Bennet Shows What Accountability Looks Like, Warts and All

Sen. Michael Bennet at a 2017 town hall meeting.

Colorado Public Radio’s Natalia Navarro reports on a town hall held by Colorado’s senior U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in Denver last Friday–harkening back to the days when Colorado’s Senators routinely advertised in advance for anyone who wants to show up and lay on the hard questions in a public forum:

Sen. Bennet was in Colorado for his first constituent event in months Friday at the Montview Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Denver. He said the only way to make meaningful progress on issues from climate change to immigration is to boot Trump from office.

“We can’t act on climate as long as we have a climate denier in the White House,” he told the crowd of about 200 people.

Much of the town hall focused on his presidential campaign, but Bennet said it’s not affecting his ability to serve Colorado as its senior senator.

“I follow what’s going on in Colorado when I’m here and when I’m not here,” Bennet said. “I think that I’ve continued to represent the state well and that will always be my first priority.”

The Denver Post’s Conrad Swanson:

He also offered his endorsement of former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who is now vying for the Democratic nomination in the race against the state’s vulnerable Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.

Bennet said the country should provide a public health care option, a route with more public support than the plans of several of his Democratic opponents, namely Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“What I don’t want to do is spend the next 10 years fighting a losing battle for Medicare for all,” he said.

From missed votes in the Senate to Bennet’s controversial disparagement of leading Democratic presidential candidates while pursuing his own longshot run, base Democratic voters had plenty to take issue with, and by all accounts they did–holding Bennet’s feet to the fire for over an hour in Friday’s town hall. Despite fielding hard questions from the mostly left-leaning Denver audience, Bennet impressed the crowd with strong answers on impeachment, stating he is a “likely vote to convict,” and unequivocally making the case for robust action on climate that can only begin once Donald Trump is out of office.

Although Sen. Bennet has arguably been spending lots of time with voters as a presidential candidate, we’re very glad to see him hold a town hall back home, even if not all of his answers were likely to satisfy the audience. Bennet’s willingness to be held accountable by the voters he represents throws the refusal of Sen. Cory Gardner to afford Coloradans the same courtesy into harsh relief. If Bennet can stand and deliver even the unpopular answers as a 2020 candidate, there’s absolutely no reason why Cory Gardner can’t.

In so doing, Bennet’s example hurts Gardner more than anything Bennet himself could say.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. doremi says:

    No surprise Bennet endorsed Hick.  Returning the favor.  They're both cut from the same moderate Democrat to semi-Democrat cloth.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      You say that like it a bad thing.

      • Duke Cox says:

        You say that like it isn't.

        • Conserv. Head Banger says:

          My reading of polls tells me that the majority of registered Democrats are pretty centrist and that the swing of some politicians to the far left isn't fully supported. So, Bennet being a center-left politician would seem to fit what many Dems want. 

          • notaskinnycook says:

            His campaign isn't gaining much traction, which is too bad. Someone like Bennet is the best hope we have to get another president like Bill Clinton in his heyday. The Right-wingers hate him, but he did a good job and I miss him, and Obama.

            • Voyageur says:

              As Franklin Roosevelt said, the hatred of the right is a badge of honor.

              In contrast, Richard Nixon was right that to hate someone, you have to respect them.

              I do not respect Trump, ergo I cannot hate him.  But I despise the wretched, pathetic, misshapen thing that is his soul.

              And did I mention that Trump stinks!

          • MichaelBowman says:

            Pair MB with a progressive in the upper chamber and we'd have a legitimate representation of the state's left-of-center politics. 

  2. bullshit! says:

    I don't always agree with Sen. Bennet but he's a straight shooter. Lying Cory Gardner doesn't even deserve a mention in the same breath.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      I've come to have an admiration for Senator Bennet and he has some of the best staff on Capitol Hill, hands down.  In this era of political carnival barkers and maroons he's neither…and that's refreshing.  

  3. DrCodd says:

    if you can find it listen the the long interview with Bennett on the podcast "Stay Tuned".  Then compare what you heard on that interview with what you hear in the "debates".  I would gladly support Bennett for president.

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