Gardner’s Big Day Off To Very Rough Start

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: 9NEWS has from the final town hall in Lakewood:


UPDATE: Round 2 live now from Greeley via KDVR:


KRDO-TV reporting from the first of three public town halls going on today held by Sen. Cory Gardner at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs early this morning–where the short notice and crack-of-dawn start did not hold back a rowdy capacity crowd:

It was a rowdy crowd at Senator Cory Gardner’s town hall in Colorado Springs on Tuesday morning.

The Senator held a question and answer forum at the Pikes Peak Community College.

He addressed hot topics such as health care, the conflict with North Korea, and the controversial rally in Virginia over the weekend.

When the discussion of health care was first raised, Sen. Gardner was met with boos from the majority of the crowd…

Despite desperate pleas from El Paso County Republicans for Gardner supporters to turn out in force for this town hall, the crowd was overwhelmingly composed of residents upset about Gardner’s position on health care and his support for the Trump administration in general. But as the Denver Post’s Jesse Paul reports, the crowd did back up Gardner with applause on a few items on which there was agreement:

Cory Gardner kicked off his day of three solo, in-person town halls across the state — his first such events in more than a year — by reiterating his disgust of white nationalist groups and their violent actions over the weekend in Virginia.

“I think it’s about time asses with Nazi flags go back to their hole,” Gardner said Tuesday to a round of applause.

But the support pretty much ended there.

Gardner won himself a few legitimate plaudits from the crowd for his pushback against President Donald Trump’s tepid condemnation of the violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia over the weekend. Unfortunately, Gardner completely undid that goodwill in a fumbled response to a question from Tom Sullivan, former state senate candidate and father of an Aurora theater shooting victim:

After thanking Gardner for calling out Trump, Sullivan requested what he saw as the next logical step–for Gardner to ask Trump to fire Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, and Sebastian Gorka, three senior Trump administration officials who have been accused of white nationalist proclivities. Several House caucuses representing minority groups in Congress have asked for this as well, saying “Americans deserve to know that white nationalists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis are not in a position to influence U.S. policy.” The clip above of Gardner’s flat refusal to even consider this seriously undermines the goodwill he earned over the weekend.

Overall this was a very difficult outing for Gardner, as he surely expected–after all, that’s why he has avoided unscripted engagement with his constituents for Trump’s entire presidency up to now. The video circulating today of Gardner getting pummeled by constituents, and inability to provide mollifying answers on the hard questions is part of the permanent record now. Yes, it was better for Gardner to take his lumps than to hide all the way through the August recess. But given the further harm Gardner’s responses today are likely to do to his image, it was always a choice between the lesser of two evils.

We’ll update from Gardner’s next two pummelings town halls in Greeley and Lakewood later today.

11 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    As they say, timing is everything! . . . 

    . . . Since Corwardly Poser announced these town-halls, if it hadn't been for those alt-right goons – Trump included (but why be redundant?) – Gardner wouldn't have had any applause lines.

    (Although I do have to give him some small props for his vocal condemnation of the patently obvious, to which so many in his party have only responded mutedly . . .

    . . . Senator Gardner did say the right things, and he did so, appropriately, sooner rather than later . . .

    . . . one hand clapping for our Senator.)

  2. MichaelBowman says:

    This has been up for almost two hours and we haven't yet coaxed Moddy out of Grammy's basement for a "we desperately need a win" post?!? 

    • Moderatus says:

      I don't have to say anything. The disgusting disruption and disrespect from the left in these town halls is doing my work for me. How can you be proud of your side bullying and shouting down their Senator like this? It's a disgrace to all of Colorado.

      • Conserv. Head Banger says:

        So, Moderatus, are you proud of your alt-right boys in Charlottesville a few days ago?

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        Admittedly, he probably does get a better reception from his Koch constituents . . . 

        . . . maybe there's some explanation for Colorado voters not treating the Senator quite as well as his Kansas employers???

        (Btw, on the subject of “[your] work,” and since you’re not busy saying anything today, are you still “working” on coming up with that citation for your ridiculous lie, just yesterday, about Senator Bennett and $2,500/month?

        You’re not?


      • spaceman65 says:

        I don't have anything to say other than Gardner's being hoisted with his own petard.  He's pissed off his constituents and they are rightfully taking him to task.  The disgrace here is a senator who doesn't give a flying rat's ass about his constituents.  And people like you, Moddy, who lick his undeserving boots

      • unnamed says:

        Hey Moldy.  Were any of these people carrying tiki torches and nazi/confederate/kkk regalia?  Was anybody killed?  Why were you not saying what you just said and more after Charlottesville?  Like Gardner did and I applaud him for.  Is a contentious townhall more disgraceful than a white supremacist running over people with his car?


        Are you going to answer Dio's question?


      • MichaelBowman says:

        After his 60+ proud votes in the lower chamber and then standing with a minority of Senators to gut health care for the least amongst us, I'd say his receptions today were tame, especially when you compare them to what Betsy Markey had to endure with the Tea Party ruffigans back in the day.

        You could say he's gotten off easy.

        Crawl back under Grammy's bed. Your work here is done for today. 

  3. DaftPunk says:

    His day got a whole lot better ~3PM EST. Who's going to know about any of this except those who were there?

    • FrankUnderwood says:

      Oh yes, the Grand Finale at Imam John Andrews' madrasa, Colorado Christian University, was well worth the price of admission.

      Like Rodney Dangerfield, poor Cory gets no respect. Especially after he so courageously denounced the neo-nazis and the white supremacy groups this past weekend. Only in the modern GOP is denouncing nazis and white supremacists considered to be courageous.


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