Reporters should continue to reference Coffman’s pledge to back Trump — and seek explanation for shift
Last week, the Aurora Sentinel became the latest media outlet to point out that Rep. Mike Coffman’s spokeswoman told the Colorado Statesman in February that Coffman would “obviously” support Trump over Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.
Coffman originally endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for the GOP presidential nomination and has not publicly endorsed Trump, though a Coffman campaign spokeswoman in February told the Colorado Statesman — when asked if the congressman would support the GOP nominee over Clinton or Bernie Sanders — that “the answer is obviously yes.”
Back in May, when Coffman shifted and stated he wasn’t sold on Trump, 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman also referred to Coffman’s previous pledge to back the celebrity mogul over Hillary.
Both the Sentinel and 9News are doing the right thing not to let Coffman hide behind his spokesperson and then, later, to contradict what his spokesperson said.
Trouble is, reporters have yet to ask Coffman for an explanation. Why was his spokesperson so adamant that Coffman would back the GOP nominee?
And what’s changed about Trump since February, assuming that Coffman’s spokesperson wasn’t spreading misinformation about her boss?
Some have speculated that there were 11 GOP candidates in the race when Coffman promised to endorse the nominee. Does that mean he’d support all of the rest of them if they’d been selected as the nominee, but not necessarily Trump? Which ones might have Coffman rejected?
And since Coffman himself is backtracking on a previous pledge to support the GOP nominee (and now saying Trump has to “earn” his support) it’s also a completely legit question to ask what Coffman will do with his vote if he doesn’t give it to Donald.