Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner, who's challenging Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, has been hitting the radio airwaves recently with his thoughts on immigration
You don't have to listen too closely to see a pattern in how he talks about the issue.
He usually starts with point number one and works through point four: 1. Sound like you're for immigration reform. 2. Attack others for immigration-reform failures. 3. Sound like you have an actual factual immigration-reform plan, when, in fact, you have nothing specific to offer. 4. Go back to point number 1.
Here's how it works in action, as delivered during a Hot Air interview July 26, so real reporters can be prepared, if they interview Gardner on immigration.
Gardner: We have a humanitarian crisis at our Southern border that underscores the broader need for responsible immigration reform.
[That's point one: He's sounding like he wants rational reform, like most voters do.]
Gardner: My opponent, Senator Udall, voted in favor of the Senate legislation that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would decrease illegal immigration by as little as 33%. Our current problems require long-term reform, not short-term Washington fixes.
[Point two: He's blaming others, even though Udall joined Republicans and Democrats is passing a bipartisan immigration-reform bill, blocked by House Republicans, including Gardner himself, who proposed no alternative! And, by the way, the bill would cut illegal immigration by 33-50 percent.]
Gardner: I believe we should move forward with an immigration policy that prioritizes border security, and that includes a viable guest-worker program that capitalizes on the benefits of legal immigration to this country.
[Pont three and four: He's sounding like he has a plan. But where is it? Judging from his utterances, you'd think he supports the bipartisan Senate immigration bill, which he's just slammed Udall for supporting. What does Gardner support? He opposes the Senate bill, and has no concrete plan of his own. Just these four airy points.
In another recent interview, on KFKA's Amy Oliver show, Gardner rattled off his immigration spin cycle in a slightly different order, but the points were there.
Gardner, sounding like he's for immigration reform: "First we have to have Senate, House, and president working together to solve these problems."
Gardner blaming others: "We have the Senate saying, 'Our way or the highway." This is the bill. They refuse to work with the House, saying this is the only thing we can have. We have certain members of the House, including Republicans, who are refusing to work with Democrats, and that's unacceptable. And we have a president who just wants to blame people.
Gardner sounding like he has a plan: "And I think we have to have people willing to work together to work with our neighbors to make sure we put policies in place that don't end up with them sending family loved ones to have this horrible journey because the conditions in their country are so bad."
Similarly, back in February, Gardner said:
Gardner: I think there is need for reform [point one], but the bottom line is the President has to show a willingness to make sure that the law is enforced and to be able to work with Congress. And really, it's unfortunate that the fact, this president put no effort into building relationships with Congress over the past four years on either side of the aisle. It's really starting to hurt his policy efforts now.
So the pattern is pretty obvious, but the question is, will Gardner be challenged, even by talk-radio hosts, when he tries to roll it out?