Early last year, political handicappers viewed Udall, son of the late Rep. Mo Udall, as in good shape politically. But signs of Udall's political vulnerability grew. Like other Democrats, he drew blame for the troubled rollout of the health-care law. Criticism grew when his office questioned the number of notices the state said people received saying their policies were being canceled because they didn't comply with the standards of the new law. In late January Gardner began to reconsider.
The two leading GOP contenders in the race--Buck and Stephens--withdrew as the news broke about Gardner's decision to run. Still, Gardner expects a tough race. "We don't know if the [political] environment is better," he said. But "it certainly feels like it has turned the corner."
State Sen. Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs declined to attend the debate, citing a prior commitment.
Next thing I knew I was making beer and starting a brewpub business. It turned out pretty well. But as every small business person knows, it's not easy out there, especially when bureaucracy gets in the way.
I didn't run for public office until I was 50. Before that, I'd never run for anything. Not even in high school. I ran for public office as a small businessman. I thought government needed to operate with more common sense and less nonsense. So while we have been doing all we can to make it as easy as possible for business to succeed in Colorado we also have been streamlining the state government, making it more efficient.
We also discovered that primary election debates pose a major downside risk but don't offer much upside. Relatively few people who watch them do so with open minds.
Tancredo has said that if he prevails in the primary, he will debate his Democratic opponent in the general election. That also is the correct decision. General elections engage a much larger electorate, a larger undecided contingent, a wider audience, and greater contrast on the issues.
BUCK: I think it's a legitimate political movement. Folks are frustrated that we are spending so much money in Washington, and they're every bit as frustrated with the Republicans as they are with the Democrats, because the Republicans are every bit as much to blame for the mess that we're in. That frustration has exhibited itself in a lot of energy. Folks are not going to try to send the same type of Republican to Washington that they've sent in the past.
Q: The NAACP released a report concluding, We found Tea Party ranks to be permeated with concerns about race and national identity." Your response?
BUCK: I've been to over 800 events in Colorado in the last 20 months. I have not seen that. And, and I find it offensive that folks would try to label the tea party in that way. It's just not true in Colorado.
A: Iím not running away from John Kerry. John Kerry is a person who has done a lot for this country, who has served this country with distinction. He is somebody who I support.
I will campaign with him in Colorado when he comes, but Iím not going to change my schedule just because there happens to be a candidate that comes into the state of Colorado. You know, this race has been a seven-month race between Pete and me. We have a very, very heavy schedule.
|2016 Presidential contenders on Principles & Values:|
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
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