The conservative machine is pushing out the message that Michael Bennet’s a threat to national security and Coloradans’ safety. Democratic brass and political strategies counter that voters won’t be convinced.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet is scary. That’s the message Colorado’s conservative machine is betting on to strip him of his seat.
“I’m running against Michael Bennet because I think he’s dangerous,” the GOP establishment’s supposed pick for its senate nomination, ex-boots-on-the-ground soldier and fresh-faced lawmaker Jon Keyser, told The Denver Post’s Mark Matthews.
Anti-establishment Republican State Sen. Tim Neville says so, too. His U.S. Senate campaign website sports a banner reading: “Dear Obama, Bennet and Hickenlooper, don’t make Denver the next Paris,” followed by another: “No compromise on your gun rights.”
Neville, who has not returned our calls, seems to imagine that if he wins, he and his supporters would be standing outside death metal concerts with automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines ready to blast radical Islamic jihadists away. Were Bennet, Obama, Hickenlooper and all the other Democratic boogeymen to have their way, as Neville tells it, the government would steal guns from the good guys paving the way for one terrorist bloodbath after another.
The Michael-Bennet-is-scary argument was laid out months in advance of Neville’s and Keyser’s election bids by conservative operatives including Jonathan Lockwood, who runs the nonpartisan free market nonprofit Advancing Colorado that specializes in hyperbolic rhetoric designed to tear down Democrats, promote corporate deregulation, gut the EPA and kill unions.
Lockwood sends out regular frenzied press releases denouncing Bennet’s vote on the Iran deal, trying to lure the public into a strategic state of panic. Here’s an example from Tuesday:
Iran has an avowed madman at the helm who has threatened to blow up Israel, blow up America and bring about world war. They have continued to burn flags, chant death to America and keep up with their march toward a nuclear weapon.
This theocratic leading state sponsor of terror has continued to exhibit bad behavior and shows little to no signs of slowing down its agenda to pursuing nuclear weapons, cash, ICBMs and their agenda of wreaking havoc on global order and security.
Coloradans’ safety has been jeopardized by Sen. Michael Bennet’s dangerous support for the Ayatollah and our lawless president’s pro-Iran policies and everything has gotten more lethal and more concerning since the series of votes taken on the disapproval resolution against the Iran deal, contrary to the promises of politicians like Bennet.
All of this raises the question voters will answer in 2016: Do Coloradans really think Colorado’s mild-mannered, carefully spoken and national security-minded senior senator is too scary to keep in office?
Not to progressives — unless by scary they mean too moderate. Some left-learning Democrats have blasted him for voting in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline and supporting free trade bills that chafe some members of that party’s base.
Democratic brass and political strategists say he has positioned himself exactly where he needs to snag re-election. As they see it, Bennet having occasionally voted against President Barack Obama will help him win elections in Colorado, even if he fails to capture support from far-right fear mongerers — and even if some voters on the far-left think he’s too middle-of-the-road. There’s no risk, they say, of Bennet’s moderate politics costing him Democrats’ practically guaranteed votes.
Photo credit: Bernard Pollack, Creative Commons, Flickr.