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Gardner burned by hometown paper for upholding Trump’s emergency declaration

The Denver Post’s 2014 endorsement of Gardner was viewed as a boon to the candidate

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., was the target of a scathing editorial in The Denver Post on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., was the target of a scathing editorial in The Denver Post on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Denver Post ripped Sen. Cory Gardner’s Thursday decision to side with President Donald Trump on his national emergency declaration, calling the lawmaker “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”

“Our endorsement of Cory Gardner was a mistake,” reads the headline of the Denver Post’s biting editorial published Thursday night. “Thursday’s vote was the last straw.”

The piece characterized the Colorado Republican’s vote as an abdication of his responsibility to prevent the circumvention of congressional spending authority and end a constitutional crisis. Gardner stressed that the vote addressed an urgent need for a wall to curb the “crisis” of immigration at the border.

Gardner’s vote contradicts skepticism he has expressed in the past about the utility of a southern border wall.

In its 2014 endorsement, The Denver Post lauded Gardner as an energetic moderate, citing what the paper described as his “restraint” toward military spending. The editorial board cheered the Yuma Republican, saying the Senate “needs fresh leadership, energy and ideas, and Cory Gardner can help provide them in the U.S. Senate.”

The most recent editorial states that optimism is no longer warranted.

“There is a crisis at the border,” Gardner said in a statement after his party-line vote.

The senator insisted that suspending the authority of Congress to dole out federal tax dollars was urgently needed in order to unlock billions in funding for a border wall. 

That is a diversion from Gardner’s previous position, the paper pointed out. In 2017, he stated, “I believe we have to have border security, but I do think billions of dollars on a wall is not the right way to proceed.” 

Several military construction projects at Colorado’s Fort Carson could disappear or be delayed under the national emergency declaration. But a Gardner spokeswoman told Denver7 News that the senator received private assurances from the White House that the $110 million in funds slated for Fort Carson from this fiscal year would not be cut.

Gardner is one of only two Republicans up for re-election next year in states that Hillary Clinton carried in 2016. (The other is Maine’s Susan Collins, who backed the termination resolution.) 

Gardner unseated Democrat Mark Udall by 2 points in 2014. Inside Elections rates his bid for a second term a Toss-up

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