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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Littwin: Don’t try this at home, but imagine if Cory Gardner actually held a town hall

Littwin: Don’t try this at home, but imagine if Cory Gardner actually held a town hall

Imagine if Cory Gardner were to hold a town hall meeting with actual constituents during the July 4th recess. You’ll have to imagine, of course, because it won’t happen.

What’s much easier to imagine, though, is why Gardner has decided he can’t afford to face the voters. Certainly not now. He was more likely to publicly address the ADAPT disability-rights activists — who were dragged away by the cops after spending two nights at his office — than he is hundreds of citizens in a high school gym.

Because, let’s be honest, what would he possibly say? (If you were there for the Cardboard Cory town hall, you’d understand.)

We’d start with Donald Trump’s latest misogynistic Twitter attack on Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski, her (maybe fake news) bleeding face lift, her crazy low IQ. How could Gardner explain why all he could come up with in response was a less-than-outraged press statement instead of, say, demanding that Trump apologize to her, to us, to the nation, to the freaking world for disgracing the office? I’d love to hear Gardner’s  answer if someone asked whether he thought Trump’s early-morning playground taunts were more third-grade level or, I don’t know, fifth grade.

You know he’d get the question about why he seems to have changed his mind about the man Gardner once called “a candidate whose flaws are beyond mere moral shortcomings and who shows a disgust for American character and a dignity unbecoming of the presidency”? And maybe more to the point, what explanation could he give for how he could blindly vote 95 percent of the time with a president who clearly has no idea what he’s talking about and who can’t begin to defend his indefensible health care bill because he doesn’t even know what’s in it?

I mean, what would Gardner say? What could he say?

You can see the problem. And so can Gardner. Believe me.

Try to picture a voter on camera asking Gardner why he thinks a health care bill should include a huge tax cut for the rich or why that tax-cut money would be stolen from future Medicaid recipients or how he could defend, much less apparently be ready to vote for, any bill that would leave 22 million more people without healthcare coverage. I know I’d be asking what he thinks of the latest Medicaid CBO projections, from which, we just learned, Medicaid spending (on children, the working poor, the disabled, nursing home residents) would be reduced by 35 percent over the next 20 years when compared to present law.

Were Republicans hiding that Medicaid number by backloading the cuts in the bill? Gardner was on the 13-person committee writing the law, even though he claims to have played only a minor role. Still, he must have known about the hidden cuts, right?

So many questions. What did Gardner think Trump meant when he said the bill was “mean” and lacked “heart”? Did that give Gardner pause? Speaking of mean and heartless, why does Gardner apparently think it’s OK to leave states with the ability to waive the, uh, burden of ensuring that people have essential health benefits? Did he think back when he was waving his Obamacare letter that this is where he would end up — backing a cruel bill being pushed by a “moral-shortcomings” leader?

What would Gardner say if you insisted on answers? What could he say?

Gardner is a champion at dodging questions. It’s what he does best. He was elected because he would insist straight-faced that the federal personhood bill he voted for wasn’t a federal personhood bill. He was elected because the Denver Post editorial board hilariously predicted he would become a leader in bringing comity to Washington. He was elected because people mindlessly hated Obamacare, and Gardner, when jumping on the issue, never let up. Now people apparently hate Trumpcare. It would seem, if Gardner was being consistent, he would hate Trumpcare, too, now that the polls blow that way. He should ask Mike Coffman for guidance.

But as good as Gardner is at avoiding questions, facing voters as the TV cameras roll is a lot different from facing the press. It’s easy to hit back at not-so-popular reporters. It’s not so easy when regular Coloradans are asking the questions.

For myself,  I’d love to ask this question, or have a voter ask it for me: Why didn’t Gardner reveal his meeting with the murderous thug Rodrigo Duterte until he was caught smiling with Duterte in a photo-op? I might even go for snark and ask him if the rumor were true that he traveled all the way to the Philippines to meet with Duterte because he was researching leaders who had greater moral shortcomings than Trump?

Is it any wonder Gardner doesn’t want to be seen, in public anyway, with the public?

I saw a list the other day of Republican senators who could possibly vote against Trumpcare. There were something like a dozen on the list. They were seen as moderates or senators from states that Hillary Clinton carried or senators who can’t quite get on board with crushing Medicaid or right-wingers like Rand Paul who don’t think Trumpcare is quite mean enough.

One senator not on the list was Cory Gardner. Yes, he represents a moderate state that voted for Clinton. Yes, he knows full well that when he runs again in 2020 (with Trump probably heading the ticket) that he will almost certainly face a Democratic opponent ready to make healthcare a major issue.

Wouldn’t you love to know why every insider seems so certain that Gardner’s vote is such a sure thing? I wouldn’t expect an answer, but I’m trying to imagine how great it would be just to hear the question.

 

Photo by Shruti Kaul, The Colorado Independent. Tracey Randolph joins protesters against the Senate health care bill outside Sen. Cory Gardener’s Denver office on June 28, 2017.

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

3 Comments

  1. buford on said:

    Cory Gardner would not tell the truth, no matter what…He is a hypocrite right along with the rest of the gop…He is a coward, and a meat puppet of the Koch boys…

  2. JohnInDenver on said:

    Imagine asking Cory Gardner if women have the right to choose Planned Parenthood clinics as their provider for medical services.
    Imagine asking if the Republican House and Republican Senate will be able to pass a budget. Or if they will pass a clean debt ceiling resolution.

  3. Don Lopez on said:

    Elections have consequences.

    “Hiding news that doesn’t fit an ideological or a partisan agenda is perhaps the worst form of media bias. And it’s one more reason the public holds the press is such low esteem.” – Investor’s Business Daily

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – Mike Littwin

    }{

    Happy birthday, America!

    Another day, another attack on Senator Cory Gardner. In addition to being in total denial about President Trump’s election, Mr. Littwin also seems to have problems accepting that Mark Udall no longer represents Colorado in the US Senate.

    Mr. Littwin wants to know why Senator Gardner “changed his mind about (President Trump who) Gardner once called “a candidate whose flaws are beyond mere moral shortcomings and who shows a disgust for American character and a dignity unbecoming of the presidency”? “

    Yet while demanding that politicians explain their contradictions Mr. Littwin assiduously avoids explaining his own. For example, he once described former FBI Director James Comey as a man “whose reputation as a truth-teller was forever sealed when he served as deputy attorney general in the Bush administration, was the clear winner in the Hillary Clinton email story/scandal. In fact, he was pretty much the only winner.”

    Four months later he accused Comey of misfeasance and malfeasance while providing absolutely no explanation for this contradiction. None!

    Does Mr. Littwin hold politicians to a higher standard than columnists? Of course, any standard would automatically be higher than a columnist’s. And then Mr. Littwin wrote this, “(Senator Gardner) was elected because the Denver Post editorial board hilariously predicted he would become a leader in bringing comity to Washington.”

    If you want to talk about hilarious predictions here are just a few of Mr. Littwin’s:

    “( Senate Republicans plan to block any Obama Supreme Court nominee) is, let’s say, untenable. It’s also a likely Republican disaster.
    By ensuring that this appointment process becomes a political brawl, it also ensures that this appointment becomes a focal point in the 2016 presidential election as well as in U.S. Senate elections. – February, 2016

    “there is no way that fully half of Republican voters would ever support Trump. Because come on.” – February, 2016

    And look at the polls. A Washington Post/ABC News poll says 7 in 10 Americans view the Donald negatively and 56 percent view him strongly negatively. He had pulled even in the polls with Hillary Clinton — whose negatives are very high, but not nearly that high — a few weeks ago but now trails her, according to the Real Clear Politics poll of polls, by around 5 percentage points.

    (The general election) will be a referendum on Trump.” – July, 2016

    “Look, everyone knows there will never be a President Trump” – July, 2016

    “If you’ve ever wondered what a desperate Donald Trump looks like, turn on your TV. He’s there somewhere.

    Trump is getting hammered in the polls. The betting markets have him down to 14 percent. Meanwhile, media types — like me — who predicted that Trump would never even make it to a vote in Iowa are reluctant to look foolish by writing him off again, even though it seems increasingly clear that the strategy that won him the GOP nomination is the only strategy he knows and that it can’t work in a general election.” – August, 2016

    “So, here’s where we are. Trump is cratering in the polls. He has turned purple states like Colorado and Virginia into various shades of blue, even as he campaigns in ultra-blue, no-chance Connecticut.

    He can’t get attention without being outrageous. And the more outrageous he is, the more he turns off voters, particularly female voters, and even, if the polls are right, Republican and Republican-leaning women.” – August, 2016

    “Trump whose polls are cratering, whose not-likable-enough numbers are soaring, whose orange-haired popularity is only slightly higher than that of green-haired Ryan Lochte, whose PR team is probably right now putting together a sorry-if-I-caused-any-personal-pain statement. But, to Lochte’s credit, he has insulted only two nations. Trump is working on an entire planet.” – August, 2016

    “There’s a reason (Mr. Trump is) losing in the polls. There’s a reason in a season that historically should be good for Republicans that this weekend probably won’t rescue him, unless, of course, the pneumonia is more than pneumonia or unless the pneumonia is exactly that, but Clinton’s recovery takes longer than expected. Then, who knows?” – September, 2016

    “If the polls are right — and, while they’ve been wrong before, they’ve never been quite this wrong — the only remaining question in the presidential race is how badly (or, if you will, how bigly) Donald Trump will lose.” – October, 2016

    “(Mr. Trump) won’t be president. He was sliding in the polls before the video, and the video now means that he has no way to climb back. Which independent voter, which suburban woman, which Main Street Republican on the fence is going to vote for Trump now?” – October, 2016

    So, as far as Mr. Littwin calling the Denver Post editorial hilarious, well, pot meet kettle.

    November 08, 2016

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner
    Green light a Vet

    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation
    Foundational
    Veterans Day – November 11, 2017

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