Biden flew into town Tuesday to participate in a coffee-shop confab with the senator before headlining at a private Udall fundraiser in Denver. The vice-president is scheduled to speak Wednesday at the Air Force Academy graduation in Colorado Springs, then head off to a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the home of San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer.
Steyer’s NextGen PAC made headlines last week by selecting Udall and six other Democrats for financial support. Steyer has said he will donate $50 million and raise another $50 million in the 2014 campaign to promote climate change as a campaign issue.
Udall sent out a Tweet of himself, Biden, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and others discussing immigration policy at the Common Grounds Coffee Shop.
“Proud to join @VP Biden in #Denver to discuss urgent need to pass #CIR and fix outdated #immigration laws,” said Udall on Twitter.
At the same time, Biden’s appearance gave Republicans an opening to highlight Udall’s near-perfect record of support for the president’s agenda.
“Six years ago, Mark Udall rode into the U.S. Senate on President Obama’s coattails. Now he’s hoping that his record as Obama’s favorite rubberstamp will help him raise enough special interest money to win in 2014,” said Colorado Republican Party chair Ryan Call in a statement.
“He’s wrong. When hardworking Coloradans see Mark block the Keystone Pipeline and then attend a lavish San Francisco fundraiser with billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, they know what his priorities are,” said Call.
Steyer is a staunch opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, but Udall has refused to take a public position on whether the White House should approve the project, saying he doesn’t want to inject politics into the president’s decision.
Udall also voted against a 2013 Senate resolution in support of constructing the pipeline. Polls show a majority of Colorado voters want to see the project approved.
Dustin Zvonek, president of Americans for Prosperity-Colorado, said in a statement that Biden’s visit shows Udall’s refusal to support the pipeline is reaping benefits on the campaign trail.
“Guess where Biden will be tomorrow evening? That’s right, another fundraiser at Tom Steyer’s house. While Sen. Udall benefits from opposing the Keystone Pipeline, Coloradans who support the project are left hanging out to dry,” said Zvonek.
In February, Udall attended a private fundraiser in February at Steyer’s home for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.