U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) blamed Trump today for Coffman’s election loss last week, just as Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner jumped on the radio to credit the president for GOP wins in key senate races.
Coffman told Vox today:
“I believe, quite frankly, that the president had a strategy of focusing on the Senate at the expense of the House,” [Coffman] said. “That the map had it where that there were red states that Trump carried that had competitive Senate races and what he did was made the midterm a national election and about him….”
“The president’s tone is polarizing,” Coffman said. “It was very difficult to try and make the case, particularly to suburban, college-educated women who were so upset with the president, to vote for me when they felt there needed to be a greater check on President Trump…”
Coffman says he doesn’t see Republicans regaining any territory in the House.
“Good. Luck,” he said, laughing.
Contrast Coffman’s dark view of Trump with Gardner’s sunbeam comments about the president working his tail off for winning GOP senate candidates:
“We bucked history,” Gardner said on KNUS’ Caplis and Kafer Show last week, repeating his previous assertion that “I don’t think it was a blue wave” in Colorado. “…So, you know, the keeping of the majority in the midterm, I think, is historic. And President Trump went out and worked his tail off in a lot of these states.
“And so I think those are the two key takeaways, how President Trump did more than I think any other president has done for elections and getting these candidates elected, and how we were able to defy history….”
“So, look, I look forward to continuing our work together.” Gardner told Steffan Tubbs on KNUS yesterday, referring to Trump. “And I’d like to see the President come to Colorado. I’d like to see my colleagues want to see him be successful. Let’s talk about the good things we’ve done in Colorado. Let’s show him the good things we’ve done in Colorado. I hope that everybody is engaged in wanting us to have a successful president.
The Coffman-Gardner contrast on Trump underscores again that Republicans have nowhere to turn, with Trump’s unhinged media presence so overwhelming and his popularity so low among so many different types of voters in states like Colorado.
Embrace him? Trash him? Do both? None of those approaches will win over enough voters for a GOP candidate to compete in Colorado, at least as things stand today, based on what happened last Tuesday.