Last week, in response to Roll Call reporter Simone Pathe’s question of whether he’d vote for Donald Trump, Rep. Mike Coffman replied, “I’m not going to go there. Thanks.”
Coffman’s dodge came after he didn’t denounce Trump, as other Republicans did, when Trump called for temporarily banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
Something about Trump seems to be holding Coffman back from being too mean to him, and you can actually see it in the following exchange on Radio Luz, a Denver Spanish-language radio station, back in August (translated from Spanish):
Host Gil Guerra [beginning at 16:50 here]: We have arrived at the end of this segment. But I don’t want you to go without my thanks for being here with us. But, Congressman, let’s talk about this item: What possibility is there that you come visit us again, because I want to us to chat about a very controversial figure, that has gone viral in all of this, — the famous Donald Trump.
Coffman, speaking in Spanish: El Donald
Guerra: Yes I was going to say “Donald Duck”
Coffman: The Donald! [laughing] The duck, no! The Donald!
Guerra: Donald Duck.
Coffman: [laughing] Oh, no, duck. No, no, no!!! El Senor Donald.
Guerra: Donald Trump! It’s okay, that’s fine. You’re going to respect him. But what do you think if we talk about this because I want to differentiate the politics with respect to what is actually that of the Republicans.
Coffman: Donald Trump!
Guerra: Alright, then. Now we’re back in our third segment. And we thanked the Congressman. He had to leave. He had a very tight schedule.
Guerra told me today that he subsequently asked Coffman to appear on the show, but his schedule didn’t permit it. Maybe in 2016, he said.
I’ve pointed out a couple times (e.g., here and here and here) that Coffman’s actual factual positions are quite similar to Trump’s, so his hesitancy to denounce Senor Donald isn’t completely surprising, but it’s one of the strangest political blips that’s surfaced of late in Colorado politics, ripe for a reporter to figure out.