Colorado’s members of Congress react to president Biden’s re-election announcement

State of the Union
Jacquelyn Martin/AP
President Joe Biden talks with Rep. Brittany Pettersen, D-Colo., after the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023, in Washington.

When Joe Biden officially announced his reelection campaign Tuesday, Democrat Sen. John Hickenlooper was the first of Colorado’s delegation out of the gate to throw his support behind the president. 

The former governor said via Twitter that under Biden’s leadership, “we’ve made historic investments in our nation’s aging infrastructure, spurred clean energy innovation, and brought manufacturing jobs back to America. But this is only the beginning – let’s finish the job!”

Hickenlooper, who had a short lived presidential campaign in 2019 before running for Senate, was referencing bipartisan bills that passed in the last Congress, such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the CHIPs Act, as well as partisan bills such as the Inflation Reduction Act.

Freshman Rep. Brittany Pettersen noted that Biden took office during “one of the most difficult times” in the country’s history, including a global pandemic and a mob attacking the U.S. Capitol.

“Starting on day one, he stepped up to support our families, businesses, and communities through the pandemic, and led one of the most productive Congress’ in a century,” she said in a statement. “There is still a lot more work to do and President Biden has proved that he is the leader who will continue to confront the most urgent challenges of our time, and most importantly, will protect our democracy and defend the rights and freedoms of individuals across our country.”

The dean of the Colorado Congressional delegation, Democrat Diana DeGette retweeted Biden’s announcement, adding, “Now is the time for all of us to get involved and lay the groundwork so that we can protect our rights and win big in 2024!”

“There’s still more to do,” said Democrat Jason Crow in a fundraising appeal highlighting Biden’s decision to run for reelection. “I’m proud to stand alongside the President today, and I hope you are too.”

Biden’s announcement sets up a possible 2020 rematch with Donald Trump in two years, although both men have to get through their respective primaries first. Marianne Williamson and Robert Kennedy Jr. are also seeking the Democratic nomination.

When asked about a possible Biden run during his own reelection campaign last year, Democrat Michael Bennet often thanked the president for being a candidate who could and did beat Trump. 

On Tuesday, Bennet echoed Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ message that more work needs to be done. “We can protect our democracy and continue to deliver for the American people,” he said via tweet.

Trump was the first Republican to announce his run back in November.

Western Slope Republican Lauren Boebert endorsed Trump for president in March. The conservative representatives has been a strong backer of Trump’s.

After Biden’s announcement, she tweeted “America will not be rewarding his failures with another term & I hope you will all join me in fighting hard to re-elect President Donald J. Trump!”

State of the Union
Win McNamee/Pool via AP
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., wears an outfit reading "Drill Baby Drill" as she arrives in the chamber of the House of Representatives before the State of the Union address by President Joe Biden to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol, Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Washington.

Colorado’s other federally elected Republicans haven’t backed candidates in their party’s primary yet.

Republican Ken Buck met with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis when he was in Washington, D.C. last week, but has not endorsed anyone.

But Buck was quick to criticize Biden in the wake of his announcement. In a tweet highlighting an anti-Biden opinion piece, Buck wrote, “Four more years of rampant inflation, skyrocketing energy prices, lawlessness at the border, and emboldened adversaries in Russia and China sounds like a prison sentence.”

Colorado Springs Republican Doug Lamborn also has not officially endorsed anyone in the GOP race for the nomination. He did serve as an honorary co-chair for Trump’s reelection in Colorado in 2020, along with former GOP Rep. Scott Tipton.

Aside from Trump, a number of other Republicans have jumped into the race, including former South Carolina Governor and Trump’s first U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, while others, like DeSantis and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, are mulling runs.