Cory Gardner campaign downplays Steve King stop, event cancellation over race comments

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Rep. Steve King appeared at a 9.12 Project event over the weekend -- but not at a planned fundraiser for Cory Gardner, who canceled after King played the race card in comments about Barack Obama. What's Gardner's campaign got to say about the accusations of political correctness and timidity that followed? As little as possible.

As the Denver Post notes in the piece linked above, King said Obama "favors the black person" and suggested that Attorney General Eric Holder sees "white people in America" as "cowards when it comes to race" during a recent radio interview.

Shortly thereafter, Gardner canceled King's appearance, as did the Northern Colorado Tea Party, which had invited the Iowa congressman to palaver at a separate bash.

That prompted King to tell Fox News Gardner had "simply caved in at the first sign of friction." And the Post quoted Nancy Rumsfelt, a 9.12 Project member who helped organize the event in Monument at which King spoke on Saturday, as saying that organizations like Media Matters, which broke the news about King's remarks, shouldn't be allowed "to intimidate us... We should allow the conversation to happen even if people don't agree with what we're saying."

Such shots don't do Gardner any good. But Chris Hansen, his campaign manager, declines to refute the implication that his guy allowed the liberal press to manipulate him. "The only public response we've had is that Cory didn't agree with the comments, so we canceled the event," Hansen says.

The underlying message: Gardner wants his opponents, as well as potential conservative supporters who don't like the idea of him kowtowing to progressives, to forget that he had any connection to the King controversy. And he hopes that laying low now will produce future amnesia about the subject.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.