It really doesn’t matter if you’re ready for some football, because it’s happening anyway; the Denver Broncos kick off the NFL season tonight at home against the Carolina Panthers. It’s time to Get More Smarter with Colorado Pols. If you think we missed something important, please include the link in the comments below (here’s a good example). If you are more of a visual learner, check out The Get More Smarter Show.
TOP OF MIND TODAY…
► NBC News and talking puppet Matt Lauer hosted a “Commander-in-Chief” forum on Wednesday evening that was widely panned by critics because of Lauer’s apparent unwillingness to ask difficult questions of Republican candidate Donald Trump. From CNN Money:
The “Today” show co-host was criticized for spending too much time on Clinton’s emails, lobbing softball questions to Trump, and neglecting to fact-check the Republican nominee when he falsely claimed to have opposed the Iraq War in 2002.
“This #NBCNewsForum feels like an embarrassment to journalism,” New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof wrote on Twitter.
“Lauer has done great interviews. But that’s one of the weakest, least incisive performances I’ve seen from a presidential forum moderator,” tweeted Will Saletan, a writer at Slate.
Lauer’s journalistic indifference didn’t prevent Trump from making a number of questionable statements, however. As the Washington Post reports:
Donald Trump defended his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin at a forum here Wednesday focused on national security issues, even suggesting that Putin is more worthy of his praise than President Obama.
“Certainly, in that system, he’s been a leader, far more than our president has been a leader,” Trump said. “We have a divided country.”…
…He reaffirmed his view that having men and women serve alongside one another is the root of the military’s sexual-assault problem. He said recent intelligence briefings have convinced him that Clinton and other Obama administration officials did not heed the advice of experts. And he praised Putin, noting among other things the Russian president’s “82 percent approval rating.”
Trump’s comments are a problem for Republican candidates such as Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Aurora), who face new scrutiny over whether or not they agree with Trump on foreign policy issues specifically.
Trump also made some bizarre claims about his visit to Mexico last week.
► Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson is confused by the word “Aleppo” (hint: it’s a big city in Syria).
► “This is the race of Coffman’s career.” That single quote is a pretty good summary of a CD-6 preview from Corey Hutchins of the Colorado Independent. Elsewhere, the Denver Post reports on Democrat Morgan Carroll’s first TV ad of the cycle.
Get even more smarter after the jump…