Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet wants President Joe Biden to steer clear of Colorado until after November’s mid-term election. The Washington Free Beacon reports on Bennet’s “snub of Biden” as “part of his campaign’s broader strategy of countering the impression that he is a Washington, D.C., insider.”
Discouraging a Biden visit, Bennet recently said the president “doesn’t need to come here.”
That’s a wise strategy, but Coloradans should not forget the past two years.
The polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight reports Bennet has voted with the president 98.1% since 2021. That puts Bennet among the most partisan members of Congress, blindly voting for the left-wing agenda more than New York activist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — only 94.2% compliant with Biden’s agenda.
Representing a traditional swing state, we hoped Bennet would serve during the Biden years as a moderating force to be reckoned with. We hoped he would make Biden a better president by challenging him on policies that don’t represent the best interests of Colorado or the country.
Bennet could have and should have been more of a free agent, leading with the level of state allegiance shown by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema, D-Arizona.
If Bennet had led more for Colorado during 13 years in office, we might not have some of the country’s highest crime rates — including car thefts, rapes and bank robberies. We might not be losing so many children and young adults to drugs.
Colorado’s crime problem relates directly to our drug problem and that relates directly to our country’s porous border. Mexican cartels ship massive amounts of fentanyl across our southern border and drug-friendly Colorado has become a major destination for dealers.
Bennet has declined to demand better border enforcement — which he could done by negotiating with Biden. Even worse, he has countered efforts to control border crossings. His website calls the border wall “medieval,” yet he leads no crusade for a better solution.
As Colorado contends with a litany of drug-related problems — from crime, to broken marriages, to employee shortages to the overdose crisis — Bennet boasts of floating the most permissive marijuana bill in the history of Congress.
Bennet’s lost connection with Colorado became clear in 2019, when he ran for president and failed to achieve 1% support at home.
Nothing screamed Washington insider more than Bennet’s first campaign ad back in July.
“I’m fighting to ban members of Congress from ever becoming lobbyists… I’m not taking a dime in corporate PAC money… I’m working to stop senators and congressmen from making personal stock trades,” Bennet declares in the ad.
We never hear from Coloradans expressing concern about these inside-the-Capitol concerns. Instead, Coloradans worry about soaring utility rates, inflation, crime, drugs and schools that fail their children.
Maybe that’s why moderate-Republican senatorial nominee Joe O’Dea has a shot at unseating Bennet. The adopted son of a revered Denver cop, O’Dea expresses more concern for Colorado’s growing demographic of crime victims than for the convicts who harm them.
“His (Bennet’s) Republican opponent, first-time candidate Joe O’Dea, is running a strikingly different campaign than many other GOP Senate candidates around the country,” notes a Colorado Public Radio report. “He’s emphasizing his moderate credentials, which include support for legal abortion up to 20 weeks and his desire for someone other than Donald Trump as his party’s presidential nominee in 2024.”
“The Cook Political Report recently shifted the contest from ‘Likely Democrat’ to ‘Lean Democrat.’ The Republican is threatening to make a race of it,” explains The New York Times under the headline “A Surprise Senate Race Rises Out West.”
A recent report by CNN has the Colorado Senate race among the “10 Senate seats most likely to flip.”
Colorado has significant problems, and most have developed under 13 years of Bennet service. If he wants another term, he must convince voters he’s ready to put our state ahead of a party increasingly controlled by left-wing extremists. He needs a plan to curtail our troubling trends of inflation, rising crime, drug deaths and dropping test scores among poor and minority children. If he doesn’t have a viable plan, voters will replace him.
Before voting in November, Coloradans need to grill both candidates and demand good answers. Take political parties out of the equation and ask which candidate would improve Colorado.
(c)2022 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
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