When you’re attacked by the White House and praised by Coloradans, you know you’re doing something right. That’s exactly what happened to Congressman Mike Coffman last week, after battling with VA Secretary Robert McDonald over the Aurora VA hospital boondoggle. As we have reported, the hospital is years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget.
After McDonald laughably asked Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran who served in both Iraq wars and a national leader on veterans issues, “I’ve run a large company, sir. What have you done?, the White House came to McDonald’s aid on 9News slamming Coffman as a “pretty aggressive antagonist”. The White House claimed that Coffman was just engaging in partisan politics. (Pretty sure veterans wish it was just partisan politics at play instead of gross mismanagement of their care, but we digress.)
What was more interesting (and more credible) was who came to Coffman’s aid – namely some of Colorado’s top politicos and media personalities from both sides of the aisle. Here are just a few examples:
- Patty Calhoun, the publisher of the liberal Denver Westword, did not mince words, saying Coffman “did an excellent job of schooling the new head of the VA who has not managed in his six months there to get the Denver budget anywhere near in control.” Calhoun also noted that “Coffman did Colorado proud on this.” See Calhoun on “Colorado Inside Out” here.
- 9News‘ Kyle Clark asserted on his “Balance of Power” show that the VA Secretary’s challenge was a “little problematic for the administration” considering Coffman’s stellar record of service in uniform.
- Lefty and wannabe centrist Eric Sondermann on “Colorado Inside Out” called McDonald’s snot-nosed remark “condescending and arrogant and defensive.”
- Even local Democratic talking head James Mejia acknowledged that Coffman is “really working well on this VA issue” on 9News, and Mejia and Clark agreed that Coffman’s VA reform leadership could be a “signature accomplishment” on which to launch a 2016 Senate bid.
When’s the last time local commentators had such nice things to say about Senator
Bennet “Sometimes Colorado Visitor”?