Buck, Norton Trade Barbs in First Debate

As The Colorado Springs Independent reports:

Ken Buck had more and louder supporters, Jane Norton fired a few grenades that didn’t really detonate, and about 400 people inside Stargazers Theatre and Event Center probably went home with no apparent change in their outlooks after the two Colorado Republicans running for the U.S. Senate engaged in a 90-minute debate Tuesday night.

At times the atmosphere felt more like a Tea Party rally, with both candidates doing their best to appeal to the outer edges of the state Republican party. Buck said he would support missile strikes against Iran’s potential nuclear facilities. Norton stated that Social Security and Medicare are on a “glide path that’s unsustainable.” Both said they would support a Constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget and following the guidelines of the Colorado Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.

One of the night’s biggest ovations actually went to a non-participant, Tea Party and Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes, who attended solely as a spectator.

All in all, from reports we’ve read and heard, the debate seemed fairly tame — which is odd, given that recent polling has Jane Norton trailing significantly behind Ken Buck. Norton’s going to have to get aggressive pretty soon if she’s going to turn Buck’s momentum.


54 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. bjwilson83 says:

    (Norton getting more aggressive.) Looks like maybe the Republican Party won’t be as divided as you think in November.

    • Gray in the mountains says:

      Do you really think that promising to support whoever wins, at this point in a primary that appears pretty conflicted, really means anything?

      Have another bowl of cereal, crack or whatever.

    • Colorado Pols says:

      The candidate who is behind at this point in the race always has to be the aggressor. If every debate or event goes like this one, Buck will cruise to a Primary win.  

    • Voyageur says:

      than the probable fact that it will nominate a Tea Party doo-whack-a-doo who is unable to reach out to the two-thirds of Coloradans who think that the Tea Party is, well, a bunch of doo-whack-a-doos.


      • H-man says:

        In November the voters will have a choice between two competing candidates.  One will represent going down the same highway hand in hand with Obama.  The other will represent clashing with that ideology and trying to cut back on programs and spending.

        My guess is 20% of the population think everything is swell with Team Obama on the left and 30% think we should shrink the government down and not have a budget deficit within the next three years on the right.  

        The rest don’t like either and will choose whichever they find is less unpleasant.  My guess is this year they will go Republican.

  2. StrykerK2 says:

    on the dem side, Romanoff/Bennet already had at least 2 (I remember seeing 2 online; there may have been a 3rd I missed).

    Both seemed to be smaller venues than this describes but they were earlier.

    I wonder if the dems will have another soon in a bigger venue.

    Why did republicans wait so long?

    • H-man says:

      I understand there is another one tonight.

      The problem Norton has is she is trying to use the 10 year old reprimand to support: how can you trust him to do what he says if you send him back to DC?  Because of her past when she implies: trust me to go back there and cut spending,I am a fiscal conservative, the fact that 5 years ago she just happened to campaign for Ref C as Lt. Gov., does not let her pull it off.

      • Voyageur says:

        saved Colorado from a situation where we would NEVER have been able to recover from the recession.  The TABOR ratchet was modified by Ref C.  Otherwise, we’d have finished destroying higher education and settled into permanent Third World status.

         Of course, that’s what you “drown the government in a bathtub” types want.  But real people, and those with IQs comfortably into double digits, kind of want schools, highways and other basic government services.

          I will never vote for a Republican who opposed Ref C — it’s proof that he’s a demagogue who put personal political considerations above the good of this state.

        • StrykerK2 says:

          If Norton is the nominee watch and she’ll become the champion of C for supporting it.

          A Norton v. Romanoff matchup would be interesting as Romanoff was one of the main writers and advocates for C.

          Norton: “I crossed party lines to support Ref C.”

          Romanoff: “I know…I wrote the damn thing and convinced your boss (Owens) to sign on.”

          Well I doubt Romanoff would swear, but that would be a funny exchange.

  3. 6thCDwatcher says:

    …Walt Klein did the media and was a well-paid spokesman FOR Ref C—wonder if he agrees with his candidate on Ref C now?

  4. caroman says:

    So, Ken Buck’s position is to go to war against Iran.  It’s just a feeling, but I don’t think that’s what the majority of Coloradans want to do just now.

  5. smart 1 says:

    The biggest issue of the night was not Ref C, or even Buck’s irresponsible statement about sending in cruise missiles to Iran.  It was when Norton quoted John Suthers saying Buck showed “reckless disregard of your obligation…to keep client information confidential”.  She brought up Suthers, who has endorsed Norton, fired Buck and sent him to ethics classes.  Buck waffled around in his response, but his actions are indefensible!  Buck did not follow the law, the same problem he had when he grabbed 5,000 Hispanic tax returns from a Hispanic tax preparer. Suthers told him to only take the few returns where he could prove up identity theft.  Buck refused to follow the law in that case a well. Does Buck think he is above the law?  We already have Senators who need ethics courses in Washington.  We certainly do not need to send one from Colorado.  

    • bjwilson83 says:

      halfway through because you were so embarrassed about your candidate. Guess the rumor was false. You know what, people are happy Buck tried to do something about illegal immigration. Based on your words during this campaign, you need an ethics course.

      • Gray in Mountains says:

        back to BJ. He isn’t tweaking enough

      • smart 1 says:

        You are, sadly, are a typical Buck supporter not dealing with reality.  I am as strong as anyone against illegal immigration, but the law must be followed.  Buck should have only taken the few tax returns who were guilty of identity theft. He would not have been sued, loose at the State Supreme Court, and have state ethics charges for violations of the 4th amendment. Buck has the same problems in the US Attorney office. He did not follow the law, resulting in Federal ethics charges. Buck supporters are very good at throwing out insults, but you have a very difficult time dealing with facts. If you would try a dose of reality, you would quickly realize Buck is not electable. Use your Buck shirt to mow the grass or workout. Buck will never win another race with all the baggage he is carrying.  

        • bjwilson83 says:

          in the entire campaign up to this point all I have heard from you is this same shtick. I haven’t heard one positive comment about Norton. If your candidate sucks that bad I guess it’s all you have left.

          • smart 1 says:

            Norton is the true conservative, electable candidate.  She has the proven record as a social and fiscal conservative.  She walks the walk on every issue. She is a very good person. She is a class act and a lady. She reduced her budget in every office she has had.  She defunded Planned Parenthood. Jane and her husband, Mike teach 2 year old Sunday School at a Vineyard Church in Denver. Mike does pro bono work for the Alliance Defense Fund, and was the attorney on the Personhood amendment. She has integrity! She has taken a leave of absence from any position she had when she has been running for office.  Buck is still being paid, even when he is never in his office. It is an easy choice.  We have one candidate who is ethical with integrity, and another one with ethics charges.  

            • RedGreen says:

              That’s the one who is knee deep in lobbyists and still quaintly denies she was ever a lobbyist, though she ran the lobbying department? Integrity to spare!

              Folks, they’re both accomplished politicians and longtime public servants who have made a mistake or two over the years — who hasn’t? — but neither is the kind of ethical cesspool the other side claims.

              You want to punish Norton for sticking with Owens on Ref C? OK, but don’t claim that one position disqualifies her from being a real conservative.

              You want to bash Buck for getting a slap on the wrist when he was a prosecutor? OK, but don’t claim that means anything other than he was caught in a highly political U.S. attorney’s office and went outside the lines once.

              Now if you can figure out any reason to pick one over the other based on anything else, good luck to you, because they’re virtually identical.

              • colawman says:

                I cannot get by Norton’s cozy relationship with so many lobbyists and the NRSC. The GOP does not get a pass from me. They are not the solution, they are the problem. Norton is deeply indebted to those power brokers who annointed her.

                If elected she will become a part of the GOP establishment that has betrayed the Republican party.


              • DavidThi808 says:

                What I have seen from the outside (being a Dem) is that Buck is happy to discuss where he stands and holds his positions (mostly) because he believes them. Norton appears to be trying to present herself as whatever the voters want.

                Now Jane Norton may be a conservative with strongly held beliefs she will stay true to when in office. But we have no way of knowing.

                • RedGreen says:

                  Sure we do, David.Look at her record. How can Democrats jeer her for being a longtime member of an ultra-conservative church, and point to all the draconian steps she took when she ran the Dept of Health, and then wonder whether she’s just blowing with the wind these days? Her support of Ref C was the anamoly, not everything she said and did before and since.

              • bjwilson83 says:

                However there are vast differences inside the Republican Party. It is about Colorado vs. Washington D.C., Tea Party vs. establishment, conservative vs. RINO, etc. Huge difference. Norton often copies Buck’s positions, but her words don’t match her actions in the past.

                • RedGreen says:

                  and some see huge differences between Bennet and Romanoff, but what it really comes down to is differences in tone and known associates. That’s enough to decide, but let’s be real, you’d get virtually the same voting record from either Republican or either Democrat.

                  • bjwilson83 says:

                    As many people have pointed out, one of the reasons Republicans lost ground is because they talked about fiscal responsibility but increased the deficit once they got in office. Apparently that was the whole rational for Obama quadrupling the deficit too: “Bush did it first”. So if we want Republicans who can win and govern well, primaries matter. A big part of why Obama won was that 20% of conservatives voted for him.

                    • RedGreen says:

                      was to pull the country back from the brink of a depression. Republicans were rightly called hypocrites for opposing deficit spending this time when they supported it through the Bush years.

                      I do not buy your implied premise that any Republicans voted for Obama because they thought he’d be a better Republican than John McCain, however.

                      I just think you’re making more of the Ref C support than the vast majority of Colorado voters will. It’s not the same as federal spending, for one thing, and Colorado voters approved it — and have seen the effects of drastic budget cuts in the state (both before Ref C and again after W. Bush’s second recession.

                    • bjwilson83 says:

                      …and it isn’t working now. I didn’t say any Republicans voted for Obama. Well yes, but not the vast majority of Republican voters.

                    • marilou says:

                      But Norton still supports it because it was necessary.  I don’t think she thought about cutting spending.  One thing at a time.

        • H-man says:

          Lets deal with some facts:

          1) In order to be elected in November you have to win in August.

          2) Norton claimed to be the only candidate who can raise money and get elected six months ago when she was up by 30 points.  That has not been helping her.

          3) Buck has no need to throw dirt on Norton because he is way ahead and Norton keeps losing voters when she throws dirt at him.

          4) There is plenty of dirt on Norton out there, Buck just does not need to throw it.

          As an aside, Norton’s lawyer in the case about whether she will be allowed to participate in the primary has indicated that she will continue on if she is not on the ballot.  I seem to recall Norton stating at the debate that she would support Buck when she loses.  Do you know which it is?

      • marilou says:

        Dumbass may have recently been the recipient of an ethics lesson.  He/she obviously hasn’t yet learned.

    • H-man says:

      We should vote for the lobbyist who tells us she isn’t a lobbyist because she is the ethical one?

      We should vote for the Executive Director or the Denver Police Foundation who paid herself more money than they gave away to the widows and children of fallen officers because she doesn’t need a class on ethics?

      We should vote for Charle Black’s sister in law because she is the outsider who is going back to DC to change things?

      Seems like a compelling argument to me.

  6. Michael Dorsett MD says:

    Has this thing been dismissed yet?


    Does anyone know?

    Go Jane Go!

  7. H-man says:

    Rossputin’s take of the debate is as follows:

    While there were no knockout punches thrown, I think Ken Buck won the debate on points, probably in a unanimous but close decision.

    He gave slightly more thoughtful answers overall and answered the questions a bit more directly. His delivery was also a little more personable and a little less like he was lecturing people, and he showed a quick wit.  That said, Jane Norton didn’t do a bad job.  She also showed herself to be on top of the issues and understanding of fundamental American principles.  Overall, Buck struck me as having a slightly better ability to carry the relevance of a particular subject through to another subject based on a fundamental underlying principle.  He seemed a little more rhetorically agile whereas Jane seemed a little more to be working with talking points, which disappointed me because I know she has a broad comprehension of issues.  It seemed to me that Jane wasn’t on her best game – or else her best game isn’t quite as good as Ken’s in that format.  Again, my sense that Ken won was at least as much on style as on substance, but I don’t argue that style doesn’t matter

    As the person ahead in the polls all Buck needs to do in the debates is not lose badly.

    • Michael Dorsett MD says:

      That was a terrible analysis.  I doubt this guy is FOR Norton – looks like a shill to me.

      • RedGreen says:

        Ross, unlike actual shills, doesn’t check his reality meter at the door because he supports one candidate over the other. That’s a fair reading of the debate performances.

      • bjwilson83 says:

        He pretended that he came out for her recently but he’s been a supporter from the get go. His latest article was very fair though. I’m not convinced he couldn’t be persuaded to switch if Norton keeps embarrassing herself.

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