GOP attacks Romanoff on immigration, even though Coffman is their candidate

(It's called "chutzpah" – promoted by Colorado Pols)

POLS UPDATE: This messaging could soon get very complicated for Rep. Coffman. The Hill reports that House Republicans may take up Mitt Romney's infamous "self-deportation plan" as part of their immigration package in an effort "to make a comprehensive overhaul acceptable to conservatives." This idea did more than anything to kill Romney's chances with Hispanic voters in 2012, and if it gains traction in the House, it would be a nightmare for Coffman.

The National Journal reported last week that the National Republican Congressional Committee has released an ad attacking Democrat Andrew Romanoff for favoring "the strictest immigration laws in the nation" which Romanoff "passed as Speaker of the Colorado House." Romanoff is challenging Rep. Mike Coffman, who's seen as in danger of losing 6th Congressional District seat in Colorado.

The 2006 anti-immigration law cleared the Colorado Legislature with bi-partisan support, including the backing of Romanoff and Gov. Bill Owens.

But if Republicans attack Romanoff on immigration, reporters should obviously spotlight Coffman's own record on the issue. The Journal's Ben Terris did a pretty minimalist job of this, pointing out the following about Coffman:

When he first ran in 2008, one of his planks was to “deny amnesty and a path to citizenship to those who violate our laws. But this year, he had a change of heart and all of a sudden supports a path to citizenship."

Terris should have written more about Coffman and immigration. 

To begin with, Terris misleads us when he writes that Coffman supports a citizenship path. Coffman does not favor a path to citizenship for our country's 11 million undocumented immigrants, except for a subset of immigrant children who were brought here illegally by their parents. (Other reporters made the same mistake and corrected it.)

The truth is Coffman voted against the Dream Act, and based on his current position, he'd vote against it again. Coffman advocates a path to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants who enlist in the U.S. military, but not for those who graduate from high school or college. The Dream Act offers a military and education path to citizenship.

Coffman, you recall, introduced a bill mandating English-only ballots, even for areas with large numbers of Spanish-speaking voters who aren't proficient in English.

Coffman has long stood with (and endorsed) Rep. Tom Tancredo, who symbolizes American extremism toward undocumented immigrants and immigration reform.

Coffman actually accused Obama in 2011 of rushing “illegal immigrants" onto the voting rolls to help Obama win the 2012 election, and Coffman has yet to provide evidence for this.

Coffman's opposition to Obamacare, to common-sense tax policy (He opposed Ref. C.), and his hostility toward government assistance to the poor, like the expansion of Medicaid, are out of step with most Hispanic voters and are linked to the politics of the immigration debate.

To this day, the "On the Issues" section of Coffman's website has this to say, and this only, about "immigration:" "Comprehensive immigration reform must first begin with the comprehensive enforcement of our immigration laws. We must secure the borders of the United States now."

The list goes on, and reporters covering Coffman's strange maneuverings on immigration should become familiar with it.


28 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MADCO says:

    What's weird is the GOP forcing Coffman back to the right. Almost like if he doesn't they are ready to primary him from the far right.  Now, I love the tea bag party as much as the next guy, but is there really enough rightie juice in the 6th to elect one.

  2. hawkeye says:

    Coffman, being a career politician, will go into survival mode and continue his leftward direction in regards to immigration and more government services.  However, the writing is on the increasing 'blue' wall of CD-6 … Coffman's goose is cooked!  Romanoff is likely congressman for as long as he cares to be. 

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Can't help but be amused by this reminder of how absolutely phony were the efforts during Andrew's challenge to Bennet to paint Andrew as the lefty progressive champion.  I kept reminding people of how pure DLC centrist Romanoff's entire record was, including this, not a thousandth of an iota to to the left of Bennet in any significant way, but the starry eyed base Romanoff worshippers didn't want to hear it. 

      This isn't to denigrate Romanoff's chances now as a Senate candidate. After all, far lefties don't win statewide in Colorado. Centrist is good for such elections.  The only bone I have to pick with Andrew now is the unilateral surrender on the money front.  I really do hope he can win even with that silliness and the disadvantage of having Ken Gordon in charge of anything  to do with the campaign

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        Romanoff is proud to have passed the "toughest immigration law in America." I wonder how he feels now that it's been repealed?

        Sorry, but Romanoff has a weakness. Deal with it.

      • DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

        Does the DCCC count as a PAC? Can they take PAC money? Since there are only a handful of competitive house seats, they will be pouring money into this race. If Andrew will take their money it should be enough to keep him competitive.

      • Gilpin Guy says:

        So Blue do you have any insights into how well that legislation in 2006 turned out?  It's been six years.  Did it accomplish anything?

        • Gray in Mountains says:

          remember '06. The first and primary acoomplishment was it prevented and acopolytic sort of R immigration nightmare. There was discussion about setting up camps or interdicting at state borders. There was talk about a ballot issue to attack immigrants.

          Unfortunately, the most real impact was on local govts who had to file an annual report of purity. That did cost something for every reporting govt even if they werre completely compliant

          • Gilpin Guy says:

            Thanks Gray.

            What is so silly about these attacks is that Republicans are going to torpedo immigration reform at the national level and the fallout is going to impact Coffman regardless.  They aren't going to suddenly surface as champions of brown people so it looks like a hard sell to convince Latino voters that Coffman actually cares about their issues.

      • BlueCatBlueCat says:

        Oops.  Meant  now as a House candidate. Also was in was in a hurry and actually meant to note that what was silly in his quest for Senate was then. Now that he's a House candidate it's a different situation and my only criticisms are the no PAC money and Gordon thing.

  3. DaftPunkDaftPunk says:

    I saw Andrew at a campaign event last night, and Coffman has every reason to be scared.  Romanoff used to come off as young, earnest, and slightly goofy.  Now he had a little bit of gray in his hair, and has polished his delivery to a very congressional level without sacrificing his obvious caring manner.  I can't wait to see him on a debate stage with Coffman.


    • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

      I am still a big fan of Andrew. I recall his reputation and the respect he earned as speaker of the Colorado House. I was honored to work with him and get to know him when I participated in his campaign against Senator Howell Bennet.  


      Coffman has an enormous challenge ahead of him. "Congressman Romanoff" has a nice ring to it.


    • Gray in Mountains says:

      If Coffman debates AR at all it will be once on PBS days before the election

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        You might see many debates. It's going to be close and they'll both be starved for press attention with the statewide contests.

        • BlueCatBlueCat says:

          Don't think Coffman is anxious to debate more than he absolutely needs to.  He was such a gaffe machine every time he opened his mouth last time. No reason that election should have been as close as it was.  He knows it and Andrew  is a stronger opponent.  Coffman would probably like to say as little as possible, put out lots of negative ads and bank on incumbency and having no self imposed funding handicaps.

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    This is hilarious having Republicans accuse a Democrat of being too tough on immigration.  How tough is it going to be for oppo researchers to come up with some juicy lines by Coffman on immigration?  It's left unsaid that If Coffman can change his positions then why not can't Romanoff?  At least Andrew can speak fluent Spanish.

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      Republicans have so little respect for the public, they think nobody will notice. They've also tried this with social security. It hasn't been working so well for thm lately.

  5. Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

    I'm supporting Andrew and live in the district. I graduted from Aurora Cenral in 1980 and have moved back North Aurora since 2010.  I blistered Andrew for his immigration position in 2010, but his positions have evolved. He does speeak Spanish  much more fluentkly than he did 3 years ago. He;s worked at it. He's made real efforts.. The Latin vote in this district could be heavier with a strong registration effort. I speak Spanish ferquently with people not just in North Aurora, but at the Town Ceneter Mall, and even parts of Centennial.

    The idea od securing the border is part of the Senate's Gang of 8's  bill. I believe it's not possible to do so. The sequestor limits additional ICE agents . Northern Mexico remains a war zone, that spills over at times to US border towns. The issue becomes more complex than just immigration. Gun control, and narcotics play a significant part of border security.

    I beiive Andrew will have a much easer time selling a true evolvement of his positions toward the Latin community. I beiieve that it will be a very close hard fought race.

    • Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

      P.S. I went searching for a spell check but didn't find one. I suppose in the future I'll post from word. I stil type very poorly. My eye sight has deteriorated, too.

  6. Ray SpringfieldRay Springfield says:

    P.S. I went searching for a spell check but didn't find one. I suppose in the future I'll post from word. I stil type very poorly. My eye sight has deteriorated, too.

  7. nancycronknancycronk says:

    This is all part of a bigger strategy to paint Coffman as a moderate. Coffman will go after Romanoff on two things:
    1. He will find a way to say he (Coffman) is a protector of children and Romanoff is not. The GOP learned this is successful when they went after Miklosi, Joe Salazar and others. The only reason they have put Jessica's law (and other things like it) is to use it against Dems in upcoming elections. In 2010, Dems put all their eggs in the "pro-choice" basket, leaving the "protecting kids" basket totally vulnerable. Although history and realism tell us Dems have always protected children's issues, R's will lie to the electorate to convince voters Dems are bad for their kids. Coffman's latest advantage was directly attributable to voters who didn't do their homework. I cannot tell you how many times I heard at the door, "One of the candidates seems better for women and the other seems better for kids". They bought Coffman's desperate, unethical lies hook, line and sinker.

    2. Coffman is banking on getting immigration votes. I have talked with a number of immigration activists who say Coffman is sucking up to them like bears on honey.
    I've told Romanoff this, but as many women hear know, politics is a man's sport, and women advisors are rarely sought out or listened to. One of the reasons I'm not on Pols much anymore. Kind of sick of the sexism in politics. Ciao.

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