President Donald Trump and his Senate Republican allies may be crowing over his acquittal, but several Republican senators who are up for re-election this year only shot themselves in the foot, including Senator Cory Gardner (R-Co.).
Gardner had been expected to be one of the few Republicans who would vote in favor of witness testimony along with Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). In the end, however, all three turned their backs on justice and the American people by voting to block witnesses and voted to acquit Trump on Wednesday.
Now, these senators must face the wrath of their constituents in November, and it’s already not looking good for Gardner as The Denver Post published a scathing rebuke of his allegiance to Trump while calling for the state to replace him with someone better.
“U.S. Senator Cory Gardner either thinks it’s OK for a president to pressure a foreign government to investigate a U.S. citizen for personal and political gain or he’s too afraid to criticize this president for doing just that,” the Post began. “We’re not sure which is worse.”
“Gardner needs to work up a little courage, search his soul and answer the question that this impeachment was really about,” the newspaper continued. “Let’s say a jury has just sat through days of evidence in a trial for a man who is accused of walking into a bank and demanding money. If a juror insists the man is innocent but refuses to even talk about the charge of robbery because he says ‘that is not what the trial was about,’ it’d be hard to move forward.”
The paper then pointed out Gardner’s hypocrisy and failure to do his job.
Gardner’s job is to take tough positions. He sits on the Senate Committee for Foreign Relations for heaven’s sake, and for several years, Gardner has made combating Russian aggressions a cornerstone of his agenda, including pushing back on Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the superpower’s ongoing war with Ukraine. Of the lawmakers in Congress, Gardner is more qualified than all but a handful to have an opinion on whether what the president did was in the best interests of the U.S. or if it was a dangerous precedent for the president to set as he twisted foreign policy to work for his re-election campaign instead of the nation.
The Denver Post then called him out for lying and set the stage for an endorsement of his Democratic opponent in the 2020 Election.
“Gardner once said he would stand up to his own party,” the paper noted. “Turns out he won’t even be critical of the actions of a member of his own party. He must believe what Trump did was fine. Why won’t he just say that?”
“Coloradans deserve a senator who will be straightforward and honest with them. Coloradans deserve a senator with a track record of bipartisanship,” the Post concluded. “Coloradans deserve a senator who will call out things that are wrong and work to correct them. Coloradans deserve better than Cory Gardner.”
Gardner faces a tough Senate race this year in a state that Trump lost in 2016. Among his possible Democratic opponents are popular former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff. Either of these candidates would imperil Gardner’s political career. But in the end, Gardner made things easier for them by committing political suicide on the Senate floor.
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