On conservative talk radio yesterday, U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) defended his invitation to newly elected Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama to caucus with the senate Republicans, predicting Jones will “vote Republican more often than not on big issues.”

Gardner, who leads the GOP senate committee charged with making sure Republicans are elected to the U.S. Senate, was ridiculed on national TV after he suggested that Jones “do the right thing and truly represent Alabama by choosing to vote with the Senate Republican Majority.”

Asked about the comment on KNUS’ Dan Caplis show Tuesday (hour 3), Gardner said:

If you look at a state like Alabama, where it is a significantly vast-percentage conservative state, then [Jones] is going to vote Republican more often than not on big issues. And if he’s representing Alabama, that’s what will happen. So I think the left may not like it. The mainstream media may not like it, but Alabama, like I said, is not California. It’s not New York. It’s Alabama. If he’s going to represent that state, then he has to be somebody in the line of Richard Shelby, Jeff Sessions to do that job.

Jones has indicated his willingness to work with Republicans, but if Jones were to do as Gardner predicts, he would be deviating from stances he’s taken throughout his career and during his recent campaign against credibly-accused child molester Roy Moore.

Earlier this week, when Gardner said Jones would vote with Republicans, KHOW 630-AM conservative host Ross Kaminsky responded with, “I’m glad you think that, but he won’t.”

Gardner promised Kaminsky he’d continue to get involved in GOP primaries to stop “bad candidates.”

Anil Mathai, GOP chair in Adams County, was even more direct on the radio last week, rhetorically asking Gardner, “Are you on crack cocaine?” for suggesting that Alabama Democrat Doug Jones vote with Republicans.

Asked by Kaminsky yesterday if he thought political parties “aren’t doing themselves any favors by getting involved in primaries,” Gardner said:

Gardner: “What I thought was important was that I stand up for values that we hold, and that’s something I am going to continue to do. .. And so I hope, going forward, we can look at stopping the bad candidates who may get access to office and get behind conservative credentials who can win, who we can be proud of, who can grow this Republican majority.” Listen here at 6:40.

Such statements infuriate many GOP base voters, who don’t want establishment Republicans, like Gardner, spending money to stop candidates backed by grassroots GOP campaigns.