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Opinion: Hickenlooper’s indecision could sink the Democrats’ ship in Colorado

Coloradans are waking up in each corner of the state wondering where John Hickenlooper is.

As the Colorado Springs Gazette editorialized, the former governor’s primary campaign for U.S. Senate is floundering, with little momentum. Hickenlooper may not be quite as gaffe-prone as Joe Biden, but he’s within scoring distance. 

Kristi Burton Brown

The former governor isn’t exactly in favor with many members of his own party these days.

It is thanks to Hickenlooper’s flip-flopping that Gov. Jared Polis has promised to remove Nathan Dunlap, the Chuck E. Cheese killer, from death row.

When he was governor – for eight long years – Hickenlooper just couldn’t decide what to do with Dunlap, so he refused to make a decision at all.

Indecision is precisely what Coloradans don’t need in a U.S. senator. And Hickenlooper’s tendency to indecision reared its ugly head again last week, with Democrat Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s widely covered comments against Supreme Court Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. 

While the justices were hearing oral arguments in a Louisiana abortion case, Schumer had the nerve to stand outside and call down retribution on their heads if they dared to restrict abortion in even the teeniest degree. He nearly screamed:

READ: Colorado Sun opinion columnists.

“I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You will not know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”

After Chief Justice John Roberts and others rebuked Schumer for those comments, Schumer later stated, “I should not have used the words I did. They did not come out the way I intended to.” But he stopped short of an apology, explaining, “I’m from Brooklyn. We use strong language.”

No less a liberal icon than Laurence Tribe has stepped forward to call Schumer’s comments “inexcusable” and an “implicit threat.”

John Hickenlooper should do the same. If he can’t manage to bring himself to condemn such outrageousness from the far left of his party, he has no right to tell Coloradans they can find him in the middle. And a senator who cannot speak is a senator who should not win … or even run.

While Hickenlooper can barely manage to make a relevant campaign statement these days, Sen. Gardner has been speaking and – more importantly – acting for Colorado.

Sen. Gardner has brought military and veteran funding into the state, ensured funding for desperately needed clean water in Pueblo and nearly closed the deal on bringing Space Force to Colorado. 

His most recent accomplishment was persuading the president to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

It’s these kind of Colorado-centric accomplishments that will lead Sen. Gardner to victory in November. It’s these kind of people-focused action points that speak to the unaffiliated voters and the suburban moms like myself.

And it’s the deafening silence and weak indecision of John Hickenlooper that will sink the Democrats’ ship in Colorado come November. 

Kristi Burton Brown is Vice Chairman of the Colorado State Republican Party