UPDATE: Gardner was on KOA radio this morning to talk about the BLM move to Colorado, but he couldn’t get away without being asked about Trump’s racist remarks. His answer was pretty awful:
HOST: What’s your take on that, and is it defensible to say things like that?
GARDNER: Well, I disagree with the President. I wouldn’t have sent this Tweet. I think he shouldn’t have done it, and I think we oughta be focused on things that are bringing this country together and moving this country forward…I wouldn’t have sent that Tweet. I just disagree with it.
“I wouldn’t have sent that Tweet.” Unreal.
The House of Representatives is preparing to hold a vote today to rebuke President Trump for his racist comments over the weekend about four Democratic Members of Congress. In the meantime, as the Washington Post reports, Trump is really digging in on his disgusting remarks:
Trump lashed out at the freshman Democrats again on Tuesday and questioned why Congress was not rebuking them instead.
“The Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said by a politician in the House or Senate, & yet they get a free pass and a big embrace from the Democrat Party,” Trump wrote on Twitter, listing several grievances about the lawmakers. “Why isn’t the House voting to rebuke the filthy and hate laced things they have said? Because they are the Radical Left, and the Democrats are afraid to take them on. Sad!”
His tweets marked the third day in a row of attacks on the lawmakers — a series that began Sunday with tweets in which the president said the four Democrats should “go back” to “the crime infested places from which they came.” Three of the lawmakers were born in the United States, and the fourth is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Somalia.
As we wrote yesterday, Colorado Republicans have been reluctant to speak out about Trump’s remarks. The Washington Post has been keeping track of Republican responses (and non-responses) to Trump’s comments; as of this morning, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Greeley) is the only member of Colorado’s congressional delegation to offer an opinion, expressing (very) mild disagreement in an interview with Fox News.
Still silent on the matter are Rep. Scott Tipton (R-Cortez), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs), and Senator Cory Gardner (R-Yuma). As Justin Wingerter of the Denver Post reports, Gardner has just been too darn busy to speak out about racism:
Sen. Gardner on KNUS:
Host: “Did you see the tweet over the weekend…from the president?”
Gardner: “We’ve been working on the BLM move and that’s basically everything we’ve been trying to get done”
H: “Short and succinct. I translate that into ‘I don’t want to talk about it'”
— Justin Wingerter (@JustinWingerter) July 15, 2019
Gardner obviously does not want to talk about any of this, either because he doesn’t disagree with President Trump or because he doesn’t want Trump to think that he disagrees. Gardner’s excuse that he has been solely focused on “the BLM move” is as silly as Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli repeatedly insisting that he didn’t have a response to Trump’s remarks because he hadn’t logged onto Twitter recently.
Gardner’s silence on Trump’s racism nevertheless speaks volumes, particularly considering that other endangered Republican Senators up for re-election in 2020 have still managed to find their voice.
Here’s Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa):
“Yeah I do [find Trump’s comments racist]. They’re American citizens. I personally think the GOP has a stronger platform to talk about. That’s what we should be focusing on.”
And Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine):
“I disagree strongly with many of the views and comments of some of the far-left members of the House Democratic Caucus – especially when it comes to their views on socialism, their anti-Semitic rhetoric, and their negative comments about law enforcement – but the President’s tweet that some Members of Congress should go back to the ‘places from which they came’ was way over the line, and he should take that down.”
Gardner’s refusal to discuss Trump’s comments reminds us of something that then-House Speaker Paul Ryan told CBS News after he was elevated to the top job: “I think you can walk and chew gum at the same time. I think you can oppose the president on some issue that you fundamentally disagree with, but also work with the other party on issues you do agree with.”
Maybe now that the BLM’s move to Colorado has been announced, Gardner can manage to turn his attention to another issue…not that we’re holding our breath or anything.