Reality Check: Gardner Helped Block Rubio’s Immigration Bill

The Hill's Alexandra Jaffe reports on the other new ad running in Colorado from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:

The Chamber of Commerce is launching a $3 million advertising campaign to boost preferred candidates and incumbents in 10 House races nationwide in its first major shift toward the general election.

And in Colorado’s Senate race, the Chamber is spending nearly $660,000 on broadcast and cable ads in the Denver, Colorado Springs and Grand Junction markets on an ad in which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) touts GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner in Spanish.

A version of the above ad is running in both English and Spanish. It doesn't mention immigration as an issue, but there's a backstory between Rep. Cory Gardner and Sen. Marco Rubio on immigration that ought to be told. Rubio was a key Republican voice, a member of the so-called "Gang of Eight" including Colorado Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, in the passage in the U.S. Senate last summer of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act of 2013–a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

Remember what happened to that bill when it reached the U.S. House? Greeley Tribune from last October:

U.S. Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., doesn’t know whether U.S. immigration reform will be passed by the end of the year, but he is clear that the House doesn’t support the comprehensive Senate bill. [Pols emphasis]

“I think it was a tweet that I saw today where somebody said the Speaker said he was hopeful that they could address some kind of immigration reform before the end of the year. I have not heard him say that directly, so I don’t want to speak for what they’re saying,” Gardner said in a Wednesday phone interview from Washington, D.C. “There are a number of differences that I have with the Senate bill. I think it’s important not to focus on the Senate bill because that’s simply not going to pass the House.”

"…It’s possible that some portion of those or all of them could come on the House floor, but I’m not sure if leadership will do that or not,” Gardner said. “It’s becoming more and more clear to me that the House is going to have to do it in five or six bills or more, and not one massive comprehensive bill. The House will not pass the Senate bill. It will be done as the House determines appropriate in terms of the way it moves forward."

This was an interesting new position for Gardner, who said only the previous spring:

In an April sit-down interview with The Tribune, Gardner said the Senate proposal was a good start and something needed to be done to fix the system.

“I think everybody agrees that there needs to be immigration reform, but just the detailed part of it is where there’s a big split,” Gardner said back in April. “Trying to provide an educational role in this debate is going to be absolutely critical. We can’t have a rifle approach to immigration, because if you don’t fix all of it together, it’s going to create some problem somewhere else in the system.” [Pols emphasis]

Would the real Cory Gardner please stand up?

Bottom line: Marco Rubio may like Cory Gardner, but Rubio's signature issue isn't the reason why. And we can't help but think that the Spanish-speaking viewers of this new ad…would want to know that.

13 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. JeffcoBlue says:

    Gardner is a walking bag of contradictions. They come so fast it's hard to keep up, but I just don't see how this guy can win.

  2. n3b says:

    Rubio and Gardner have much more in common than just immigration. Stop trying to pigeonhole him.

  3. Ralphie says:

    Expecting a cartoon in 3…2…1…

  4. MichaelBowman says:

    Is that a teleprompter under Cory's right hand?  Given the daily barrage of indignation showered upon us it's hard enough to keep up with the outrage du jour, let alone an outrage that is approaching its two-year anniversary.

    Lest we not forget:  Teleprompter Derangement Syndrome, a/k/a  "Prompterphobia"

  5. dwyer says:

    The Republicans evidently have a strategy to back candidates that they think in "win" and then groom them to "win."  I think that Garnder's silence is part of that strategy.  

    Interesting comment on the Corporon KLZ talk show, this am.  First, teaparty 

    meet ups were announced for South Jefferson Cty; then Corporon told his audience to call Congress and tell their representatives three things:

    1) Thanks for the select committee on Benghazi

    2) Thanks for the contempt vote on the IRA Director

    3) Tell them NO on any immigration bill

    It was Limbaugh back in 2007 who told his audience to call Congress and say NO on the bipartisan bill that was all but passed.  They crashed the Capitol switchboard and  squashed the immigration bill…..

    • Gray in Mountains says:

      I think Gardner's relative silence is smart campaigning for hi right now. He is virtually tied with Udall while he keeps his mouth shut. He'll open up by mid-June. In the mean time I presume he is saving $ while Udall is expending

  6. dwyer says:


    This is my opinion.  SCOTUS will rule on Hobby Lobby and Little Sisters of the Poor in June and decision will influence  the political debate on birth control for the rest of the campaign cycle, regardless of what the decision is.  So I think Gardner is smart by not saying anything on this topic until then…..I am sure his handlers have scenarios that will fit whatever SCOTUS decides.

    As for the Rubio ad, surely Rubio knows that Gardner helped stop his immigration bill and yet he makes an ad supporting Gardner….I think this is part of the Republican strategy to win, first…..debate later.

  7. dwyer says:

    To clarify:  Gardner is smart not by not saying anything MORE about birth control….

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