A political ad for a U.S. Congressman in Colorado represents one of the Republican Party’s strongest stands yet against Donald Trump.
“Honestly, I don’t care for him much, and I certainly don’t trust Hillary” Rep. Mike Coffman says in a new ad. “I’m a Marine – for me, country comes first. My duty is always to you. So if Donald Trump is the president, I’ll stand up to him. Plain and simple.”
The ad is expected to air Friday, and it’s the first time a Republican House candidate has aired “explicitly anti-Trump messaging in paid advertising,” Politico reports.
What’s Coffman’s situation?
Democrats have tried hard to tie Coffman to Trump, hoping to drag him down in a district with a sizable Latino population. (The 6th District, includes parts of Aurora, Littleton, Brighton, Centennial and Highlands Ranch.)
Coffman has shared some of Trump’s anti-immigration views, voting against President Barack Obama’s immigration reforms and programs. (He also has shared Trump’s birther doubts about Obama.) However, the congressman has tried to soften his edge since his district changed to include densely Latino areas, Politifact reports.
This ad, of course, doesn’t mention anything about Latino voters. We do know, though, that Coffman was “deeply offended” by Trump’s comments about a fallen Muslim soldier and his family.
“Having served in Iraq, I’m deeply offended when Donald Trump fails to honor the sacrifices of all of our brave soldiers who were lost in that war,” he said, as quoted in the New York Times.
So who’s he going to vote for?
The ad says Coffman “doesn’t trust” Clinton and will “hold her accountable” if she becomes president. That’s not nearly as harsh as a lot of Republican rhetoric, but he’s not exactly supporting her.
Instead, the Congressman is thinking about voting for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson instead. Johnson is the most popular third-party candidate since Ross Perot.
And this ad, Politico suggests, could be a “roadmap” for other Republican candidates.
His opponent, Morgan Carroll, isn’t letting him get away that easy, though. Carroll’s spokesman suggests that this is “political double-speak,” arguing that Coffman hasn’t pointed out any policy differences between himself and Trump.
“If he wasn’t going to vote for this bully, he would have already said so,” Drew Godinich said in a written release.