Well folks, Coffman’s doing his best to make it stick like glue:
In Colorado’s 6th District, where Rep. Mike Coffman is facing a competitive re-election, his likely Democratic opponent, state Sen. Morgan Carroll, accused him Wednesday evening of sharing Trump’s “anti-Muslim affiliation” for having spoken at an Act for America conference, which Carroll called an “anti-Muslim advocacy organization.”
And Democrats seized on Coffman’s Tuesday statement reacting to Trump, saying it didn’t go far enough.
“I put out a statement yesterday that I represent all the constituents in my district, including Muslims, and I think my record speaks for itself,” Coffman told Roll Call outside House chambers on Wednesday afternoon.
His original statement did not mention Trump.
Pressed about whether he’d support Trump if he were the Republican nominee, Coffman said, “I’m not going to go there. Thanks.” [Pols emphasis] Several seconds later, about to board an elevator, Coffman added, “He’s not going to be the nominee.”
“I’m not going to go there?” Given the enormous damage that Trump is doing to the entire Republican brand as his headlong descent into straight-up hate speech and demagoguery rolls on, Coffman’s non-response to these questions is absolutely stunning. We’re inclined to agree with Coffman that Trump is unlikely to win the Republican nomination, though he is already positioning himself to run as an independent in that event. But if anything, that should make Coffman more willing to call out Trump, not less.
So what the hell is going on? Honestly, we’re not completely sure. It may be that Coffman is looking at polling numbers that say he cannot go against Trump publicly for fear of losing votes he must retain to keep his seat. It may be that Coffman authentically likes Trump, or something that he has said–though you’re not going to hear that publicly. Given Coffman’s silence on the matter, it may be that Coffman actually agrees with Trump.
Whatever the reasons, we have to think that Coffman failing after repeated chances now to denounce Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric is going to damage him significantly in swing CD-6. Just wait until voters in the district are reminded how Coffman can’t bring himself to do what so many other Republicans are not just willing, but desperate to do.
Unfortunately for Coffman, Trump is making himself the focus of every political discussion. And there’s no escape.