Tancredo: Bannon talked Coffman, Gardner in Colorado visit


AURORA | Former White House strategist Steve Bannon may have his eye on Aurora Rep. Mike Coffman and Sen. Cory Gardner, according to Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Tancredo.

When Bannon visited Colorado in September, rumors floated that he was in state in part to recruit the controversial Republican to run for governor. When asked in emails about whether running for governor was a topic of discussion, Tancredo responded to the Denver Post with a winking emoji, saying “come to think of it, I believe it came up.”

But last week Tancredo, in an interview on a conservative Denver AM 710 radio talk show hosted by Peter Boyles, said Bannon “wanted to talk about the national scene almost entirely. He really has a focus more on people like Coffman, let’s say…And Cory Gardner.”

“It was apparent to me that the state races were not his focus,” Tancredo told the Aurora Sentinel Friday.

Tancredo, who has two failed attempts at the governor’s seat, said he couldn’t remember specifics about the conversation because so much time has passed since the September meeting, but recalls the focus being on Coffman, perhaps because of the congressman’s “anti-Trump stances.”

Tancredo and Coffman had a public dust up in the media in late September, and soon after, political newcomer Roger Edwards said he would work to unseat Coffman in a Republican primary this year.

Tyler Sandberg, a campaign spokesman for Coffman, said Friday, “Steve Bannon and Tom Tancredo dislike Mike Coffman. (Nancy) Pelosi and the liberal Super PACs hate him. Same as it ever was, 2018.”

Since leaving the White House and returning to Breitbart News, Bannon has made a list of Senate Republicans he wants to focus efforts against in 2018. Gardner is not among those names Bannon wants to oust in primaries. He’s up for election in 2020.

Bannon has taken a stunning stroll into the national spotlight this week after reportedly dissing Trump in a just-released book “Fire and Fury,” drawing fire himself from tea-party Republicans and possibly putting his own political influence in jeopardy.