Former Democratic Representative Joe Rice 

Congressman Cory Gardner announced that President Obama asked Speaker John Boehner to be at the White House this morning to discuss Syria. So Boehner wasn’t at the Coffman fundraiser.

But the crowd heard plenty on policy and politics at the Brown Palace at 7:30 am today.

One of the guests introduced by the Congressman was former Democratic State Rep. Joe Rice. After the event, Rice characterized the Congressional race as between two good men and noting that he respected Mike Coffman tremendously.

Mike Coffman was asked about his position on Syria.

He discussed Islamic factionalism that began shortly after Mohammed’s death in 632. Our national policy must recognize those warring factions’ long history, Coffman explained, in order to create realistic diplomacy and defense policies.

Military options for Syria, Coffman explained, were limited because the President had announced an impending attack but gave Syria’s al-Assad time to move key material and hide it. “Bombing empty buildings” and “moving some sand” wouldn’t modify a dictator’s behavior … as we found with Saddam Hussein. Given this and the complex situation in Syria (where many Arab factions are engaged), he stated he had not decided how he’d vote on a military campaign against Syria.

Gardner pointed that in 2010 Coffman helped him and Congressman Scott Tipton. “Without Mike Coffman, we wouldn’t be in Congress,” Gardner declared, “and I’m doing everything I can to see Mike is #1 on our list of incumbents to protect.”

(Note: Subsequent to the posting of this story, our columnist Dave Diepenbrock learned additional details from Joe Rice.  Rice has made personal contributions to both Coffman and Romanoff.  We have adjusted our headline)