Trump Breaks Gardner’s Promise, Gardner Blames Democrats

President Trump and Sen. Cory Gardner.

Remaining today’s big national politics story and as we noted in today’s Get More Smarter, President Donald Trump is diverting billions in defense construction dollars to fund his pet project wall along the southern U.S. border–and breaking a promise that Sen. Cory Gardner had made to Colorado voters last March, the diversion of funds includes millions earmarked for Air Force facility construction in Colorado Springs. AP via KRCC Public Radio:

The Pentagon is diverting $8 million in construction money from Peterson Air Force Base to help pay for fencing on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The military said Wednesday a planned space control facility at Peterson is among 127 projects that will be delayed or eliminated to shift $3.6 billion to the border barrier sought by President Donald Trump…

The diversion of funds comes after Colorado’s Republican Senator Cory Gardner was assured by the Trump administration earlier this year that no 2019 fiscal year money would be diverted from the state’s military bases, according to the Colorado Sun. The site reported though, that the $8 million comes from 2018 fiscal funds.

Whether the money comes from 2018 or 2019 funds is irrelevant–it’s still a wholesale violation of Gardner’s pledge that existing money earmarked for Colorado projects would not be diverted to fund Trump’s border wall, after Gardner’s defense of Trump over the national emergency giving Trump the power to divert those funds earned Gardner the Denver Post’s un-endorsement. Colorado’s senior U.S. Senator Michael Bennet was unequivocal in his statement blasting Trump for this “grossly irresponsible” decision:

President Trump’s selfish decision to raid military construction funding is a new low in his ridiculous pursuit of a campaign promise. These projects, including the Space Control Facility at Peterson Air Force Base, were identified by the Department of Defense and the Trump Administration as critical to our military readiness. Taking money from operational priorities to pay for a wasteful and ineffective wall is grossly irresponsible and undermines our national security. [Pols emphasis]

Sen. Cory Gardner, on the other hand, is in a much more difficult position politically, being the one who vouched for the Trump administration that local projects wouldn’t be affected. But now that the game is up, we see Gardner reverting to form:

The fact is that Gardner’s failure on this issue runs much deeper than just one broken promise. After years of intransigence on immigration, in 2017 Gardner actually agreed with Democrats that Trump’s wall was not a good idea, and said he opposed President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency. Then when Trump went ahead anyway, Gardner trumpeted the false promise that no Colorado projects would be affected by the “emergency” diversion of billions of dollars for the wall, and refused to vote against the national emergency. At long last, with all of these failures compounded, the only thing left for Gardner to do now is blame Democrats for his own powerlessness, which looks ridiculous–because he cannot do the one thing he claims to be ready to do any moment except for the present moment, stand up to President Trump.

Everybody knows it now. Nobody expects it to change. It’s why Gardner is politically a dead man walking.

And there will be many more broken promises before the end.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Point of fact: Gardner's release was not "a statement on Trump’s DoD moving $8 million in Colorado military money to fund the border wall." It was a talking point about funding the wall. A statement on things has to mention the things.

    Notably missing from @SenCoryGardner's statement on "DoD moving $8M in Colorado military money," is the word "Colorado." #cosen #copolitics

    — Erik Maulbetsch (@emaulbetsch) September 5, 2019

  2. unnamed says:

    And naturally, Gardner is too cowardly to address the humanitarian crises at ICE and CBP concentration camps.

  3. Early Worm says:

    And, with this, the Republicans officially become the "gaslighting party." 

    Trump demands money for his wall. Congress says no. Trump takes (steals) money appropriated for the military and uses it on the wall. Congress (and everyone else) objects to the theft. Republicans' response – "It's your fault that Trump had to steal because you refused to give me what he wanted in the first place. The whole problem will be solved as soon as you do what Trump told you to do." The entire country is trapped in an abusive relationship. Gardner is an enabler. 

  4. MADCO says:

    No- correction
    I saw a new map- turns out Peterson AFB is not even in Colorado.

  5. JohnInDenver says:

    Gardner saying Democrats now say there is a crisis is an interesting confusion. 

    The Republicans say the crisis is the number of people coming to the United States.  [Never mind that the numbers are substantially DOWN from 20 years ago. or that many, if not most, want to apply for asylum.]

    Most Democrats say the crisis is in the number of people the Trump Sad!-ministration are incarcerating, the conditions of that incarceration, and the refusal to have asylum seekers come into the United States to wait for their hearings. [And most asylum seekers DO show up for their court dates.  90% and above.]

    Same word. Different definitions.

  6. Diogenesdemar says:

    $3.6B for a wall when all we really need is a big map and Donald Ttump and his Magic Sharpie??? . . . 

    . . . sounds sorta’ fishy to me, Cory!!??

  7. itlduso says:

    Unfortunately this creates a conundrum.  I want to condemn Gardner/Trump for misdirecting defense funding, but I think defense spending is already too damn high. 

    The Dems should focus on Trump's unconstitutional usurping of Congressional budgeting authority.  But, at some point, we need a real discussion of why our defense budget is so out of control.

    BTW – We are facing $1 Trillion annual budget deficits. We can raise taxes, or cut spending, or both.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      Meanwhile in Turnberry….

      Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: Trump’s Scottish resort

      “The inquiry is part of a broader, previously unreported probe into U.S. military expenditures at and around the Trump property in Scotland. According to a letter the panel sent to the Pentagon in June, the military has spent $11 million on fuel at the Prestwick Airport — the closest airport to Trump Turnberry — since October 2017, fuel that would be cheaper if purchased at a U.S. military base. The letter also cites a Guardian report that the airport provided cut-rate rooms and free rounds of golf at Turnberry for U.S. military members.

      Taken together, the incidents raise the possibility that the military has helped keep Trump’s Turnberry resort afloat — the property lost $4.5 million in 2017, but revenue went up $3 million in 2018.”

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