Now is not a good time to be a moderate Republican actively supporting Donald Trump. One Colorado representative, Mike Coffman, found that out at a town hall in Aurora last night, when his angry constituents confronted him over his support of Trump’s policies, including repealing Obamacare. Coffman is a moderate Republican who hails from a swing district, and they told him in no uncertain terms just how much he could pay for backing Trump.
His constituents aren’t just angry – they’ve turned their anger into an “us or Trump,” ultimatum. Literally. A healthcare worker with her own pre-existing conditions, who’s worried that the GOP healthcare bill will eliminate protections for people like her, even said:
“Are you going to side with Trump or are you going to keep your promise and stand with your constituents?”
Coffman tried to convince them that he disagreed with Trump’s idea for letting Obamacare “explode,” and then hanging the resulting disaster on the Democrats. Trump is currently toying with the idea of halting some payments to insurance companies as a way to force Democrats to negotiate with him. If he stops the payments, he destabilizes the market.
Coffman would be complicit in that if he doesn’t take a firm, clear stand against Trump.
A man in the audience, who is a registered Republican, responded to Coffman’s support of repealing the ACA by saying:
“That’s not the way we do things here in Colorado. The ACA is the law of the land. What will you do to revise, strengthen and bolster Obamacare?”
Coffman’s troubles didn’t end with the healthcare debate, though. A woman who found Sean Spicer’s “Holocaust centers,” and “Hitler didn’t gas his people,” comments offensive because her great-grandparents died at Auschwitz explained how she’s upset with this administration’s penchant for appointing anti-Semites to high-level positions.
Coffman said that Spicer made a terrible mistake, but his audience was absolutely clear that they would not accept excuses for Spicer from him. Coffman finally said that Spicer needs to go.
Coffman’s district is a swing district that went heavily to Hillary Clinton, and he faces a tough election battle against Democratic candidate Jason Crow. Crow was an Army Ranger who served in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and Democrats are hoping that background, plus his newcomer status, mean he can mount a strong challenge against Coffman.
In the meantime, Coffman should get his head on right and work with his fellow moderates in Congress to do the same. His constituents spent two hours making it abundantly clear that his seat is not even remotely safe.
Featured image by Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images