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October 17, 2014 10:15 AM UTC

Gardner's Democratic Past Comes Back To Bite Him

  • by: Colorado Pols
Cory Gardner.
Cory Gardner.

The Denver Post's Lynn Bartels catches Republican U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner in yet another…well, if it's not a straight-up lie, we'll be very surprised. Following up on this week's pivotal 9NEWS debate:

Republican Senate hopeful Cory Gardner can’t recall voting for a single Democrat although he was one for eight years.

Yuma County election records show Gardner registered as a Democrat in 1992 and switched his voter registration in 2000 to Republican. If, indeed, he never voted for a Democrat that means Gardner:

* Didn’t vote for Democratic Gov. Roy Romer’s re-election bid in 1994 although Gardner has said one of his proudest moments as a Yuma High School student (which was not his football career, obviously) was getting the governor to come talk to students in 1992 about the lack of education funding for rural schools. A photo in the Yuma Pioneer of the event begins with “Future politician?” in reference to the junior’s successful effort in attracting attention to the situation.

* Didn’t vote for former Fort Collins Mayor Susan Kirkpatrick for Congress in 1998, although he seconded her nomination at the Democratic 4th Congressional District assembly that year. Kirkpatrick said never at any time during that election did he indicate he was no longer backing her…

During Wednesday's debate, Gardner was asked to name a Democrat–any Democrat–that he had ever voted for. This seemed to us like a tremendous softball for the former Democrat, a low bar to validating his supposed willingness to "reach across the aisle" that has been a cornerstone of his new image. You may have noticed that a considerable investment has been made in remaking Gardner from a safe-seat "Tea Party" darling into a "moderate" electable statewide in Colorado.

And he blew this golden opportunity.

Earlier in the day on Wednesday, a story from highly trafficked national online news site Deadspin exploded on social media, featuring quotes from a local source claiming that Cory Gardner had never played high school football despite his claims otherwise on the campaign trail. It was pretty quickly determined that the story was incorrect after Gardner's campaign Tweeted photos of Gardner in his Yuma High School football uniform, and soon the original source had retracted his quotes. The story was wrong, but one of the reasons it caught fire so quickly was how plausible it seemed. Much like Paul Ryan's infamous marathon and 14er-climbing controversies in 2012, it's just really easy to believe the idea that Gardner is lying. Because he lies a lot.

In this case, he almost certainly did lie, because he was an active Democrat for years before, as he told the Post, "I realized the Democratic Party doesn’t represent me or my values or what I believe this country to be." That, or he realized it's kind of hard for Democrats to get elected in Yuma? Either way, now that he's made the deliberate choice to lie about it, it reinforces a much broader narrative: how you can't trust Cory Gardner.


17 thoughts on “Gardner’s Democratic Past Comes Back To Bite Him

  1. Hillary Clinton can say she actively supported Richard Nixon and Barry Goldwater as a child, and began voting by voting Republican, and it's no problem.

    However, Cory Gardner can't even say he voted for Roy Romer. He seems to be wholly incapable of accepting his past, given the present spin that he's put on his own image.

    1. Roy Romer was one aour 'top tier' Gov in terms of rural issues.  His "Dome on the Range" was really effective, and his support for the now-defunct Tri-State Initiative (Bill Owens ended CO's support and participation) had the opportunity to re-define the border challenges/opportunities we had/have with Kansas and Nebraska.  I contend that if we had kept that group alive we would have resolved the Kansas Compact (water) in a very different way.

      I was a Republican at that time – and I voted for Romer.

  2. He must have stuck out as the only Dem in Yuma. Then again, we all have pasts. I was registered as a Republican briefly 30 some odd years ago when extremist was defined by Ronald Reagan and before the GOP went completely off the edge.

  3. So either Pathological Liar Cory Gardner had a brain wipe after he switched his registration to the GOP, or more likely, he weighed the negative impact of admitting to agreeing with and supporting a single Democrat would have on his frothing-at-the-mouth rabid base voters.

    Every vote counts, so he couldn't afford to have any of his nutters sitting the election out in protest to his apostasy.

    But I know the Denver Post's faith in Cory's bipartisanship will finally kick in should he win the election, right?

  4. It's interesting that he was a registered Dem during that particular period of time. Who were the two faces of the Democratic Party during those 8 years?  

    HINT:  I wonder if Cory is Ready for Hillary……

  5. If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart.

    If you haven't turned conservative by 30, you have no brains.

    I can't remember who said this, but it's absolutely true. Good for Cory for seeing the light!

    1. Being starry eyed and idealistic are characteristics many people have or have had. Tempering those with common sense and pragmatism has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative, Democratic or Republican.  Core American values are shared by Democrats and Republicans.  When we respect each other and work together, we get things done.  Your core American values need a little work. 

      You don't seem to respect anything except your "side" winning, even at the cost of hurting this country and the American people.  Republicans with actual values are beginning to despair that the GOP will not come around for a couple of more election cycles. If your candidates win in any of these races, it really doesn't matter, people like you cannot win the in the longer term.  We will. 

    2. Aside from how boorish that cliched sentiment has become, it is also completely beside the point. How do you explain what can only be a flat out lie about his past? Good for anyone who finally sees the light and aligns their actions with their values. But to claim that he was active enough in Democratic circles to have even attended a party assembly let alone been a nominator and then to claim that he didn't vote for a single member of that party is completely bizarre.

    3. Actually, Churchill said 40. I can't really remember, either, but he might also have said something about denying ever being a Democrat once one turns 30.

  6. It strains credulity to think that someone active enough to attend a Congressional District Assembly not only didn't vote straight ticket in an election but didn't vote for a SINGLE member of the party. He is completely out of touch with his own brain. This is totally bizarre behavior.

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