DENVER — Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, who might be next year’s most vulnerable incumbent in all of Congress, is being thanked in a new television ad for his role in trying to stop Obamacare by supporting the House GOP’s tactics that caused the government shutdown earlier this month.
The ad, which began running Wednesday, is paid for by Americans For Prosperity, which opposed the Affordable Care Act.
“Rep. Coffman has been a tireless leader in the fight to stop the trainwreck that is ObamaCare,” said Dustin Zvonek, AFP-Colorado’s director. “While Colorado families have already begun to face diminished health care choices, Coffman continues to stand firm in Washington, fighting to unwind this disastrous law.”
The ad (linked below) puts Coffman in an awkward position by highlighting his initial support for the GOP strategy, which forced the government shutdown in a failed effort to stop Obamacare.
Coffman reversed course one week into the shutdown as polls showed most Americans blaming his party for the shutdown, himself calling the GOP’s strategy he’d first embraced “nothing more than an exercise in national fundraising” by some of his Republican colleagues.
Political analyst Eric Sondermann told FOX31 Denver that AFP’s ad campaign appears to be less concerned with how voters view Coffman than it is with the congressman himself.
“This ad is likely to have minimal impact,” Sondermann said. “Coffman certainly would prefer to be praised by this group for his opposition to Obamacare than taken to task for his vote to end the government shutdown.
“But it seems that the commercial is directed as much at Mike Coffman as to any real voters in reminding him that this organization is out there with money to burn, and that he’d better not stray too far from the ideological reservation.”
Coffman, whose once-safe GOP district was re-drawn last year into what is now one of the country’s most competitive congressional districts, is being hit by Democrats on the left and conservatives on the right, both focusing on his more partisan actions in Congress.
Meanwhile, Coffman himself continues to try to seek out whatever moderate, middle ground remains in Congress.
In recent interviews, he’s chosen to highlight his legislation, passed and signed just days into the shutdown, to ensure that members of the military continued to get paid as long as the government remained closed.
And on Wednesday in Washington, he took part in a press conference with Democratic colleagues in support of another bill he’s sponsoring that will allow undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship through military service.
“Whatever we can do to broaden our pool of recruits should be done,” said Coffman, an Iraq War veteran, during a press conference alongside Representatives Kyrsten Siema (D-Ariz.), David Valadao (R-Calif.) and Louis Gutierrez (D-Ill.).
“If somebody is willing to lay their life down for their country, I think they deserve citizenship.”