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Former Democratic Senator Rips Cory Gardner In Rant Over Newspaper Endorsement

Two-time presidential candidate and former Colorado Sen. Gary Hart ripped the Denver Post for endorsing Republican Rep. Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate over incumbent Democrat Sen. Mark Udall.

Hart wrote a letter to Post editor Greg Moore that was published in the Huffington Post, saying he was “dumbfounded and appalled” by the Post’s endorsement of Gardner. (RELATED: Liberals Slam The Denver Post’s ‘Most Asinine Endorsement’ Of The Year)

The paper wrote that Gardner would be a better leader than Udall, who never seems to be involved in critical legislation that’s important to the nation.

“I know for an absolute fact that [Udall] is at or near the center of virtually all serious national security, energy, environment, and economic debate currently occurring,” Hart wrote. “I know for a fact that he is widely respected as a serious legislator by Senators of both parties. I cannot imagine from what sources you are deriving your information, but it is clearly not other United States Senators or anyone with a clear picture of what is going on in our nation’s Capitol.”

“You have chosen to support a conventional partisan over a serious legislator concerned with the national interest.”

Hart tore into Gardner as practically unfit to polish Udall’s shoes, writing that Udall “has the gravitas concerning the future of our nation that a partisan such as Mr. Gardner will never have in his lifetime.”

Not one to pull punches, Hart called the Post’s pick “ one of the worst endorsement decisions, not only by the Denver Post but by any serious newspaper, in my lifetime.”

The Post seemed particularly put off by Udall’s single-focus campaign, which sought to portray Gardner as waging a “war on women” because of his stance on abortion and his co-sponsorship of a federal personhood bill. The Post called Udall’s campaign “obnoxious” and “an insult to those he seeks to convince.”

“Rather than run on his record, Udall’s campaign has devoted a shocking amount of energy and money trying to convince voters that Gardner seeks to outlaw birth control despite the congressman’s call for over-the-counter sales of contraceptives,” the paper wrote in the Oct. 12 endorsement. “Udall is trying to frighten voters rather than inspire them with a hopeful vision.”

Hart begs to differ.

“Colorado quite possibly has the two best Senators in the United States and you choose to dismiss one of them,” he wrote in response.

“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,” he continued. “Simply because one source called him a ‘rising star’ does not qualify him for Senate membership.”

Hart ran for president in 1984 and 1988 on the Democratic ticket. The latter campaign was derailed amid allegations of infidelity.

Hart lives in Kittredge, Colo., where he practices law and continues to study and write about domestic and foreign policy.

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