Jan 16, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Comms director for gun-toting congresswoman quits

Rep. Lauren Boebert is seen speaking during the congressional debate over the Electoral College certification.

Rep. Lauren Boebert during the Electoral College debate. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

The communications director for Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a firebrand Republican freshman who boasts about carrying a gun to work, has quit after less than two weeks on the job.

Why it matters: Ben Goldey’s resignation cited last week's insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which came amid efforts by Boebert and other Republican lawmakers to block certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Her rhetoric on the issue mirrored President Trump's, which has fueled baseless election conspiracy theories and resulting violence.

What we’re hearing: Goldey said in a statement to Axios: "Following the events of January 6th, I’ve decided to part ways with the office. I wish her and the people of Colorado’s Third District the best."

Between the lines: Boebert is a strident Trump supporter firmly on the right flank of the House GOP caucus. She was clear about her views during her campaign, but they have suddenly become politically toxic following last week's attack.

  • Boebert’s quickly become a lightning rod by railing against “fraudulent” votes for Biden in a floor speech ahead of the attack, and by making a show — including in an ad filmed on the Hill — of her desire to carry a handgun in the Capitol.
  • Goldey, by contrast, has a more establishment pedigree. He was the press secretary at the Department of Interior until this year, and previously worked for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Be smart: Goldey’s resignation underscores larger Republican divisions, particularly in the House, where ten GOP members — including conference chair Rep. Liz Cheney — voted to impeach Trump on Wednesday.

  • The same divisions are evident on the other side of the Capitol. Sen. Ted Cruz's communications director, Lauren Blair Bianchi, also resigned on Monday, reportedly over Cruz's role in the effort to deny certification for Biden.
  • Trump has fueled the split since the election, demanding the president-elect’s win be overturned, helping incite the violence at the Capitol last week and remaining defiant about his behavior even as he faced his second impeachment by the House yesterday.
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