As the Republican National Convention got going this week, as readers know, Sen. Cory Gardner wasn’t in attendance–but in a remote interview with CBS4’s Shaun Boyd on Monday from his home in Yuma, Gardner still had plenty to say:
“I’ve never spoken at a convention before and I don’t think anybody would want to listen to a boring speech by me,” he answered. “I love to do this, to be in Colorado to go across the state. Today alone I was in four different counties talking to people across Colorado. I’ll continue to do that.”
[Boyd] asked for his thoughts about the couple from St. Louis who stood outside their home with guns as protesters marched by. They called those protesters Marxist liberals and were part of a theme that the Democrats would ruin suburban America.
“What do you say to those who feel like President Trump is pitting white suburbs against Black Lives Matter for votes?” Boyd inquired.
“I don’t think it’s right to pit anyone against anyone,” Gardner said…
For the most part, Gardner was careful to sidestep the opportunities he had to say something noteworthy in either direction, despite his ability to fill long stretches with empty platitudes. But when it came to that “silent majority” President Donald Trump says will deliver for Republicans on Election Day, Gardner called us back to one of the wackiest moments in the last decade of Colorado politics:
“I think a lot of the silent majority that people may talk about is off the I-25 corridor,” he said. “It’s the Eastern Plains, it’s the Western Slope. It’s 20 percent of the counties in Colorado who tried to secede [Pols emphasis] under John Hickenlooper because he called rural Coloradans ‘backwards’ and they just needed to get rid of some of their beliefs so they would fit in with the people of Colorado. I think they are people who feel like they’ve been forgotten.”
So, for those of you who weren’t around in 2013, yes–technically there was what we guess you’d call…an attempt by 11 counties in Colorado to begin the process of seceding and forming their own state of “North Colorado.” But while it may be true that 11 Colorado counties do arithmetically total up to to 17% of the 64 total counties that make up the state–Gardner was rounding up, we guess–Gardner forgot to mention that those 11 counties make up a whopping 7% of the total population of Colorado.
When you’re through being underwhelmed by the tiny sliver of the state who even voted on secession, consider the results. Six out of the eleven counties voted no, including Weld County, the most populous and would-be host of the “capital city” of North Colorado, Greeley. Across all 11 counties, 55% of the total of just over 91,000 voters who participated in the Great North Colorado Secession Movement of 2013 voted no. Net support for secession in 2013: 40,757.
Folks, that’s not even a “silent majority” of Greeley.
This isn’t the only way we can show that the half-baked North Colorado secession movement was in no way representative of anything remotely close to a majority, silent or otherwise, of Colorado voters. The secession movement was driven by a range of issues from backlash against renewable energy mandates to gun control, and on every such issue it was the secessionists who were out of the mainstream. For a candidate trying to run to the center, invoking the crackpot secession movement of 2013 as anything other than a punchline is probably the dumbest move Gardner could make.
If this is how Cory Gardner really feels, he should run for Senator of North Colorado, after leading the campaign to secede! Unfortunately, we’re pretty sure he’d lose the primary.
P.S. Gardner never did say how he voted on the secession question.