Mike Coffman Plays Both Sides of #Russiagate

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, who handily won re-election in part with a campaign to distance himself from his Donald Trump-like right-wing past, was interviewed by Colorado Public Radio’s Ryan Warner this week–and Warner is to be commended to forcing something like answers from Coffman about the crisis over Russian intervention in the recent election to help Trump win.

The whole interview is worth listening to, but here’s a transcript of the key segment:

RW: I want to start with the fact that intelligence agencies have said Russia meddled in the US presidential election apparently in an effort to help Trump get elected. Now there’s an uncorroborated report that one, Trump’s campaign coordinated with the Russians, and two, that the Russians have dirt on Trump that could make him vulnerable to blackmail. The information was persuasive enough apparently that it was shared with both Trump and President Obama. What’s your reaction to the latest developments?

MC: Well, I’m not familiar with it. So a couple of things, first of all I do think, that there, I can tell you as an Iraq war veteran, I think sometimes that the intelligence at the highest levels tends to be politicized to make a certain point. But at the same time I think that the Russians are a tremendous threat. I think we should, I think we need to look into every possibility for what they’re doing. And so I just think, I just have a real concern about Russia, and it runs much deeper then the President-Elect. [Pols emphasis]

RW: You believe that intelligence, even from the highest echelons you say, can be politicized. What makes you say that?

MC: Oh my gosh. As an Iraq War Veteran just to believe the intelligence and the lead up to the Iraq War, as a member of the Armed Services Committee, the lead up to the US military incursion into Libya for regime change, and what we were told there and what we found out afterwards. And recently not that long ago, we found out that at the senior levels in the Obama administration that they were cooking the intelligence on ISIS to make them look less formidable and that we were making more progress than we really were. And so we’re constantly looking into these things, and I hope that it’s just something that needs to be cleaned up. Certainly the rank and file of the intelligence community and the raw information that they put forward is good. I think when it’s put together in trying to establish a fact pattern to prove a particular thesis, I think sometimes it becomes questionable and politicized.

RW: This was the consensus of several different agencies, does that change your perspective in any way?

MC: No, it really doesn’t, [Pols emphasis] but at the same time, just because I’m distrustful of intelligence agencies and have been for a very long time and the fact that they’ve been politicized on the right and the left, I think they were politicized during the Bush administration as well, that doesn’t disregard the fact that I do think that Russia is a real threat to the United States, to our security interests…

As you can see, Coffman has truly mastered the art of taking both sides of an issue. Intelligence gets politicized, which is both sometimes true and exactly what Trump supporters want to hear–but Russia is a “tremendous threat,” so we should presumably still be worried? It seems to be left as more of a hypothetical discussion item than a pressing question about a President-elect who takes office in eight days.

One thing we can’t reconcile, though, is Coffman’s statement that his “concern” about Russia “runs much deeper than the President-elect.” If the allegations that the Trump campaign was actively engaged with the Russian government to win the election are true, you can’t separate the President-elect from the Russians. Whatever Coffman’s “deep concern” with the Russian agenda is, the leader of Coffman’s party is at the center of it.

If you can’t admit that, you really can’t be honest about the situation.

Coffman: Trump Vow To Make Mexico Pay For Wall a “Gimmick”

Rep. Mike Coffman (R).

Manu Raju at CNN reports on growing skepticism among Republicans about President-elect Donald Trump’s oft-repeated longshot vow to “build a wall on the southern border and make Mexico pay for it”–including Colorado’s leading on-again off-again Trump backer, Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora:

President-elect Donald Trump is still insisting that Mexico will ultimately pay billions for the construction of a massive wall along the southern border.

Many Republicans on Capitol Hill are not so sure.

In interviews with CNN, a number of Republicans suggested that Trump’s claim amounted to wishful thinking, saying they believed the billionaire businessman would ultimately backtrack on one of his central campaign promises.

“I doubt that they’re going to pay for it,” said Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, referring to Mexico. “There’s a lot he could do if he wanted to (force Mexico’s hand). In all honesty, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Rep. Mike Coffman, a Colorado Republican, added: “I never thought that would happen. I thought it was a gimmick.” [Pols emphasis]

The story quotes other Republicans variously agreeing with Trump that forcing Mexico to pay for–or at least reimburse–the United States for the costs of building a wall across the entire 1,989 miles of border between the two nations is plausible. Or if it’s not, at least agreeing that America needs “border security.”

Less clear from this story, either in Coffman’s case or that of other Republicans quoted, is the answer to what may be the only question that matters: will Republicans in Congress vote to pay for Trump’s wall first and “collect” from Mexico later? Even Trump seems to admit now that this is the only practical way to proceed.

For Mike Coffman, who has kept his career alive by changing his stripes on immigration to fit his changing constituency, the question is twofold: voting to build a wall America would have to pay for–and on a more basic level, voting to build Trump’s wall at all.

You’ll notice Coffman’s response to the question disclosed neither.

2016’s Top Story: The Year Everyone Got Wrong (Including Us)

Dick Morris, the king of getting it wrong in politics.

At the beginning of 2016 we believe that the eventual outcome of the 2016 elections, both here in Colorado and nationally, could not have been predicted. We feel pretty confident about that because almost no one correctly predicted the course of the primary and general elections in 2016–from the results of the presidential election, to Colorado’s U.S. Senate race, marquee congressional races, and multitude of state legislative contests.

Yes, readers, the political prognostication industry, which includes this humble little blog and stretches upward to include lots of people even you might consider important, failed in a spectacular fashion to predict the outcome of the 2016 elections. We failed in whole by missing Donald Trump’s disruptive appeal to broadly frustrated American voters, which had no equivalent outlet for the left after Democrats crushed the disruption of Bernie Sanders. We failed in part by missing the far higher baseline of support for Trump that manifested on Election Day, which swamped downballot races in many states and made other states (including Colorado) much closer than expected.

We are here to tell you today that we take the failure to predict the dynamics of the 2016 elections very seriously for our part, and we trust in the ability of all the smart people whose job it is to understand why things happen in politics to similarly engage in the kind of hard, unsparing introspection that is now required. In that spirit, let’s take a minute to be very frank about the things we got wrong in 2016–and if we miss anything, we trust our readers will remind us in comments. Be brutally honest. We can take it.

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Top Ten Stories of 2016 #4: Coffman’s Trump Triangulation Triumph

Captain Ahab and Moby Dick.

Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora is today one of the longest, if not the longest-serving elected politician in the state of Colorado. Rising through the ranks of the state legislature in the 1990s, then serving as Colorado’s Treasurer and Secretary of State before his election to Congress in 2008, Coffman is the epitome of a “career politician”–and on paper, he’s been ripe for a fall at many points in his long career.

But Coffman has survived, again and again, despite determined attempts to dislodge him from his seat in Congress. In 2011, Coffman’s congressional district was reshaped from a staunchly Republican safe seat formerly held by far-right Rep. Tom Tancredo into a diverse and competitive battleground. Democrats were gleeful at the prospect of claiming CD-6 and holding it easily for the coming decade.

Coffman dashed tentative Democratic hopes in 2012, as he squeaked to victory in President Barack Obama’s second election against a relatively unknown and underfunded Democratic opponent Joe Miklosi. The missed opportunity in 2012 was underscored in 2014, when in that Republican “wave year” Coffman trounced a much better-financed and organized opponent in former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.

In 2015, Democratic hopes for this district soared with the entry of former Colorado Senate President Morgan Carroll into the 2016 race against Coffman–a longtime representative from Aurora with charisma and deep bonafide ties to the community. The national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) rated the CD-6 race one of the very top Democratic pickup opportunities in the nation in 2016, and unlike previous attempts, national Democratic resources stayed in this race to the very end.

Going into 2016, Coffman’s handlers understood that they faced a potentially disastrous problem with the success of Donald Trump in the GOP presidential race. Trump’s alienating rhetoric was downright poisonous in a culturally diverse place like Aurora, and made it too easy to draw parallels from Trump to Coffman’s own long record of right-wing ugliness–like Coffman calling Social Security a “Ponzi scheme” and asserting that President Obama “is just not an American.” Trump’s hard line on immigration similarly cast Coffman’s unsteady reinvention on the issue since redistricting into unflattering relief.

Working in Coffman’s favor were two principal factors: first, Coffman’s reversal on immigration began before Trump came on the scene, in response to redistricting, which made it appear more credible. The second, perhaps most important factor, is Coffman’s top-notch re-election team–who worked overtime to schmooze with, persuade, and where necessary to bully the local press into accepting that Coffman’s protestations against both Trump and his own record were genuine.

The result, much like the Democrats’ frustration in nailing Cory Gardner on his multitude of falsehoods in 2014, is that Coffman succeeded in triangulating off the anger against Trump instead of succumbing to it. Media coverage of Coffman’s record and statements on Trump gave him the benefit of the doubt that his change of heart was genuine. Even fact checkers struck back at Democratic allegations about Coffman’s “Trumplike” record, declaring them false by celebrating his “new position” on the issues in question. In the end, voters saw enough of Coffman’s ad declaring without specifics that he “doesn’t care much” for Trump to believe it over all the Democratic ads insisting Coffman was just like Trump.

And in the same congressional district that supported Hillary Clinton and Michael Bennet by solid margins in 2016, Morgan Carroll lost just as badly as her predecessor. The disappointment over this loss among Colorado Democrats turned to outrage–though not surprise–just a few days after the election when Rep. Coffman declared, red Trump hat literally in hand, that he is “excited about the next two years and look[s] forward to working with the president.” With that statement, everything Coffman had done to put daylight between himself and Trump during the election, and all the obsequious press coverage that helped him, was revealed as fraudulent.

Today, it’s anybody’s guess whether Democrats will field a credible challenger to Coffman next election, but his ability to survive so many very different electoral climates and the complete refashioning of his congressional district make another serious run at Coffman increasingly difficult to justify. There remains a possibility that political upheaval caused by President Trump’s first two years could put Republicans on the defensive in time for 2018, more than the usual risks to the party in power in a midterm election.

But for now, “Teflon” Mike Coffman is a model of political survival to study.

Or, depending on your point of view, a cautionary tale.

Editorial Department: If We Endorsed Mike Coffman in CD-6

Colorado Pols Editorial DepartmentWelcome back to the Colorado Pols Pol’s Pols’ Editorial Department, where we use letters to form words and occasionally words to form sentences.

After reading the very strange Denver Post endorsement of Congressman Scott Tipton, we got to thinking: Could we write an endorsement of Mike Coffman that didn’t really endorse Mike Coffman?

After asking ourselves that question, we set out to answer it as well. Then we wrote stuff.

Click after the jump to see what it would look like if we endorsed Rep. Mike Coffman for Congress in CD-6…

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Congressman Coffman’s “Community” Challenge

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

coffmansmileEvery two years Democrats choose a challenger to go against Mike Coffman. Each time Mike has defeated these challengers in spite of real/perceived massive Democrat support. This year the Democrats sense there is an opportunity to finally achieve their goal because of the Trump candidacy and the consternation it has created.

If you have an opportunity to hear Mike speak he will tell you about the challenges of a Gerrymandered district that includes portions of Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. The Democrat drawn district is meant to include a greater population of Democrat voters and fewer Republican voters to switch it to Democrat control. In his district Mike identifies the various communities. They include, Hispanic, Black, African, Ethiopian, Korean, White, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and others. The community that has the most influence that Mike doesn’t speak of is the Paul Ryan community.

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Post’s Editorial Page Promotes Coffman and We Lose

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Denver Post editorial/news guy Chuck Plunkett.

Denver Post editorial/news guy Chuck Plunkett.

“Good for Mike Coffman.” That’s the first line of an August Denver Post editorial, and, as it turns out, it’s an excellent summation of the The Post editorial page’s singular stance toward Coffman over many years.

I just finished reviewing five years of Post editorials mentioning Coffman, and, of the 43 editorials citing the Aurora Republican Congressman during that period, including two endorsements, he’s been criticized only four times, while being praised in 34 editorials. The newspaper has lauded him mostly on issues related to the Veterans Administation but also on immigration, Selective Service, Afghanistan, marijuana, the federal budget, and more.

Yet, during these five years, Coffman has run seriously afoul with the broad positions/principles taken by The Post: on Planned Parenthood (Coffman voted twice to defund just last year, after putting the organization’s logo in a campaign ad the previous year.) and on immigration (Coffman opposed a 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill, and he reiterated his opposition to birthright citizenship, even stating so in an interview with a Post editorial writer.).

In 2013, Coffman threatened to shut down the government instead of raising the debt ceiling. Nothing from The Post. And nothing from The Post when Coffman belittled global-warming science in 2013.

The Post was silent in 2012 when Coffman said Obama was not an American “in his heart,” and Coffman strangely told 9News’ Kyle Clark five times:  “I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Coffman’s positions over many years have been at odds with stances The Post has taken. But the newspaper has been mostly silent.

To be fair, a more cursory analysis shows that The Post doesn’t criticize U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet much either, and he was also endorsed by The Post.

The difference? Bennet’s policy positions, on the issues mentioned above and others, align very closely with The Post’s, while Coffman’s do not.

You can’t blame Post editorial page editor Chuck Plunkett for much of this, since he took over the job exactly three months ago, but I called him anyway for his take on whether the newspaper deliberately refrains from criticizing Coffman, even when his positions clash with the newspaper’s editorial views.

“I think this is an election year stunt, not a genuine analysis,” he told me, arguing that there was no news hook for my blog post and I was not focusing on The Post’s treatment of other elected officials. “You’re picking Mike Coffman, when Morgan Carroll is struggling. Why is that? It looks like you’re trying to aid Morgan more than you are legitimately trying to critique an institution.”

I explained to Plunkett that as a progressive media critic, I look for instances where news outlets tilt rightward. That’s my bias, and with the election coming up, now is a valid time to analyze The Post’s editorial-page approach to Coffman, which I found inexplicable.

“As a journalist, I think trying to analyze a newspaper’s position over time is very tricky, especially if you only look at one particular angle,” Plunkett told me. “There are all kinds of things that go into thinking about an editorial or an endorsement or what have you.”

“You’re right,” Plunkett acknowledged, “when a newspaper endorses someone, that same board is going to be, understandably, more protective of that person.”

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FACT CHECK: Zika bill, supported by Buck and Coffman, has anti-Planned Parenthood agenda

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

zika_0_3On KNUS 710-AM yesterday, U.S. Rep. Ken Buck accused U.S. Senate Democrats of holding up funds to fight the Zika virus.

Buck: “Senate Democrats filibustered that bill. They wanted more money for Planned Parenthood for abortions related to the Zika virus.”

In fact, Senate Democrats did not want more money for abortions, and federal dollars can’t be used for abortion anyway.

The truth is, U.S. House Republicans, including Buck and Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, passed a Zika-relief bill in June, but the legislation blocked the United States’ Zika-response funds from going to groups (like Planned Parenthood) for birth control and family planning programs—even though Zika affects the developing fetus and appears to be sexually transmitted.

Since then, Senate Democrats refused to pass bill, which they see as fatally flawed. The New York Times reported June 28:

Senator Bill Nelson, Democrat of Florida, said Republicans had poisoned the chances for moving ahead by blocking money for Planned Parenthood, knowing Democrats would never agree.

“They’re just not living in the real world, and they’re just not facing the fact that this is an emergency,” Mr. Nelson said. He noted that at least five babies had been born with microcephaly in the United States — the most recent one in Florida — but said he expected the disagreements to continue.

Yet, Buck told KNUS host Krista Kafer, “This is tragic in a number of ways. It really is going to create a human tragedy, number one, and, number two, a burden on taxpayers in the future if we don’t start dealing with the epidemic , certainly the disease, that is rampant in some parts of this country.”

Morgan Carroll Goes On The Air


The Aurora Sentinel’s Rachel Sapin reports on Morgan Carroll’s debut ad in the red-hot CD-6 race:

Democratic challenger Morgan Carroll released her first television ad Wednesday in her 2016 campaign to win the congressional seat from incumbent Republican Mike Coffman. In the ad, the former state Senate president touted her personal accomplishments in an effort to win over voters.

“I put myself through school with minimum wage jobs, and I started a business with my mom to help advocate for people with disabilities” Carroll says in the ad, titled “Why I Am Running.”

The ad will air on broadcast television and is part of a planned $1.4 million marketing campaign between now and election day, according to the Carroll for Colorado Campaign.

“We are extremely excited to kick off our first ad of this cycle,” said Carroll for Colorado campaign manager Jenny Donovan in a statement. “Morgan’s story is the story of thousands of people in this district, and that’s why they know that, when elected, she’ll fight for them in Washington to deliver real results on education, jobs, and veteran’s issues. The voters of this district recognize that they need someone in Congress who understands them, and we’re going to see the results of that this November.”

Supporters of Carroll have been looking to see the candidate get out and define herself, and this ad does a very good job at introducing her–and building the affirmative case for her election to Congress. We’re pleased to see that Carroll did not kick off her ad campaign with a negative hit on opponent Mike Coffman, choosing instead to tell voters about her own background. That’s what she needs to be doing.

Bottom line: it’s a good ad to introduce Sen. Carroll, with enough money behind it to make sure CD-6 voters see it. With high election season just now getting underway, now is the time when voters will start paying attention down the ballot.

Mike Pence Supports “Official English,” Just Like Mike Coffman

Mike Pence, Mike Coffman

Mike Pence, Mike Coffman

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence recently reaffirmed his support of efforts to make the English language the official language of the federal government. According to a press release issued this week by “ProEnglish”:

ProEnglish Executive Director Sam Pimm recently attended an exclusive meeting with Vice-Presidential candidate Governor Mike Pence.

Governor Pence is a longtime advocate of official English; as a former Congressman, he cosponsored H.R. 997 (a bill to make English the official language of the federal government) five times. [Pols emphasis]  English is also the official language of Indiana, where Pence is Governor. Hot off the campaign trail, Governor Pence met with Pimm and others in a closed door meeting to discuss policy positions.

ProEnglish Executive Director Sam Pimm took the opportunity to ask Governor Pence, if elected Vice-President, if he would continue to “advocate for English as our official language,” noting that “54 other countries have English as their official language.”

Governor Pence not only reiterated his support for official English, but clarified why he supports official English. “When my ancestors came here they already spoke English. Speaking English is the key to assimilation and achieving the American dream.”

The “Official English” movement, which has long been supported by former CD-6 Rep. Tom Tancredo, has also been a favorite cause of Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) over the years.

Although Coffman would have you believe that he is “One of Us,” he is also a repeat co-sponsor of “Official English” legislation. Like Pence, Coffman has regularly co-sponsored H.R. 997 during his time in Congress (here, and here). Coffman has not offered his name as a co-sponsor in the most recent iteration of the “Official English” legislation, however.

Does Coffman no longer believe in the “Official English” movement? Or is he just no longer willing to attach his name as a co-sponsor?

Paul Ryan is in the Denver Area if You Can Find Him

From Mike Coffman's campaign Facebook page (Aug. 24, 2016)

From Mike Coffman’s campaign Facebook page (Aug. 24, 2016)

House Speaker Paul Ryan was in Wyoming this week for a big meeting of major Republican donors and associated advisors. Today, Ryan is in Colorado helping Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora) to raise money at a super-secret luncheon of some sort.

We can’t tell you much more about where Ryan is stumping with Coffman, or for how long, because Coffman’s own campaign won’t really talk about it. Check out the weird statement that showed up this morning on Coffman’s campaign Facebook page, in which Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s name is mentioned four times before Ryan’s name comes up.

“We can’t take anything for granted and we’re honored to have Speaker Ryan in Colorado today,” says Coffman spokesperson Cinamon Watson.

Anyhoo…so, the Speaker of the House is in Colorado today, and nobody wants to talk about it.

Nancy Pelosi!!!

Coffman’s “Oversight” of VA Hospital = Too Little, Too Late, Too Partisan

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Joe R*  has to go to the VA hospital for psychiatric care again – the third time this year.  An obese middle-aged man with thick grey hair, Joe wears a Vietnam ballcap,  sunglasses because he’s mostly blind, Tshirt, shorts, and flip-flops. He ‘s off his meds again, belligerent, paranoid, barely coherent. When the police come, they evaluate his condition, and gently talk him into the ambulance. But where will the ambulance take him?

Aerial view of VA Replacement Hospital 10/2015

Aerial view of VA Replacement Hospital 10/2015 – 50% completed after 11 years and $1 Billion

The “old” VA hospital on 10th and Clermont, where Joe has gone for 25 years and where they know him well, no longer has an emergency room for psychiatric triage, and they only have 20 beds in their psychiatric wing.  So the VA farms “psych emergency” patients out  to several area hospitals. Where he’ll end up, nobody knows.

Wherever the ambulance takes him, the new hospital won’t have his medical history. They won’t know what meds he’s supposed to be taking or how long he’s taken them. They won’t know what works and doesn’t work with this particular disabled veteran. So they will trank him up and warehouse him for a few days or a week, and then send him back home. This is how the VA treats those with “mental health injuries” while awaiting opening of the shiny new VA hospital.

What Joe needs, says his case manager, the social worker, and his doctors, is a residential treatment center that specializes in long term psychiatric needs of veterans. The VA had plans for such a facility, as part of the new and improved Denver VA Medical Center. The Veterans Administration has been designing and building a new “Replacement Hospital” for 12 years.  The cost of this facility has gone from $328 million to its current 1.73 billion price tag – and that may not be the final cost, and doesn’t include the psychiatric rehabilitation wing that Joe needs, nor will it have room to accommodate the outpatient caseload expected  when it is slated to  finally be completed 1/23/2018.

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The Most Transparently Stupid Editorial You’ll Read This Year

Chuck Plunkett looks for a spot on Mike Coffman's soapbox

Sorry, Chuck Plunkett, but there’s no more room on this here soapbox.

The editorial board at the Denver Post has always been an unabashed defender of Congressman Mike Coffman. This is not something that any reasonable person could dispute with a straight face.

There may be isolated instances when Coffman has been slightly dinged in the editorial pages over the years, but by and large the Aurora Congressman is treated as a favorite child by the Post. This was true when Vincent Carroll was the editorial page editor, and it is certainly the case now that Chuck Plunkett is commanding the keyboard.

As we’ve said many times in this space, journalists are not infallible beings who are able to tuck away every inherent personal bias when writing about a particular subject, and it is unfair for anyone to expect otherwise. Everyone is biased, to some degree, about everything. But it is a different thing altogether when “bias” morphs from favoritism into outright prejudice — the kind of indefensible preconceived slants that are not supported by fact or logic and cannot be reasonably explained otherwise.

This is the kind of blind prejudice that drives an editorial such as the one that appeared Friday evening in the Denver Post (“Rep. Mike Coffman Right to Defy Donald Trump”) in which Mike Coffman is inexplicably defended for his ongoing tap dance about Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump. This editorial, presumably written by Plunkett, is over-the-top silly, filled with blatant untruths and constructs so illogical that they end up making Coffman look bad by accident. Let’s take a look:

Good for Mike Coffman. On Thursday the Republican congressman from Aurora went farther than other political candidates in his party have gone by attacking Donald Trump in an online ad headed for a small television run.

The very first paragraph of the editorial is factually wrong. Coffman hasn’t gone “farther than other political candidates in his party” in attacking Donald Trump. Despite his criticisms, Coffman still won’t say whether or not he will support the GOP nominee in November; many other Republicans, such as South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, have repeatedly said in public that they won’t even vote for Trump.

But it strikes us as odd for Coffman’s liberal critics to demand for months that he clearly state whether he would support Trump and then cry foul once he does not.

Come again? It’s “odd” that critics would continue to be concerned that Coffman still won’t take a position on Trump even after Coffman has refused to take a position on Trump? This makes no sense whatsoever.

While it’s true that Coffman once maintained he would support whoever won the GOP nomination, he did so in February, when he said he thought Sen. Marco Rubio would get the nod. And Coffman has used much the same language in his ad in recent past statements.

Try to explain this one without getting a migraine. It’s true, says the Post, that Coffman said he would back the Republican nominee for President…but he only said that because he was supporting Marco Rubio at the time, and he thought Rubio would be the GOP nominee.

What the Post is actually saying here is that Coffman was lying when he said he would support the GOP nominee for President, because what he really meant was that he would only support Marco Rubio as the GOP nominee. As a defense of Coffman, this is as blatantly illogical as “2+2=5.”

It’s also worth noting here the disservice that Plunkett does to Coffman, albeit on accident. We’re not aware of any other media descriptions of Coffman’s position on the Presidential race that directly implicate the Congressman as saying he would back the Republican nominee for President; it’s usually Coffman’s former spokesperson, Kristin Strohm, who gets the “credit” for saying Coffman would back the GOP nominee.

Another fact that ought to be obvious in considering whether Coffman’s words can be judged sincere: By challenging the shoot-from-the-hip nominee, he exposes himself to Trump’s vicious and vindictive ways. No small consideration, as any number of critics have learned.

Here the Post says that Coffman is definitely sincere in his criticism of Trump because most everyone else is afraid to say anything negative about Trump. This might make a modicum of sense if it were at all true that there was a general reluctance among politicians Americans at large to attack Trump. Plunkett would have you believe that Coffman is on the leading charge of anti-Trump sentiment, when in truth, the Aurora Congressman can’t even keep his narrative straight within the same news cycle.

This editorial by the Post and Plunkett is journalistic jaundice as its worst. We’ve come to expect this kind of editorial prejudice from the likes of the Colorado Springs Gazette, where editor Wayne Laugesen doesn’t even bother to pretend that his wife doesn’t take money from the same Republican politicians upon which the newspaper will heap praise, but the Denver Post didn’t used to be this way. Former Post editorial page editor Vincent Carroll was an unabashed supporter of conservative Republican principles, but he never would have blindly walked into the same logic traps that befuddle Plunkett here. Carroll didn’t hide his own biases, but he didn’t thumb his nose at factual truths, either.

As the writer E.B. White once said, “Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” Maybe Plunkett was just under a tight deadline. Maybe (probably) not. Whatever the reason, the result is an editorial that is so illogical and silly that it damages the credibility of an entire newspaper.

True prejudice and bias doesn’t recognize its own flaws, and neither does the Post in this instance. When your logic in defense of a subject is so terrible that the subject ends up looking worse as a result, you’ve lost the ability to even attempt to appear reasonable. This editorial is just plain silly, and “silly” is about the worst thing that can happen to a news organization.

Mike Coffman Just Imploded

UPDATE #2: Annnnddd….then it gets so much worse:

—–

UPDATE: Story now up from 9News:

We followed up with Coffman on Thursday and found that’s not precisely the case. Instead, Coffman is walking a fine line and saying that he’s undecided in the presidential race.

While the ad is intended to showcase a stance against the leader of his party, Coffman stopped short of disavowing Trump’s candidacy in a telephone interview with 9NEWS.

—–

What's that, now?

What’s that, now?

Remember that story this morning about that anti-Trump TV commercial that features Rep. Mike Coffman? The ad isn’t even on television yet, and Coffman is already backpedaling, as Brandon Rittiman reports for 9News.

You can read our original post about Coffman’s Trump dance for more background, but to really understand how totally bizarre this has become, we thought it would be helpful to give you a quick timeline of the words coming out of Team Coffman today:

1. Mike Coffman, in a preview of his new TV ad released to the press:

“People ask me, ‘What do you think about Trump? Honestly, I don’t care for him much.”

2. A bit later, Coffman’s spokesperson, Cinamon Watson, had this to say about Coffman’s thoughts on the Presidential election:

Watson said Thursday that “Hillary Clinton is not an option” and that Coffman will not vote for her. She did not directly answer whether he has ruled out voting for Trump. He “is considering his options — like a lot of Americans,” she said in an email.

3. And here’s what Coffman apparently just told Brandon Rittiman at 9News:

Rittiman: Would you rule out supporting Donald Trump for President?

Coffman: No.

There you have it, folks. This is how an incumbent member of Congress loses his re-election campaign.

 

 

Spoof Ad Sets Record Straight: Mike Coffman is “One of Them”

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

After a paid television ad for Republican Rep. Mike Coffman has aired for several weeks claiming Coffman is “one of us” and “not like other Republicans,” ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, released a parody of Coffman’s “One of Us” ad to correct the record about what Mike Coffman really stands for.

“From his attacks on Social Security, abortion rights, immigrant voting rights, and even questioning President Barack Obama’s citizenship and allegiance to our country, we know that Mike Coffman is not ‘one of us’–he’s ‘one of them,’” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Ian Silverii. “Coffman is running scared from his long far-right record because he understands that the voters are tired of Donald Trump, and the backward far-right agenda Trump and Coffman have always shared for our country.”

Watch ProgressNow Colorado’s parody ad here. To see Coffman’s original ad, click here.

ProgressNow Colorado’s video parody, which is running now as an online advertisement on major social media and news sites, recounts numerous moments from Coffman’s long record in Colorado politics, including:

  • ∙ Mike Coffman once introduced himself to a crowd at a Tea Party rally as “a proud member of the Party of No.” [1]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman supported legislation in Congress to “redefine” the crime of rape to make it harder for rape victims to get an abortion. [2]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman agrees with former Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme.” [3]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman said “the DREAM Act will be a nightmare for the American people.” [4]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman told a group of Republicans that President Barack Obama “is not an American.” [5]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman told bilingual voters to “get a dictionary” while trying to restrict access to bilingual ballots. [6]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman doesn’t believe in climate change. [7]
  • ∙ Mike Coffman didn’t take action on the Aurora VA hospital cost overruns for years while the problem got worse. [8]

“Mike Coffman has built his political career on appealing to the same ugly elements of American society that Trump is motivating for his presidential run,” said Silverii. “Coffman can’t claim to be ‘not like other Republicans’ after he spent years proudly advancing the far right’s agenda in Congress like every other Republican. Now that Trump is destroying the Republican brand, Coffman must own his appalling true record–and face the consequences in November.”