Attention Colorado Republicans: You Own The Shutdown

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

Reps. Cory Gardner, Mike Coffman, Scott Tipton, and Doug Lamborn.

As FOX 31's Eli Stokols reports, Democrats are ramping up their attacks on Colorado Republican candidates who supported the shutdown of the federal government last October–support that takes on added toxicity, even over the general unpopularity of the shutdown, due to the problems it caused for disaster relief in Colorado. As locals readers know, the GOP-engineered government shutdown came just days after our state was hit with massive flooding that required a large emergency federal response:

Colorado Democrats, who have already lambasted GOP U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner for supporting his party’s government shutdown last fall just weeks after devastating floods, are now leveling the same charge at Republican gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez.

The party released a new video Wednesday featuring images of last fall’s floods and audio of Beauprez saying on conservative talk radio at the time that he’s “been very, very proud” of his Republican colleagues in Washington, who voted to shutdown the government for 16 days — this, as federal disaster relief was being directed to Colorado flood victims — in a failed attempt to stop the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

“Politics before disaster relief,” reads the white text that appears over a black background on the screen.

“When thousands of Coloradans were ravaged by historic floods, Congressman Beauprez put Washington politics before the needs of the people of our state,” Rick Palacio, chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, said in a statement.

“Both Ways” Bob Beauprez (right).

The irate response from GOP gubernatorial nominee Bob Beauprez, echoing the defensiveness from U.S. Senate candidate Cory Gardner's campaign when confronted last week over this same issue, is plainly meant to emote past the real question:

“That the Colorado Democratic Party would politicize these devastating floods where people died and lives were destroyed is appalling. We have been very clear contrasting Bob Beauprez’s plan for a stronger Colorado with John Hickenlooper’s indecisive, weak leadership. That Hickenlooper’s operatives are slinging mud just for the fun of it is outrageous, and Coloradans should be appalled.”

In both Gardner and Beauprez's responses, you can see a lack of willingness to confront the underlying allegation: that Republicans who supported the shutdown abandoned their responsibility to represent Colorado in a time of great need, and left the state in the lurch in the wake of a major disaster simply to score meaningless political hits on President Barack Obama. The shutdown, as you'll recall, ended in abject failure for Republicans as the public solidly turned against them, and the "deal" House Republicans finally agreed to in order to reopen the government after over two weeks of shutdown was more of a capitulation. Republicans enjoyed a brief "I told you so" as the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchange website suffered startup problems, but as Obamacare's prospects have stabilized and the law started finally delivering on its promise, the best the GOP could hope for was that voters would forget about the shutdown completely before the November 2014 elections.

In Colorado, because of the disaster that struck the state just before the shutdown, the situation for the local GOP is even worse. By the time the public nationwide turned against Republicans over the shutdown, Coloradans were already furious over reports that relief efforts were being delayed. Fearing a backlash, Colorado Republicans generally shifted their rhetoric against the shutdown more quickly than their colleagues elsewhere, but nothing they did was reported to have pushed GOP House leadership to resolve the situation any faster. Today, Cory Gardner claims he "never supported the shutdown," but that claim is entirely contradicted by his votes. Maybe Gardner gets it was a mistake now, but he can't admit he was part of it–all he can do is throw a fit when the subject comes up, and hope that fit deflects the hard questions he has never answered.

As for Bob Beauprez? Have you heard the lunatic stuff that's been coming out of his mouth since he lost in 2006? Compared to Beauprez's civil war rant, just as one example among many, this is actually pretty tame stuff. In a perfect world, we'd say the shutdown should be disqualifying for every Colorado politician on the wrong side–but it's not like everyone who backed the shutdown is just going to admit they failed the country and walk away.

But voters are watching. That's the part spin doctors can't control, and it's why they are so afraid of this story.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DawnPatrol says:

    Despite the laughable faux "outrage" and all the bluster they can muster, Bobby, Cory and Mikey are going nowhere but down — and out.

    A fool and his Teabag utterances are soon joined. You'd think these inept turkeys and their handsomely paid staffs could have see this coming. DId they think they could just bluster their way through such hapless campaigns without ever having to answer for their individual verbal and legislative quagmires?  Apparently so.

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    This is ridiculous. This is even thinner than the case against Gardner. Beauprez didn't vote t shut down anything. Neither did Gardner. All they supported was a compromise to stop Obamcare from doing even more damage to Americans.

    And guess what? Americans are much angrier about Obamacare today than they are about the shutdown. Nice deflection!

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Your laughable idea of "compromise" was pure GOTP BLACKMAIL.

      And Americans will become quite angry once more about the last GOTP shutdown — once we remind them of it over and over and over again.  This time the Obamacare website rollout difficulties won't be there to save you,

    • OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

      Oh, we will gladly make this election about getting millions of Americans healthcare v. shutting down the government because millions of Americans have healthcare. 


      Bring it on tiny dancer. 

    • BlueCatBlueCat says:

      There was plenty of compromise. The negotiations started off by offering the right side of the aisle most of what they wanted in the first place. Even though Obama ran on a plan including a public option that was never on the table, a table dominated by the insurers with not one seat for a single payer advocate. Ultimately a plan that was pretty much identical to Romneycare was duly passed and became law. The time for compromise was, at that point, over. ACA was a done deal. 

      Your side, not willing to except that done deal, shut down the government by losing a  game of chicken in which they were attempting to get Obama to surrender what he had succeeded in gaining via the legitimate legislative process by threatening to shut down the government if he didn't give them a do over. That's not negotiation. That's hostage taking with the government being the hostage and the threat being to kill the hostage. Sound familiar?

  3. ModeratusModeratus says:


    Just answer the question. Answer: nothing.

    Democrats are politicizing the floods and it is despicable.

    • ct says:

      Calm down now Moddy. Step away from the edge there.  

    • DawnPatrol says:

      You and your racist, mentally ill "party" are the living, breathing embodiment of "despicable."

      So stick and twist it.

    • mamajama55mamajama55 says:

      Modster – did you not read the original post? Beauprez stated on talk radio that he was "very, very proud" of the Colorado Republican congressional delegation for voting for the shutdown.

      The floods? Well, there was a delay. The National Guard was called in to help rebuild roads and bridges,  but there were no funds to pay them because of the shutdown. It took about a week for CO officials to jerry-rig funding to pay the Guard. This Wash Post article on 9/27/13 goes into the problem, which was expected to be resolved by the first week of October.

      By October 2, Hick had figured out a way to tap into Colorado emergency funds to pay the guardsmen. And apparently there was uncertainty in the recovery effort for the next two weeks, until the shutdown was lifted October 16 never being quite sure where monies would come from.

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