Colorado’s Morning News, Mike Coffman, January 13, 2016

Station: KOA, 850 AM

Show:     Colorado’s Morning News

Guests:  Coffman, Mike


Date:      January 13, 2016

Topics:  State of the Union Speech, President Obama, Veterans Administration, Hospital, Over-Budget, Immigration, Nikki Haley Response to SOTU, Illegal immigrants,

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HOST APRIL ZESBAUGH:  Wrapping up his seventh and final State of the Union address last night, touching on everything from the economy and the jobs picture to the need for religious tolerance and even putting VP Joe Biden in charge of finding a cure for cancer.  Wow!  Colorado US Congressman Mike Coffman joins us live after watching the speech with the joint session of Congress. Good morning!


ZESBAUGH:  The president talked about the need for less divisiveness and more of the parties coming together in this new year.  Are there issues that you heard last night that you can all agree on?

COFFMAN:  Well, yeah.  There are.  But the president didn’t address them.  Unfortunately, I mean, he was so disconnected from reality when he talked about the Veterans Administration,  talking about now, we’re taking care of our veterans and, you know, basically dismissing the fact that this is a  department in crisis, suffering from bureaucratic incompetence and corruption.  And this president has never exercised leadership to clean it up.  And there is certainly bipartisan support for that.   All the American people who truly care about our veterans and I think members of Congress from both parties stand shoulder to shoulder in support of veterans.  But this president has not.  And then, the other area, I think, where Republicans and Democrats are concerned about is national security, and this president seemed disconnected from identifying the threats facing this country.

ZESBAUGH:  Yeah.  Interesting. When he talked about veterans I thought about you and what you were thinking at the time. Moving on, he talked a little bit about ignoring political hot air,  likely a veiled comment about the likes of Donald Trump and maybe Senator Ted Cruz.  Then, in the GOP response, he had South Carolina governor Nikki Haley who seemed to agree when she said this:  “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.  We must resist that temptation.”  She was talking about being more welcoming to immigrants.  Do you agree with that?  Do you see anything on immigration reform happening this year?

COFFMAN:  You know, unfortunately I don’t see anything happening on immigration reform.  I think that, um, I think she was [inaudible] to say that, um, yes, we’re against illegal immigration, but there is a narrative out there that Republicans are anti-immigrant.  And certainly I have worked hard in my congressional district to break that narrative.  And so, I thought that her voice was calming and assuring, and I think it was it was a good reflection of what the Republican Party ought to be.

ZESBAUGH:  Okay.  Before we run, what did you think was most relevant of this speech for Coloradans?

COFFMAN:  Well, I think, I mean, for me, obviously, as a veteran and looking at the fact that we have a hospital – a veterans’ hospital  that is being built – is a billion dollars over budget, where nobody has been disciplined, nobody has been fired, I think we’re were all waiting to see the Veteran’s Administration cleaned up.  And that has to take support from the White House.  Unfortunately,  Congress can’t fire people. Congress can’t discipline people.  Uh, you know, only the President can, and so, we’re waiting for leadership from the White House to clean up the Veterans Administration.

ZESBAUGH:  Congressman Mike Coffman from DC, thanks for the few minutes. I appreciate it.

COFFMAN:  Thank you.