rated the mailer, “Pants on Fire,” the worst rating because the statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

As we noted earlier, the latest mail piece using this attack actually cites Denver7 PolitiFact as a source of information about the “China Girl” attacks. It’s going to be difficult for “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” to prove that they didn’t know these attacks were false when they cite a major news outlet’s story that SAYS IT IS FALSE.

A Denver7 story last night confirmed that the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office is indeed looking into Zenzinger’s complaint.


Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

The Greenpeace Blimp: No on Amendment 71

Colorado Initiative 71 Message

The Greenpeace Thermal Airship A.E. Bates takes to the skies over Colorado on October 20, 2016 urging Coloradans to Vote No Initiative 71, or Raise the Bar, which would place a cumbersome burden on citizens wishing to participate in the ballot initiative process. Raise the bar is largely funded and promoted by the oil and gas industry. Photo by Bob Pearson/Greenpeace

The Greenpeace Thermal Airship A.E. Bates takes to the skies over Colorado on October 20, 2016 urging Coloradans to Vote No on Initiative 71, or Raise the Bar, which would place a cumbersome burden on citizens wishing to participate in the ballot initiative process. Raise the bar is largely funded and promoted by the oil and gas industry. Photo by Bob Pearson/Greenpeace

A press release from Greenpeace USA–look up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!

Greenpeace flew its thermal airship this morning over the Denver and Boulder area urging Coloradans to vote no on Amendment 71, or “Raise the Bar,” which benefits wealthy interests while shutting those without significant funds out of the ballot initiative process. “Raise the Bar” is largely funded and promoted by the oil and gas industry and is opposed by a broad and unlikely coalition.

The airship messages read “Vote no 71” on one side and “Don’t let BIG $$$ rig our democracy” on the other.

“Big corporations and industries hungry for more political power are trying to rig our democracy. If Amendment 71 passes, it will become much more difficult for everyday Coloradans to put forward ballot initiatives on everything from education to healthcare to protecting the natural beauty of our state,” said Diana Best, a Denver-based Senior Campaigner for Greenpeace USA’s Climate and Energy team. “The oil and gas industry and other wealthy interests, who are bankrolling Amendment 71, are hoping to take people’s voices out of our democracy, but Coloradans won’t easily be silenced.”

Amendment 71 would change the way Colorado’s ballot process has functioned for the last 100 years, requiring 2 percent approval in each of the 35 state Senate districts for an initiative to qualify for the ballot, and raising the minimum voter approval to 55 percent of votes cast. The Denver Post, which has come out in opposition to 71, estimates that it takes about $1 million for an initiative to make it on the Colorado ballot. Raise the Bar would increase that amount significantly, creating a barrier to entry that keeps most Coloradans shut out of the process.

“Colorado voters have seen how big money can drown out of the voices of the people in the political process. When that happens, the ballot initiative process is an opportunity for the people to address important issues. We should be making it easier for people to have their voices heard, not putting the constitution off limits to all but the wealthiest special interests,” said Common Cause Colorado Executive Director Elena Nunez.

Amendment 71 was written by Vital for Colorado, a front group for the oil and gas industry with ties to the billionaire Koch Brothers, Americans for Prosperity, Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, Noble Energy, and the Colorado Oil and Gas Association.

The No on Amendment 71 coalition is indeed one of the broader and more “unlikely” coalitions, with groups from left to right banding together to protect citizen participation in lawmaking via the initiative process:


If anybody gets a picture of the Independence Institute’s Jon Caldara in the Greenpeace blimp, please forward. We want that photo for posterity.

Remember, Ix-Nay on the Allot-Bay Elfie-Say!

This is a crime in Colorado.

This is a crime in Colorado.

Denver DA Mitch Morrissey’s press release today might come as a surprise to voters across Colorado eagerly snapping photos of their completed ballot for this or that candidate, and posting them on social media for posterity:


Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey is reminding voters that there is a state law prohibiting voters from showing their completed ballot to others. This would include posting your completed ballot on social media.

Colorado is one of many states that ban a ballot selfie. The law, found at §1-13-712 in the Colorado Revised Statutes, states that, “No voter shall show his ballot after it is prepared for voting to any person in such a way as to reveal its contents.” It is a misdemeanor violation.

The prohibition on sharing completed ballot results is an effort to guard against potential voter fraud.

The thinking behind making it a crime to show your completed ballot to another person is to prevent voters from selling their votes in any verifiable way. If you can’t legally show someone your completed “secret” ballot, you can’t prove beyond a doubt how you voted. That’s the theory, anyway, though there’s a good argument that this prohibition is a little anachronistic in the age of mail ballots and smartphones.

What say you, Polsters? Have you already broken this law without knowing? Would you like to show your completed ballot to the world for purely honorable reasons? Are you one of these mythical bad guys looking to buy some photo-verified votes?

Actually, on the latter maybe don’t tell us–click here and tell the proper authorities instead.

Hillary v. Trump: The Final Round OPEN THREAD

Trump be studying' for the debate.

Trump be studyin’ for the debate.

The final Presidential election of 2016 kicks off at 7:00 pm tonight from Las Vegas, Nevada. We won’t be live-blogging the event because, well, we really just want to focus our attention on catching the moment when Republican Donald Trump takes his final leap off of the relevance cliff.

Will a desperate Trump go lower than anyone thought possible in tonight’s debate? If so, will we even notice? Or are we all just numb to everything Trump says at this point?

Is it even possible that Trump could potentially act like a relatively-normal Presidential candidate during these final 90 minutes of political glory? Will Hillary Clinton come to the stage in a full suit of armor at the behest of the Secret Service?

The end is near. That’s a good thing. Enjoy tonight’s debate…

The Most Pivotal Debate of 2016: Carroll v. Coffman, Round 3

Rep. Mike Coffman (R) and state Sen. Morgan Carroll (D) debate for the third and final time on Thursday.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R) and state Sen. Morgan Carroll (D) debate for the third and final time on Thursday evening.

The final Presidential debate of 2016 takes place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. Republican Donald Trump, whose campaign has been in a seemingly-bottomless free-fall for the last two weeks, has one final chance to try to gain some positive momentum as he stares down Democrat Hillary Clinton on Primetime television.

You could certainly make an argument that Trump is out of time to re-shape the Presidential race, regardless of what happens tonight. For Colorado voters, the most pivotal debate of the 2016 election now looks likely to come on Thursday, when Democrat Morgan Carroll takes on incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman in a half-hour showdown that 9News will air live at 7:00 pm.

Coffman is stumbling badly as he nears the finish line in an effort to win re-election for the fifth time in CO-6. On Tuesday, Coffman turned in an absolutely brutal performance in an interview with Kyle Clark of 9News that was widely discussed throughout the next 24 hours. Check out what 5280 magazine’s Luc Hatlestad wrote today for


Criminal Complaint Filed Regarding “Knowingly False” Attack Ads

UPDATE: Denver7 (home of Politifact Colorado) follows up, and they appear to be kind of pissed:

A state Senate candidate filed a complaint with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office over a political mailer with claims that Denver7 PolitiFact has already deemed “Pants on Fire.”

Democratic State Senate candidate Rachel Zenzinger is now asking for the district attorney’s help in alerting the voting public to the violation and preventing the group behind the flier from continuing activity during the election. That group is Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government…

On July 5, Denver7 PolitiFact checked the facts of a mailer from “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” that was sent in opposition of Zenzinger.

That mailer read, “Rachel Zenzinger voted to use taxpayer money on a trip to China…”

“While serving in the city council, Rachel Zenzinger voted to use tax dollars to take a taxpayer funded junket to China,” the mailer said.

Denver7 PolitiFact rated the mailer, “Pants on Fire,” the worst rating because the statement is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim.

At this point, what else can she do? Calling in the law seems to be the only recourse against an assailant immune to shame.


We’ve been discussing in this space on a regular basis what we’ve called “The Most Knowingly False Campaign Advertisement” of the 2016 election cycle. Democrat Rachel Zenzinger has been the target of these false claims — for two years — as she seeks to unseat state Sen. Laura Waters Woods in SD-19:


The Democratic Senate Campaign Fund announced in a press release moments ago a criminal complaint against Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government over the mail piece we wrote about yesterday–falsely alleging that Democratic SD-19 candidate Rachel Zenzinger had “voted to use taxpayer money on a trip to China” while serving as an Arvada city councillor. Republicans have continued to make these false caims even after a July fact-check by Politifact Colorado that rated the allegation “Pants on Fire.”

Supporters of Sen. Laura Woods could be facing a first-degree misdemeanor charge after the group sent out a mailer in which they falsely claim that Rachel Zenzinger took a personal trip to China using taxpayer money.

Zenzinger has brought charges for the false ad to the District Attorney’s office for investigation. Woods supporters, who have knowingly dispersed a false statement about a candidate for public office, could face a first-degree misdemeanor according to CRS 1-13-109. The flier is a revival of a two-year-old, thoroughly debunked fabrication, but this latest flier contains discriminatory imagery against Asian Americans.

“Laura Woods and her backers know Rachel Zenzinger voted in opposition to public monies being used for any trip of this kind. But now Laura Woods and her backers are using racially-charged imagery, sinking to a level that would make Donald Trump proud. Laura Woods needs to disavow this ad, and apologize to the people of Senate District 19. Period. Full stop,” said Andrew Short, executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Fund.

“We are confident the District Attorney will investigate this mailer as a first degree misdemeanor against Laura Woods’ backers for producing and dispersing a knowingly false statement about a candidate for public office, which is pursuant to CRS 1-13-109,” Short continued.

In addition to the offensive imagery that includes a photoshopped traditional conical hat on Zenzinger’s head, this misleading piece actually cites Politifact — the publication gave the ad a “Pants On Fire” rating — in their assertion that Zenzinger voted to use taxpayer money to take a trip to China. The latest flier pushes even deeper into the realm of falsehood, referring to “… her trip to China”: Zenzinger has never been to China.

Laura Woods and her backers have a history of lying in political mailers, but this edition of the lying ad by Laura Woods’ backers takes the cake, with racial imagery that has to remind one of when Donald Trump used a broken English accent to mock Asian businessmen.

It’s anybody’s guess whether the Republican DA in Jefferson County will take up this investigation, but the facts of this situation point very strongly to the likelihood that this is a “knowing” false statement intended to affect an election, a crime under Colorado law. We’re not aware of a Colorado campaign persistently using a false claim like this after the fact-checkers have ruled it false, certainly not over the course of two election cycles. The long-debunked nature of this allegation, combined with this latest mailer’s use of quotes from the July fact-check debunking the previous mail piece, make it a much stronger case than any we can remember to which this law has been applied.

We’ll update with coverage as it comes in; it looks like this will be blowing up uncomfortably for local Republicans very late in the game.

After saying she’d vote for Trump, Doty now tells Aurora Sentinel her vote is a “private decision”

(Contagious cowardice – Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Nancy Doty.

Nancy Doty.

While some Republicans who once supported Trump are now backing off, Colorado state senate candidate Nancy Doty, who previously said she’d vote for the GOP presidential nominee, is now refusing to reveal whom she will vote for, saying she considers “everyone’s vote to be a private decision.”

Doty’s latest position was reported by Brandon Johansson at the Aurora Sentinel, which published Doty’s answer to the question, “Will you vote for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or someone else?”

Doty’s response: Yes. I consider my vote private and everyone’s vote to be a private decision.

In June, Doty was out-of-the-closet with her voting preferences, as reported by Marianne Goodland of the Colorado Independent:

On her presidential preference, Doty said she will support the Republican nominee, although Donald Trump was not her first choice. She initially backed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Then, in July, she said Sarah Palin’s Denver speech, in which Palin raved about Trump, was “spot on,” confirming that Doty herself still planned to vote for Trump.

So why the sudden silence on her prez pick? Both the Aurora Sentinel and the Colorado Independent should call her and find out what’s up–and set the record straight for their readers. (Doty did not return my call seeking an explanation, and she’s ignored queries from others on other issues.)

What led Doty, who faces Democratic Rep. Daniel Kagan in hotly contested SD 26, to first be open about her voting preference and then settle on the belief that “everyone’s vote” should be a “private decision?”

Who knows? Maybe Trump’s antics have something to do with it, but the inconsistency deserves to be exposed and explained.

Get More Smarter on Wednesday (October 19)

Get More SmarterOn this day in 1781, the Revolutionary War came to an end; it’s fitting, perhaps, that the final Presidential debate of 2016 takes place exactly 235 years later. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.


► Your 2016 ballot may be sitting in your mailbox at this very moment; election officials began mailing out ballots on Monday. For voting information or to check your registration, go to If you would prefer to vote at a polling place rather than via mail balloting, check here for your nearest polling location. Denver7 also includes a good list of election-related information.

If you have received your mail ballot, please let us know; we’re doing a little crowdsourcing to get a sense of when and where ballots are landing.


► The final debate of the 2016 Presidential campaign takes place tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. As the Washington Post explains, the Supreme Court is likely to be a major topic of discussion contention:

The Supreme Court is one of six main topics that will be covered during tonight’s final debate at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas. The late Antonin Scalia’s seat continues to sit empty. An evenly-divided court has begun its new term under a cloud of uncertainty. Assuming Hillary Clinton wins, it remains unclear whether Republicans will try to confirm Merrick Garland during the lame-duck session to prevent her from putting up someone who is younger and more liberal next year.

The debate took on new significance this week when John McCain boasted during a radio interview that Republicans would automatically oppose whomever Clinton nominates. “I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,” the Arizona senator said. “I promise you!”

Donald Trump will certainly try to convince voters tonight that Hillary Clinton intends to fill the courts with rogues and ruffians, but there may be a broader message problem for Republicans as Trump lashes out at Clinton. Again, from the Post:

Republicans, who have struggled to convince voters that they are capable of governing, talked a big game in years past about the need to be more than just “the party of no.” That messaging is gone now. The prospect of four more years in the wilderness suggests that they will move back toward unapologetic obstruction.

Right now, however, they are in damage control mode. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, who is up for reelection in Iowa, promised yesterday to not automatically “stonewall” any Clinton pick. “If that new president happens to be Hillary, we can’t just simply stonewall,” Grassley said on a conference call with local press.

McCain’s obstructionist comments earlier this week makes it difficult for Republicans to disassociate themselves from whatever monkey wrench rhetoric Trump will use in tonight’s debate. The more that Trump tries to scare voters about the Supreme Court under a Clinton administration, the more harm he is going to cause the entire Republican Party.

Meanwhile, if there is a poll for President in any battleground state these days, it’s a good bet that Hillary Clinton is ahead of Donald Trump.

Tonight’s debate is scheduled to begin at 7:00 pm. If, for some reason, you would prefer to watch the debate in a movie theater, you now have that option.


► How’s this for “knowingly false?” Republicans continue to attack Democratic state Senate candidate Rachel Zenzinger over a fictional trip to China…but it’s getting so much worse (and, now, racist to boot). In a new mailer, “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government” cites a Politifact Colorado story as backup for their “China Girl” attacks, which is odd, since the Politifact piece makes it clear that this entire story is complete nonsense.

Let’s say that again: The factual basis for the “China Girl” attack is a link to a Politifact Colorado examination that explicitly finds this entire story to be untrue. How on earth is this legally acceptable? This is akin to pointing in the air and declaring, See, there it is — proof that the sky is green!


► Democrat Morgan Carroll is out with a new TV ad in CD-6 that hammers Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) over his litany of false fact-checked advertisements in 2016. Carroll has been hitting Coffman hard throughout this campaign, through paid ads, earned media, and in debates with the incumbent Coffman; Carroll’s aggressive campaign, along with Republican problems at the top of the ticket, are causing increasing levels of anxiety in Coffmanland.

Elsewhere, Coffman displayed his leadership acumen in a 9News interview by declaring that he might not even cast a vote in the race for President. This wasn’t even the worst part of the interview for Coffman.


Get even more smarter after the jump… (more…)

Mike Coffman Hammered By 9NEWS Over Birther History, Trump

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Rep. Mike Coffman.

Yesterday, 9NEWS’ Kyle Clark aired an in-depth interview with incumbent GOP Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora on a range of topics–chief among them being the upcoming election, in which Coffman has tried everything imaginable to escape the toxic cloud enveloping the Republican Party as Donald Trump leads them to increasingly likely ruin. You might think you know where this is headed, but you won’t believe how bad it gets for Coffman.

As 9NEWS reports, Rep. Coffman took another step toward abdicating political responsibility for the 2016 elections he is running for re-election in, declaring that he may not cast any vote for President at all:

In another sign of just how unusual 2016 is, Republican Congressman Mike Coffman of Colorado says he may skip voting in this year’s presidential race.

“I don’t know if I’ll cast a vote for president,” Coffman told 9NEWS in an interview Tuesday. “I’m not going to vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. I’m struggling with it like many other Americans.”

…Coffman said he didn’t know whether he might vote for Libertarian Gary Johnson, but agreed that Johnson has said “dumb things” on foreign policy.

Speaking of saying dumb things, the interview turned to a subject we’ve been waiting for someone to broach with Coffman ever since he began distancing himself from Donald Trump! And it’s fitting, since Clark is the reporter who so famously cornered Mike Coffman over this issue four years ago:

Clark asked Coffman if he bore responsibility for Trump’s rise, given Coffman’s past suggestion that he wasn’t sure President Barack Obama was born in the United States. [Pols emphasis]

Here’s the full transcript of this positively epic exchange:

CLARK: I have one more question that involves Donald Trump, but it’s actually a question about you. Donald Trump started promoting the birther lie in 2011, and then in was 2012 when you said that you didn’t know if President Obama was born in the United States but he wasn’t an American at heart. You told me that you misspoke and you apologized, said it several times. [Pols emphasis] My question is, did you and other elected Republicans who kind of flirted with this birther nonsense, help put Donald Trump on the map?


CLARK: No responsibility at all?


CLARK: Why do you say that?

COFFMAN: Well, first of all, I, first of all it was wrong, it was boneheaded, I said it was, thought it was a private conversation I was having, it was being, it was taped…

CLARK: You were speaking on stage with a microphone. [Pols emphasis]

COFFMAN: That’s no excuse, that’s no excuse, that’s no excuse, it was to a private group, it was not a public event, but that’s no excuse. I said I was wrong. Uh, and so, uh, I’ve never taken that position publicly. It was a mistake, I didn’t say that he wasn’t born in the United–I said I didn’t know, but that wasn’t the issue, there was another issue and that was inflammatory. So, absolutely not.

CLARK: So you didn’t give any cover to the TV personality Donald Trump who was saying this because you were Mike Coffman, elected representative…


CLARK: You don’t see any tie between those, and…


CLARK: Okay.

Safe to say, this is a minute and a half of video that Coffman hopes undecided voters in CD-6 never see. Coffman’s excuses that he didn’t know his on-stage remarks at an Elbert County GOP fundraiser were being recorded, then trying to make a distinction between “not knowing” if Barack Obama was born in the United States and “knowing” he wasn’t like other birthers, are absolutely painful to watch. We’re honestly surprised that in the intervening four years, Coffman has never developed a better response–which might help explain why his campaign limits these kinds of press appearances.

We would call it protesting one’s own guilt, but Coffman didn’t even manage a decent protest.

He just looks guilty.

Got Ballot?

votebuttonColorado is an all-mail ballot state this election cycle. Ballots began going out in the mail on Monday, so many of you might be able to vote as soon as today.

Have you received your ballot yet? Please let us know in the comments section below. Don’t forget to include your city or county of residence.

We’re curious to see when and where ballots are starting to arrive, and we know Colorado Pols readers are certainly paying attention.

Wednesday Open Thread

“You can’t separate desperate politicians from violence and trouble.”

–Bamigboye Olurotimi