Politics

Cory Gardner’s Most Evasive Answers Ever, Ranked

Activists posted missing-person fliers looking for the Republican from Yuma.
Activists posted missing-person fliers looking for the Republican from Yuma. Chase Woodruff
In a 2014 campaign ad that Colorado voters are probably going to be seeing a lot of over the next year or so, then-Representative Cory Gardner looked into the camera and made a simple promise: “When my party’s wrong, I’ll say it.”

Five years later, one of two things is true: Either Gardner has broken his promise, or his party hasn't been wrong very often.

Weeks after the ad aired, Gardner narrowly defeated Democratic Senator Mark Udall, thanks in large part to its message and others like it — from a since-rescinded Denver Post endorsement to a glowing profile in The Atlantic that assured readers he was “Not That Kind of Republican.” Since then, however, the Republican from Yuma has faced constant criticism from Democrats and left-leaning activists over avoiding questions from constituents and the press, especially following the election of President Donald Trump in 2016.

Gardner now faces an uphill battle for re-election in a state that Trump lost by five points; he’ll need plenty of votes from Democrats and independents to win, but he can’t afford to alienate Colorado Republicans who overwhelmingly support the president. And he’ll have to walk perhaps his toughest tightrope yet as congressional Democrats launch a formal impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump attempted to coerce a foreign government to interfere in the 2020 election.

But it’s not like Gardner hasn’t had plenty of practice at threading this particular needle — over and over again throughout Trump's presidency, he’s displayed a virtuosic talent for appearing to answer questions while not really saying much at all. As a new phase of impeachment-related evasion begins, here are five of his greatest hits.

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Chase Woodruff is a staff writer at Westword interested in climate change, the environment and money in politics.
Contact: Chase Woodruff

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