Colorado’s largest newspaper is taking heat from one of the state’s best-known politicians.
In a letter made public on Tuesday, Gary Hart took the Denver Post to task for its endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner in the state’s U.S. Senate race.
“As a Colorado citizen who pays more than ordinary attention to American politics generally and to Colorado politics particularly, I am dumbfounded and appalled by your endorsement,” the former senator and presidential candidate wrote in the letter, which was obtained by television station KDVR.
The Post’s endorsement last week was seen as a major development in a race that appears to be slipping away from Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall.
The TPM PollTracker average currently gives Gardner about a 5-point edge.
The newspaper has a solid track record in its endorsements, having backed Udall in 2008, Sen. Michael Bennet (D) in 2010 and President Obama in both 2008 and 2012.
But the Post has taken heat from the left for its support of Gardner, with Salon’s Luke Brinker dubbing it the “most asinine endorsement” of the year.
Blogger Jamison Foser, meanwhile, highlighted a questionable citation in the endorsement. In the piece, the Post’s editorial writers noted that “[a]n analysis on ABC News’ website” had mentioned Gardner as one of the GOP’s “rising stars.”
In his letter to Post editor Greg Moore, Hart also questioned the reference to the ABC article.
“For you to conclude that Mr. Gardner will be anything other than a consistent vote for a Tea Party dictated agenda on the major social and economic issues of the day is confounding,” Hart wrote. “Simply because one source called him a ‘rising star’ does not qualify him for Senate membership.”