Good God! Walker Stapleton is a Terrible Candidate

Walker Stapleton, pretty much all the time.

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 WestwordThis 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.


12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. RepealAndReplace says:

    Is it too late for Stapleton to drop out and for the GOP to sub in Cynthia Coffman? Inquiring minds – plus Moderatus – want to know.

  2. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    "My mom says I shouldn't talk to strangers," continued Stapleton.  He then ran off yelling "STRANGER DANGER!" into the crowd, unfortunately leaving his Scooby-Doo lunchbox abandoned on the grass at my feet.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    “I don’t do extemporaneous interviews. It doesn’t work out for me. Talk to my people.”  They'll confirm I'm telling the truth!

  4. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Dems have never run any terrible candidates in recent years?

    Unfortunately for the Republicans, these Stapleton incidents sort of take the heat off Polis for skipping that Club 20 meeting in Grand Junction.

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      On the question of "terrible candidates":  working backwards: Polis, Hickenlooper, Hickenlooper, Ritter, Heath, Schoettler, Romer, Romer, Lamm, Lamm, Lamm — and that takes us back to 1974.

      Do any of them compare to Stapleton, Glenn, Maes, or Tancredo?

      • unnamed says:

        Heath as a Gubernatorial candidate comes closest.


        Also, you forgot Beauprez in your listing of Republicans.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          Rollie Heath was a p oor candidate but I think he would have been a good governor.

          • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

            Heath clearly wasn't all he could have been as a candidate, and he turned into a loser…. but I don't recall any series of blunders to put him into contention with S, G, M or T from the Republicans.

            And i didn't add in Beauprez to the list, because I'm not certain even HE belongs among the 4 Republicans I think of as "terrible."

  5. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    If some of these moments were on passable quality video recording, it would save the Polis campaign endless amounts of creative and production time for their ads.

    Considering a candidate who leaps to the conclusion that an introduction of a publisher somehow is an "extemporaneous interview" that doesn't work out for him —

     * is he just clueless about who Patty Calhoun is? or does he not understand the difference of a publisher and a reporter?

     * what the heck does he think the Governor does? Interviews are, like, a major part of state-wide leadership. Impromptu, extemporaneous, or fully planned doesn't really matter. If he thinks he can't make a good impression with the press during the campaign, how does he think an interaction with a skeptical CEO or a governor of an adjacent state would go? Or how he would handle the governor's duties at a time like the Aurora theater shooting, a major spill from an abandoned mine or oil storage facility, or in the aftermath of a forest fire that burned an entire neighborhood?


  6. allyncooper says:

    The  phrase " It's better to remain silent and appear stupid than to open your mouth and erase all doubt." comes to mind.

  7. DavieDavie says:

    By hiding under his desk?

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