Now would be a good time for reporters to contrast post-election immigration rhetoric with real-life immigration bill

Rep. Cory Gardner said on the radio Thursday that he and other House Republicans will act like a giant fence and stop the Senate’s bipartisan immigration bill from becoming law, unless it’s changed from its current form.

Any journalists who caught the interview would have to agree that Gardner’s tough-guy tone isn’t what you’d expect to hear from a guy who told a reporter the day after the last election that it was “absolutely critical” to bring Latinos into the GOP tent. You’d expect Gardner to be sounding more like Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, but he’s not.

“[A]s the Senate bill is written, there are not the votes for that bill to move in the House of Representatives.” Gardner announced on KFKA radio’s AM Colorado, aligning himself with Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

As for his own problems with the bill, Gardner wants more border security, saying immigration reform “has to start with border security and some kind of a proof or trigger on border security so that it doesn’t happen unless you can actually prove that we have done the – taken the steps and components necessary to implement meaningful security measures.”

Specifically, Gardner cited the need for “additional personnel on the border,” an “e-verify system,” and “additional security, a fence, you name it, on the border.”

“The Senate version has a trigger,” said Gardner, “but it’s like five years into the program [and] then it doesn’t stop anything. It just says, “Okay, study it in a committee and work harder on it. No. We’ve got to prove to American people that, thirty years from now, this system still works.”

The Senate bill allocates billions to border security and sets milestones for enforcement.

Asked by host Devon Lentz what happens if the Senate won’t accept Gardner’s ideas to change the immigration bill, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 13-5 vote last week, Gardner said he doesn’t think there has to be an impasse but:

“I think we have to convince the Senate that if they are truly interested in immigration reform, this is the way it needs to be done.”

So it’s Gardner’s way or the highway back to Mexico?

Reporters should call Gardner out for replacing his post-election happy face with the frowny face we’ve seen from Gardner in the past on immigration.

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