I’ve never considered TV political debates very useful for voters. This year was different.
If you haven’t watched recent debates between Sen. Cory Gardner and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, you missed opportunities to see these candidates for who they truly are.
For Gardner, his awkward moment of truth came Tuesday night when asked by 9News anchor Kyle Clark, “Do you believe that President Trump is a moral and ethical man?”
Besides Trump, no one can realistically believe he is. Ethical and moral people don’t lie, every day, usually many times in a day. Ethical and moral people don’t try to blackmail other foreign leaders for personal political gain. Moral people don’t brag about sex assaults. They don’t cheat on their wives and taxes. They don’t wink at white supremacists. Upstanding guys don’t pay porn stars for sex and then throw hush money at them. They don’t slur women for being women or make fun of war heroes and disabled people.
“Yes,” Gardner said about Trump’s moral compass. He said it lightning fast. Then he threw in, just as fast, “I wish he could be more specific in his communications with the American people.”
More specific? If Trump is anything, he’s incredibly detailed and forthright about his own corruption. He’s just a crappy liar.
Right there is Reason No. 1 why Gardner has no business to continue to represent anyone but Trump and himself in the U.S. Senate.
If Gardner was being honest on Tuesday, telling all of Colorado that Trump behaves ethically in anything he does as president or in his personal life, then Gardner is either a stooge or as daft as Trump about how naive the American public is.
Even Trump’s supporters acknowledge that he is a repugnant, genital-grabbing jerk, but they like that he’s willing to throw immigrants out of the country, protect the Confederate flag and talk trash about Nancy Pelosi.
If Colorado’s junior senator was just shooting from the lip on Tuesday to keep Trump from assassinating Gardner’s political career from the Presidential Twitter account later that night, then he’s just as unscrupulous and callow as Trump.
Colorado voters aren’t that gullible.
In that moment, Gardener’s entire six-year, non-partisan sham collapsed. Years of double-talk about “standing up to my party when my party is wrong,” became his political death warrant.
Defending Trump as “ethical and moral” only made Gardner’s new argument against his own hypocrisy about not appointing Supreme Court Justices in election years as compelling as Trump’s excuse for not revealing his taxes.
Gardner’s signature rapid-jabber, trying to talk around the corrupt elephant in the room, became nothing but a desperate stammer.
It certainly wasn’t expected.
From the beginning, Hickenlooper was expected to, at best, somehow make it through the slugfests with Gardner. Back when Hickenlooper was waiting for the Democratic Primary coronation in June, camp Andrew Romanoff went further than that. Democratic Hickenlooper opponents predicted the former governor would lose the election to Gardner over his performance in the debates.
Gardner has for years been lauded as a stellar debater. Maybe. He’s certainly a fast talker and quick on his feet. So are auctioneers.
Gardner’s problem, like Trump’s, is that they believe their own line of crap. They think you do, too. Gardner really does believe that he’s “the most bi-partisan” guy in the Senate. He really believes that he has worked hard to protect the Colorado environment. He sleeps at night thinking that he’s held Trump accountable for mishandling the pandemic, abusing immigrants and refugees, lying about, almost everything, wasting billions on a useless border wall, ignoring the global warming crisis, and the catalogue of lunacy that will become the Trump Presidential Library.
The truth caught up with Gardner Monday. He exposed himself as the fraud he really is by having to answer simple questions and by Hicknelooper’s plain talk.
“Just because you pass one environmental bill, it doesn’t make you an environmentalist,” Hickenlooper said plainly.
Hick’s answer to the question of Trump’s integrity?
And that wraps up the case for Gardner.
Just because he says he represents Colorado, it doesn’t mean that most of what he’s done is representative of what Colorado residents want. Colorado never wanted this and certainly not now.
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