“RiNO” Cory Gardner Blowtorched For Belatedly Ditching Trump

Sen. Cory Gardner (R).

We wrote yesterday about the political peril Sen. Cory Gardner finds himself in following the “resolution” of President Donald Trump’s latest spate of wildly unpopular tariff threats against Mexico. Within the conservative news bubble from which the Republican base obtains most of their information about current events, Trump’s announcement Friday that Mexico had agreed to last-minute demands averting a 5% tariff on goods from Mexico from taking effect today was a triumph for the President. The rest of the country, understanding that this “last minute deal” had been agreed to weeks before by both governments, doesn’t consider any of this a “win” either for Trump or the jittery national economy.

Like most Republican Senators, there was never really a question whether Sen. Gardner could countenance support for punitive tariffs against Mexico. This latest round of unilateral threatmaking from Trump against Mexico saw Republican Senators provoked dissent against the President in the most public fashion since Trump took office–more backlash than equal or even more serious issues like the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia’s government earned. The controversy over Trump’s threatened tariffs on Mexico raged for days while Gardner kept his head down, and only spoke up last Friday just hours before Trump folded “triumphed.”

At (literally) the end of the day, Gardner waited too long to make a difference in the tariff debate–but speaking up at all nonetheless earned Gardner the renewed wrath of Trump’s loyal Republican base. Gardner is under continuous pressure to please base Republicans without whom he can’t be re-elected, while at the same time remaining viable in a state whose politics are rapidly trending away from both Trump and the Republican brand generally. The inability to satisfy those opposing audiences is why Gardner is the only incumbent Republican Senator with a sub-50% approval rating among fellow Republicans.

In the coming months, Gardner is likely to face more such impossible tests, and it’s likely he will continue to suffer from tepid support among base Republican voters. In the worst case Gardner is wide open to a primary challenge, though we’d have a hard time identifying a viable replacement. At the very least, Gardner is critically weak going into his re-election bid–lacking base Republican support for opposing Trump, however belatedly, and having alienated the middle for backing Trump every time it mattered.

It’s as close to a no-win situation as you’ll find in politics.

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13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Question for Backbone Radio; whatever that is; and Josie Nano. When is Mexico going to cut the check to pay for the wall on the Southern border? Trump did promise that, multiple times.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      Backbone, Colorado is John Andrews' book about his mythical town in the mountains. He uses a fictional cat to narrate about life in Backbone. It is available on Amazon in  paperback for $15.

      You have never heard of it?

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        Now that I think of it, R & R, I do get occasional e-mails from Mr. Andrews and sometimes I may even open one. Thought the name (Backbone) was familiar.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        Remember the time Andrews was promoting Weld County as the model for governance (and trying to hawk his book at the same time)? 

        This comment could have been posted here or under the latest Weld County post by Pols today, but it's curious that Weld County Commissioners regard their minerals as a matter of state interest when the only people benefitting from their extraction is them.  They've designed a system that traps nearly the entirety of their tax collections at home through the Ad Valorem loophole. ($264 million in 2014; one-half their total tax collections that year).  

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      I was curious enough to go click on the link … " Backbone Radio with Matt Dunn. Salem Radio Network. Sundays 5-8pm MDT . "

      "Since 2004, right here on 710 KNUS, Dr. Matt Dunn has been sounding off on politics and culture on Sunday nights. A proponent of American Nationalism, Secure Borders and the Founders’ Constitution. A noted warrior in the battle against the Deep State. Dr. Matt is a Colorado Native, the father of three young children who celebrates Colorado’s high country and family life in the Rockies."

      • A proponent of American Nationalism, Secure Borders and the Founders’ Constitution.

        Sounds like an absolutely lovely person. I'm sure I'd get along with him like white phosphorous gets along with civilians.

      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        The Salem Network connection is particularly notable here. Whatever obnoxious shit you hear on " Backbone Radio" you will hear all across the U.S., on every small town "Christian Radio station…and in every church, large and small."

  2. RepealAndReplace says:

    We should hear from Roger Edwards who is no big fan of Gardner. Wonder if he'll pass on a run against Jason Crow and primary Cory.

  3. Well, this makes Cory's chances at winning next year look absolutely stellar.

  4. DawnPatrol says:

    Coreless Gardner ™ the Human Weather Vane, spinning wildly, inexorably, toward political oblivion.

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