The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins, Colorado’s freshman Sen. Cory Gardner goes unscripted on the stump in New Hampshire for Marco Rubio:
As a fresh-faced conservative on the rise in his party, Gardner has been introducing himself to audiences in early primary states where attendees might not know much about the young pol from Yuma, Colorado.
So he has an ice breaker.
“I introduce myself most of the time by saying, ‘Hi, I’m Cory Gardner from the great state of Colorado, home of the Rocky Mountains — and Hillary Clinton’s private email server,” he told an audience at a restaurant in South Carolina recently, adding that perhaps that’s what his state is known for.
Hutchins notes correctly that, talk radio apocrypha notwithstanding, Hillary Clinton’s “private email server” was never located in Colorado. We’re pretty sure that former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s private email server wasn’t in Denver either, or the private servers used by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s top employees, or the private email server extensively used by Bush White House employees, or…you get the idea. It’s both wrong and kind of stupid.
But that wasn’t Gardner’s real punchline anyway:
The U.S. Senator from Colorado continued:
“You know, they’re trying to move Guantanamo Bay detainees to Colorado where we have a Supermax prison, and I said, ‘You know what, with what’s happening I don’t want to keep them in Supermax, because we need to make room for Hillary.’” [Pols emphasis]
Okay then! So it wasn’t the “pipeline of terror from Kabul to Colorado” Gardner was worried about after all.
Of course everyone knows he’s joking, right? Except for the fact that many Republicans are not joking when they say these things, and a lot of rank-and-file Republican voters really believe it. In that context it’s not a joke at all, at least not all that funny. As a Rubio surrogate on the campaign trail, this wisecrack reflects on Rubio’s campaign as much as Gardner personally.
For those of us who follow Gardner, it’s another reminder that under that beatific smile a much less congenial politician is lurking.