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March 27, 2017 11:59 AM UTC

Mike Coffman's Greatest Unforced Error Yet?

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the dust settles from the crushing failure last Friday of the GOP’s attempt to “repeal and replace” the 2010 Affordable Care Act, one thing is becoming obvious in terms of the impact on Colorado Republicans–Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, famous for skating around the margins of controversial issues to preserve himself in difficult political times, has left himself exposed in the wake of “Trumpcare’s” destruction in a most uncharacteristic way.

The Colorado Independent’s Corey Hutchins reports:

Colorado Republican Mike Coffman said early Friday that he supported the AHCA, the GOP’s plan in the U.S. House to repeal and replace Obamacare. By the afternoon, GOP leadership had pulled the bill — because of a lack of votes.

Coffman’s initial support came on a day when GOP leaders had scheduled their health care overhaul for a vote in the House — and as its supporters fought to wrangle the necessary votes.

But by 2 p.m., Republican leadership and President Donald Trump agreed to pull the bill. It was a stunning first defeat for the new president and his legislative agenda.

As the battle of the bill raged throughout the day in Washington, many eyes were on Coffman, Colorado’s fifth-term Republican congressman from Aurora, who called the GOP’s Trump-Ryancare plan “the best compromise” House Republicans could get before sending it to the Senate…

Coffman’s early decision on the quickly hatched replacement plan had him caught between a Republican president he ran against, a wealthy outside group he counted on during his campaign, and his own constituents. He represents a suburban district that wraps around the Denver suburbs and is a nearly even mix of Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters. In November, he beat his well-funded and well-known opponent, Morgan Carroll, who now chairs the state Democratic Party, by about 10 points, though Hillary Clinton carried the district.

Rep. Coffman’s path to being a “yes” on the ill-fated Trumpcare bill was not a steady one. We were surprised when Coffman declared very early during debate over the bill that he would vote for the legislation “in its current form”–just before the Congressional Budget Office delivered its estimate that some 24 million fewer people would be covered under the GOP’s bill than under the Affordable Care Act. A few days after that estimate, Coffman unceremoniously backpedaled his support just before a tele-townhall meeting with constituents. And then, as we all know, Coffman reaffirmed his support for the legislation just before it was killed on Friday afternoon.

It’s important to note that Coffman’s return to support for the bill flies in the face of the feedback he received during his so-called “listening tour,” in which he claimed to be evaluating the bill even as ads ran thanking Coffman for supporting it:

In late February, Children’s Hospital Colorado thanked Coffman for visiting and talking about Medicaid…

“We at Children’s Hospital Colorado were gravely concerned about the House bill three weeks ago, and it has gotten worse,” [Pols emphasis] she told The Colorado Independent in a statement. “By imposing drastic budget cuts to Medicaid, it would undermine coverage and care for Colorado kids, including our state’s sickest children. A yes vote by Congressman Mike Coffman would be disappointing and would cause an estimated 47,000 people in his district to lose coverage.”

And now, as the Denver Post’s Mark Matthews reports, Coffman is backpedaling again:

Only one of Colorado’s four House Republicans was on-the-record supporting the bill and even that lawmaker, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman of Aurora, said he needed a Thursday trip to the White House to cement his support.

“I was not a hard yes,” Coffman said. [Pols emphasis]

Folks, we don’t know what you’re supposed to call Coffman’s words and deeds on health care since the beginning of the year–but it’s not leadership. It can be fairly characterized as the opposite of leadership, vacillating practically by the day between support and opposition while his constituents worry–and try to figure out which of their representative’s contradictory statements to believe.

Yes, Mike Coffman is an amazing political survivor. Yes, Coffman has weathered gaffes and unforced errors that would have ended other political careers.

But no one is invincible. And this one is pretty bad.


16 thoughts on “Mike Coffman’s Greatest Unforced Error Yet?

  1. I hope pols doesn't pay in advance for all the funerals it has predicted for Congressman for Life Coffman.  Burying him every two years must be getting expensive.

    1. FWIW, I think they're pretty honest about that these days. How long can Coffman give his voters the middle finger though? It's a good question.

      1. Hey, BS, I bet on the Titanic against the iceberg — and gave the points.  I really thought Morgan would beat him.   But as to Obamacare, the resistance saved the program, so wondering how our tap dancer might have voted won't count  For much in 19 months.

  2. Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight. Celebrate while you can. Democrats own the Obamacare disaster and will have to come back to the table if they want to save face when it implodes. Time is on Trump's side….

    1. Hey Moldy.  It seems to be doing okay.  If you could site REPUTABLE sources about how Obamacare is failing and why, we're all ears. 

      Also, right about now, with REPUGNITURDS controlling all branches of Government, if things start to collapse with Obamacare now, the public is going to blame the unpopular SCROTUS, the feckless speaker and the Republican caucuses of both chambers who are showing themselves to be as inept at governing as you are at trolling.

      1. MoldyA – you rarely disappoint us with your hatriot speech.  Perhaps you missed Davie's post this this weekend on David Frum's commentary in The Atlantic

        Take heed… 

        Thoughtful insights from the Cassandra of the Right, David Frum.  We can only hope his view eventually gains a foothold in the conservative world:

        Conservatives have a crucial role to play in shaping the future American health-care system to enhance and support enterprise, innovation, individual responsibility—to resist open-ended spending, state planning, and the risk that social insurance will penalize effort and success. It’s past time to accept reality, quit promising the impossible, and do the work that a democracy that seeks both equity and efficiency should expect from its more conservative-minded thinkers and politicians.

        Whatever else the 2016 election has done, it has emancipated Republicans from one of their own worst self-inflicted blind spots. Health care may not be a human right, but the lack of universal health coverage in a wealthy democracy is a severe, unjustifiable, and unnecessary human wrong. As Americans lift this worry from their fellow citizens, they’ll discover that they have addressed some other important problems too. They’ll find that they have removed one of the most important barriers to entrepreneurship, because people with bright ideas will fear less to quit the jobs through which they get their health care. They’ll find they have improved the troubled lives of the white working class succumbing at earlier ages from preventable deaths of despair. They’ll find that they have equalized the life chances of Americans of different races. They’ll find that they have discouraged workplace discrimination against women, older Americans, the disabled, and other employees with higher expected health-care costs. They’ll find that their people become less alienated from a country that has overcome at last one of the least attractive manifestations of American exceptionalism—and joined the rest of the civilized world in ameliorating and alleviating our common human vulnerability to illness and pain.

        I take no pride or pleasure in saying “I told you so.” We’ve all been wrong about enough things to teach us humility about our rare bursts of foresight. What I would urge is that those conservatives and Republicans who were wrong about the evolution of this debate please consider why they were wrong: Consider the destructive effect of ideological conformity, of ignorance of the experience of comparable countries, and of a conservative political culture that incentivizes intransigence, radicalism, and anger over prudence, moderation, and compassion.


        1. Coffman is the very definition of ideological conformity.  It will be interesting to see if Coffman remains Trump's faithful lap poodle and goes along with every one of Trumps toupee brained ideas or if he tries to pretend he isn't an ideological conformist.  The voter gap between the white racists and POC in his district continues to skew away from his base.  Has he every really represented his constituents since redistricting?

          1. Join Coffman's Tele-town hall this Wed. March 29, and find out.

            Wednesday, March 29, 2017 – 6:00pm

            Congressman Mike Coffman would like to invite you to participate in his next upcoming Tele-Town Hall.

            To participate, simply complete the sign-up form HERE and you will receive a call the evening of Wednesday, March 29th, 2017. All you have to do is pick up the call and you will be connected to our teletown hall.

            Currently the call is schedule for 6:00pm MT time. 

            Web-Simulcast page for this event can be accessed HERE.  

  3. Mike Coffman Town Hall April 12, 2017 6-7 pm

    CU Anschutz Campus, Education Building 2 South, Aurora

    Must sign up in advance, via link on this page.

    Check-in Process:
    Please bring your ticket and picture I.D. (with matching address) to the event. Your ticket will be scanned and you will be given an armband and raffle ticket (see below) prior to being admitted to the Main Hall/Overflow Room. For security reasons, please limit your entering/exit of the hall once you have been seated. 

    Spacing Issues 
    Due to the overwhelming response to our town hall meeting from across our district and the limited capacity of the venue, we will prioritize access to the auditorium to residents of the 6th District of Colorado. Please use link above to reserve your seat to event. Additionally, there will be an overflow room (which is also ticketed) and which can be reserved at the same link.  Online registration is required for admission. 

    Questions Process 
    At check-in you will receive a raffle ticket. This ticket with its individual number, will be drawn throughout the the event for questions. Please be sure not to lose or misplace your ticket as well as listen for your number when drawn.  

    Event Details:

    • Admit 1 Constituent Guest Per Ticket
    • Matching picture I.D. w/valid address required
    • To ensure all attendees have an equal opportunity to participate without an obstructed view, no banners/signs larger than 8 1/2 x 11 are permitted
    • For safety reasons no standing in aisles, or blocking entrance/exits
    • So that everyone can participate in a constructive conversation, no yelling, shouting, or disruptive behavior. 
    • No backpacks, food & drinks or weapons of any kind are allowed
    • Purses of reasonable size are permitted. Attendees and property are subject to screening 
    • Congressman's staff & University representatives reserve right of admission
    • Registration is required for admission
    • By registering and attending this event, you are hereby agreeing to adhere to these terms and university regulations

    Press: If you are a member of the Press, please email for event credentials. Be sure to include any specific accommodations your outlet may need to cover the event. 

    I hope that some of you can go. I don't live in CD6, and I wasn't able to check into Coffman's last telephone town hall, after publicizing it. blush

    Morgan Carroll has said

    "It's a fake town hall in the sense it's screened, it's staged, it's choreographed," Morgan Carroll, chair of the state Democratic Party said.

    Carroll, who lost to Coffman last November, fears Democrats will not be given a ticket since Coffman's team could cross reference voter information with names given.

    "I believe a lot of people who want to talk to their Congressman will be screened out. I do think a good deal of them will be Democrats," Carroll said.

    Independents, Unaffiliated, and new voters, please sign up.


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