"Our endorsement of Cory Gardner was a mistake" is not the kind of headline a senator wants to see from his state’s largest newspaper. But that’s what the Denver Post wrote in response to Gardner’s vote to protect Donald Trump’s national emergency. Not just a headline, either: an entire editorial, each sentence more brutal than the last.
“We believed he’d be a statesman,” the Post writes, but “We see now that was a mistake.” And:
Gardner has been too busy walking a political tight rope to be a leader. He has become precisely what we said in our endorsement he would not be: “a political time-server interested only in professional security.”
This is not a case of a newspaper yanking an endorsement over one disagreement, the editorial makes clear, noting that “we’ve been critical of Gardner but stuck by him through tough but defensible votes.” But “these are extraordinary times” and “Put simply this is a constitutional crisis and one of Colorado’s two senators has failed the test.”
It’s a test that other Republicans passed, the editorial points out, citing Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s vote and his justification for it. And Gardner’s vote to protect Trump’s national emergency came after he said things such as “I don’t think the wall is the best idea” multiple times. In the end, “We no longer know what principles guide the senator and regret giving him our support in a close race against Mark Udall.”
The newspaper will have another chance to get it right in 2020.