March 7, 2016

Michael Bennet Really Doesn’t Want To Feel The Bern

Apart from proving Michael Bennet was a completely ineffective surrogate for Hillary Clinton, the fallout from last Tuesday’s caucuses expose how out-of-touch Bennet is with Colorado voters, especially those that make up his Party base.

Both before and after Bernie Sanders’ sweeping victory, Bennet did his best to duck questions about whether he’d support the Vermont socialist as his Party’s nominee. Here he is avoiding the question from an America Rising tracker in mid-February:

And he apparently pays only slightly more attention to questions from reporters. The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch finally succeeded in getting a lukewarm response from Bennet’s staff after three weeks of concerted effort:

It took me three weeks to get any kind of answer about Sanders out of Bennet’s office. I asked the first time shortly after the state Democratic dinner, where Sanders and Clinton spoke, and got no reply until I pressed the issue again this week. This week the campaign pointed to a Feb. 2 Colorado Statesman story in which the campaign said it would support the eventual nominee.

The campaign wouldn’t put me on the phone with Bennet or give me a statement directly from the candidate. A statement from a campaign spokesman on Wednesday didn’t include Sanders’ name.

A few minutes after I pointed that out in an e-mail exchange with Andrew Zucker, the senior communications adviser for the Colorado Democratic Party who pressing the case against Republicans, Bennet’s campaign sent me an “updated” comment that added Sanders’ first name to the Wednesday statement:

Bennet’s refusal to embrace his Party’s standard-bearer in his state won’t win him accolades from grassroots Democrats he needs on his side in November, and his aloof and inaccessible campaign explain why only 30 percent of Colorado voters think Bennet deserves to be reelected.