Moderators from 9News made certain the final debate for U.S. Senate candidates Tuesday was more about the reporters’ cynical game of gotcha questions than actual substance for voters to make informed decisions.

We can’t recall a single question of unbiased substance from the moderators. 

Most questions were framed to elicit guilty answers from the candidates as in the proverbial question, “Are you still beating your wife?”

All of the questions were loaded to make the candidates look bad. 

The tactic didn’t work with U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, who is sharp as a tack, has a strong record as a lawmaker and wielded it like a sword.

Hickenlooper, bless his heart, stumbled and mumbled. He rambled in failed attempts to make sense while the moderators pretended not to notice the deer in their headlights.

Hickenlooper got lost faster than socks in the laundry. We can’t believe Gardner is losing to this guy in the polls. 

Joe Biden is more lucid than Hickenlooper, who basically answered every question with a childish, nervous giggle before declaring he will fix all that’s wrong by doing the thing with the stuff that works because he’s a geologist who likes beer.

Hickenlooper’s go-to defense was to blame Gardner for being negative and whining that Gardner was mean to him by making him answer questions like some sort of candidate for office.

Gardner is mean to me, that was Hickenlooper’s opening and closing argument, the take-away bumper sticker from the whole charade.

Like when Gardner pointed out Hickenlooper refuses to answer whether he will back Democrats’ plan to do away with the Senate filibuster so they can make Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. states and then add a 10th, 11th, or 12th, judge to the Supreme Court — however many it take to turn the legislative bench into a defacto government for Democrats.

Not surprising, moderators didn’t care Hickenlooper failed to answer questions. 

Anchor Kyle Clark and political reporter Marshall Zelinger were so intent on tearing down Gardner, they declared at the onset they would not address Gardner by his elected and proper title of senator, lest being a senator give Senator Gardner an edge in being senator.

You know, that job Hickenlooper has said repeatedly he doesn’t really want, which comes with a six-year term. 

For those keeping score at home, Gardner was the only person to mention the Saturday rally shooting and the armed security guard hired by KUSA who faces first degree murder charges.

The response on that from Hickenlooper, the moderators, reporters from other media outlets present, KUSA staff and the media’s security guards waiting in the wings — crickets.