Last Friday night, GOP gubernatorial candidate Walker Stapleton held a fundraiser at a private home in Parker featuring former gube candidate and Congressman Tom Tancredo. We haven’t yet seen any long-form news coverage of this fundraiser yet, though Stapleton’s continuing embrace of Tancredo is becoming a significant news event in its own right–tripping Stapleton up badly in a recent interview with CBS4’s Shaun Boyd as Stapleton attempted to put distance between himself and his KKK family ties.
In the meantime, a Colorado Independent Tweet from the event is grabbing plenty of attention today:
Speaking after Tom Tancredo at this campaign event tonight at a private residence closed to media in Parker, Walker Stapleton, running for #cogov, says if a drone is hovering overhead it’s probably owned by @westword or @coindependent or one of those “phony news organizations.” pic.twitter.com/x2JCnAQQ66
— Colorado Independent (@COindependent) September 2, 2018
Donald Trump couldn’t say it any better himself! Trump’s recent ramping up of the inflammatory rhetoric against the media as the election approaches is not a strategy most Republican candidates can afford, but it’s apparently just too tempting to throw a little “enemy of the people” red meat to hardcore Republicans at fundraisers–not coincidentally the only segment of the population left who supports Trump.
But when unimpressed members of the local media asked, and of course they’re going to ask, don’t worry, the campaign says–Walker was just kidding!
A spokesman for @WalkerStapleton says he was joking when he referred to @DenverWestword and @COindependent as "phony news organizations." Spokesman says Stapleton has a "demonstrated track record of respect for the press." #cogov #copolitics #9NEWS https://t.co/T5Tlxf0uAd
— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) September 3, 2018
Nobody’s really sure what the Stapleton campaign means by a “demonstrated record of respect for the press,” but we assume they weren’t referring to last week’s encounter with Westword’s Patty Calhoun, in which Stapleton ran away after declaring “I don’t do extemporaneous interviews.” It’s much more likely, on the other hand, that Calhoun’s write-up of said encounter is what prompted Stapleton to refer to Westword as “phony news.” The unprecedented spectacle of Stapleton being called out repeatedly by local media for running false campaign ads in the primary, refusing even under withering criticism to take any remedial action–was that the “demonstrated record of respect for the press” Stapleton is talking about?
And all of this before we even get to whatever Tom Tancredo said at this fundraiser.
Hopefully they raised a ton of money to make this worth the trouble…