CO-Sen: Denver Post, “Our endorsement of Cory Gardner (R) was a mistake”

When you Google search U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R. CO), this piece from The Denver Post is the top search result:

We endorsed Sen. Cory Gardner in 2014 because we believed he’d be a statesman. We knew he’d be a conservative voice in Congress, to be certain, but we thought his voice would bring “fresh leadership, energy and ideas.”

We see now that was a mistake – consider this our resolution of disapproval.

Gardner has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader. He has become precisely what we said in our endorsement he would not be: “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”

Gardner was not among the 12 Republicans who joined Democrats in rejecting President Donald Trump’s use of a national emergency declaration to allocate funds to a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

We fully expect to disagree with our lawmakers from time to time — in fact we’ve been critical of Gardner but stuck by him through tough but defensible votes including the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

But these are extraordinary times. This is a bogus emergency that takes executive over-reach to an extreme not seen even under President Barack Obama. Trump’s declaration is an abuse of his power, a direct overturning of Congress’ deliberate decision to pass a federal budget without funding for a wall.

Put simply this is a constitutional crisis and one of Colorado’s two senators has failed the test.

The Denver Post also acknowledges its impact in endorsing Gardner in a tight race against then U.S. Senator Mark Udall (D. CO). The newspaper absolutely deserved the criticism and scrutiny for making the wrong choice but I applaud them for acknowledging they made a terrible call.

Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, the field to take on Gardner is about to get bigger:

John Walsh, Colorado’s former U.S. attorney, has stepped down from his job at a high-powered Denver law firm to explore joining the closely-watched race to unseat Republican Cory Gardner.

“I hope to make a decision on a Senate run by the end of April,” Walsh said in a statement to The Colorado Sun. “It’s never been more important to have a senator who has the strength to stand up to Donald Trump and who fights every day for Colorado’s progressive values.  That’s clearly not Cory Gardner.”

Walsh, a Democrat appointed by President Barack Obama, served six years as the top federal law enforcement official Colorado before leaving that post in 2016 to return to private practice. He was replaced in the interim by Bob Troyer before President Donald Trump tapped Jason Dunn to permanently hold the job. 

Walsh worked at the WilmerHale law firm in Denver starting in 2017, where he led a team that handled criminal and complex civil litigation. The firm’s co-managing partners announced his departure Monday.

During his stint as U.S. attorney, Walsh oversaw the federal law enforcement response to the 2012 Aurora theater shooting and 2015 attack on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. 

And we’re waiting to see what he does:

— Crack the door a little bit for Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.). Earlier this month, he told The Denver Post that “I’m not going to worry about any of that [Senate] stuff for some time.” But Ashley Verville, his director of communications, emailed Score on Tuesday to clarify he hasn’t ruled out challenging Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.): “All options are on the table but that Perlmutter will not be making a decision anytime soon.”

We already have some top-notch candidates and I encourage you to donate and get involved with these Democrats campaigns.

Andrew Romanoff

Mike Johnston

Lorena Garcia

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