We talk a lot about Republican gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton in this space. In fact, Stapleton was the subject of our first blog post today after his flabbergastingly-disastrous interview with CBS4 last night. It makes perfect sense that we would regularly discuss the GOP nominee for the top job in Colorado — after all, this is a website dedicated to Colorado political news and analysis — but with such consistent commentary it can be difficult to fully express the stupendous ineptitude of the man Republicans hope to elevate to the Governor’s office in November.
Colorado has had some bad statewide candidates in recent years, from Bob Beauprez in 2006 (with honorable mention for 2014) and Dan Maes in 2010 to Jon Keyser and Darryl Glenn in 2016. We’ll wait until after the November election to rank Stapleton in the pantheon of ridiculous Republicans, but we wouldn’t be doing our jobs if we didn’t make sure that Colorado Pols readers fully understood the history unfolding before us this fall:
We are all witness to a uniquely-awful candidate running an absolutely brutal campaign…and we still have two more months to go until Election Day.
Lest you attempt to argue with our point, take a look at today’s story from Patty Calhoun in Westword. This is the first paragraph of Calhoun’s story:
Walker Stapleton looked at me the way a bull calf must regard a castration knife. “I can’t talk to you,” he said, turning on his heel as I extended my hand and introduced myself. “I don’t do extemporaneous interviews. It doesn’t work out for me. Talk to my people.” [Pols emphasis]
“I can’t talk to you,” says Stapleton.
“I don’t do extemporaneous interviews,” says Stapleton.
“I think they have a new strategy: Hide and seek.”
— Tom Tancredo on Walker Stapleton’s campaign for Governor
This is THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF COLORADO candidly explaining to a journalist that “it doesn’t work out for me” to respond to questions with unrehearsed answers. In fairness, Stapleton is not wrong here — he really is a walking, talking dumpster fire when asked to say anything to anyone — but, just…WTF???
As Calhoun explains later in her story, she was merely trying to introduce herself to Stapleton in hopes that Westword might be able to get a sit down interview with THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR OF COLORADO (we should also point out here that Calhoun is not merely a reporter for Westword — she is also the freaking publisher). Stapleton’s campaign is notoriously media-shy — again, not for nothing — but this is very odd:
…others who witnessed our brief encounter had plenty to say. “In forty years in politics, I’ve never seen anything like that,” said one insider, who’s handled plenty of uncomfortable inquiries from reporters during that time.
“Isn’t he running for governor of Colorado?” asked another. “Won’t he have to talk to the press sometime?”
If recent history is any guide, we won’t have to wait long for the next great Republican disaster of a candidate in our state, but Walker Stapleton is truly remarkable in his own way. It seems inconceivable that Stapleton might get elected as Colorado’s next Governor (but of course, Donald Trump), so we encourage all Coloradans to fully appreciate this spectacle while you have the opportunity.
In other words, embrace the suck.