Craig Silverman Show, Mike Coffman, March 11, 2017

Station: KNUS, 710 AM

Show:     Craig Silverman Show

Guests:  Coffman, Mike


Date:      March 11, 2017


Click Here for Audio

(NOTE:  These notes were compiled while listening to the interview with Congressman Coffman.  All comments noted are paraphrased, unless specifically identified as direct quotes.) 

HOST CRAIG SILVERMAN:  Walker Stapleton advocating for term limits.  What do you think about that?


I sponsored a bill for mandatory term limits for every member of Congress

Didn’t go anywhere

It’s a constitutional amendment –

It would help change the culture of Washington

But it’s not the dominant issue

Term limits would have a positive impact

The bill I ran, Proposed 12 years limit on House and Senate,

This is my 9th year in Congress – survived a lot of challenges

SILVERMAN:  Balanced budget amendment = dominant issue to change fundamentally the culture of Washington


Stops Congress from spending money it doesn’t have

– the one thing that can change the culture of Washington

SILVERMAN:  As a survivor candidate, challenged in a challenging district, your ad said — “Not like other Republicans”  [Plays audio from his 2016 ad]


MCoffman speaks Spanish (translates the Spanish line from his ad)

400 of 435 seats in House are solid Red or solid Blue

Race is decided in the primary,

General election isn’t even in play for the huge majority of seats

swing districts are the other 35–

SILVERMAN:  I like that you’re willing to say you’re not like other Republicans.  But Party loyalists probably hate it.  Are you Republican?


I believe in limited constitutional government

I believe in personal responsibility

I believe in the free enterprise system

But there are degrees

EXAMPLE:  In immigration:

I have a conservative vision of where we need to be

But unlike other Republicans, I believe we need a transition to get there

I believe we need to face reality

And the fact that we’ve had a dysfunctional immigration for a long time

Ineffective enforcement

Borders are open

– in the sense that part of the equation lies in illegal border crossing

–another piece is overstaying visas – probably over half of the equation

SILVERMAN:  How do you feel about Sanctuary Cities?  Aurora seems to be a bit of a SancCity. Do you approve of that?  Denver as well


I don’t approve of Sanctuary cities –

I voted for suspend funding for sanctuary cities

If a city formally declares themselves SancCity

Denver has made horrible mistakes recently

Not cooperating with ICE

When you have serious criminals allowed to stay and walk free awaiting trial…

Certainly, what I get, as Police chief of Aurora said – I get that there is prosecutorial discretion,  we need prioritizaition… that’s true!  You don’t want to pursue people for deportation who are not criminls

But we want criminals off the street and we want to deport them

SILVERMAN:  Against Trump:   that was a winning formula for you. (plays audio from ad, “I’ll stand up to him.  Plain and simple).  Silverman talks about Trump policies that has resulted in 40% drop in people crossing border.  Is that good?


Reduction in people crossing the border now with Trump’s presidency and hard-line on immigration

Some things around the margins you could argue were bad

My district has lots of immigrants, and some communities have lots of undocs

What Trump has done – what I hope he’ll achieve is to challenge the complacency in Washington

The left was good with status quo – defacto amnesty in many ways

The Right was all rhetoric – no action – wouldn’t come together for reform laws

Trump will force Congress to act

We need secure borders

And he’s proposing reform for demand-based legal immigration

His first travel ban order went too far – “I think his first refugee order was a disaster”

Trump said it was “perfect” –obviously it wasn’t

SILVERMAN:  What do you think about the new order – the new travel ban?  Do you favor?  Is it constitutional?


I think it is [constitutional]

I don’t know how effective it will be

The new immigration order is okay – it will give a needed pause

Washington state lawsuit says it’s unconstitutional – discriminates against muslims

But there are laws on the books that give the Pres the authority to limit certain groups,

but can’t do that on basis of religion

This time, at least they deliberated – which they should have done the first time

He should say:

We’re going to secure border

We’re going to rewrite immigration laws – and

We’re going to deport criminals

We’re going to give some sort of legal status to non-criminal adults –

give them a time to get right with the bureaucracy

We’re going to allow DREAMers to stay,

and an earned route to permanent residency, with option to apply for citizenship

based on military service

based on work history

based on education

SILVERMAN:  Do you approve of Trump talking about “Radical islam terrorism”?


Well, whether you call it Radical Islamic Terrorism, or whether you call it “political islam” as Mattis calls it

It does need to be identified as something unique among a religion

Most of the victims of radical islam are Muslims

It’s unique in religions –

General Mattis calls it Political Islam

We need to identify the enemy

Islam is often viewed as a Monolith and it’s not – I know from my time serving in the Mid East

I have understanding through experience of the diversity of that community

They aren’t all the same

We have trouble recognizing that

I want to protect religious liberty of Muslims and others

SILVERMAN:  Extreme vetting of Muslims – do you approve?


The issue has to be addressed, and

When you have failed states – Iran doesn’t qualify –

but there aren’t reliable documents for those refugees in those countries

So, I would support some sort of a pause, as the president also supports, to take a look at that

SILVERMAN:  Do you think Sharia Law is compatible with American Democracy


No, of course it isn’t.

I think that is a ridiculous question

SILVERMAN:  Do you favor branding Muslim Brotherhood as a terror org?


I’m not there yet

CS:  arene’t they advocates of Sharia law

I’m studying that right now – so I’m looking at that

SILVERMAN:  Repeal and replace? Are you in favor?


Absolutley I ran on that

SILVERMAN:  Speaker Ryan’s plan (AHCA) to replace ACA?


There are two bills – one through energy and commerce, one in Ways and Means

As it is now… I would vote for it, if I had to vote today

I’m worried about changes

And I’d like to change a few things myself

SILVERMAN:  What about marijuana?


My position has always been:

People of CO voted for it

I didn’t support it

It is in our constitution

Federal law ought to comport with state law

But federal law shouldn’t undermine state law

Constitutionally – this is about intrastate commerce

SILVERMAN:  But federal law has been found to rule supreme… what would you tell dispensary owners to do, if Sessions wants to close them down


I make laws, I don’t enforce them

I would tell them use any means appropriate – reconciliation—to suspend those particular law enforcement activities

[which would infringe on States’ right to legalize and operate MJ biz]

I would do anything I could as Congressman ….

SILVERMAN:  Would your GOP colleagues support you?


I have no idea

SILVERMAN:  Have you joined the Cannabis Caucus, with Polis



SILVERMAN:  Why not?


For the reason I just told you…. I don’t want to impose my will on states that have not made that election

I support self-determination of states in this respect – they can opt to legalize

I am working to resolve banking and financial conundrums

Whenever you have all-cash biz, it’s problematic – subject to criminalized behabior, and harder to audit and collect taxes

SILVERMAN:  Finally, has your opinion of Trump changed at all?


Good days and bad days

SOTU was very good – well done

Refugee order was poorly executed, first time around

His tweets often make we wonder if he’s up to the task

The tweets are beneath the dignity of the office

SILVERMAN:  I appreciate you time