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September 29, 2006 06:57 PM UTC

Rocky Mountain News Endorses Ritter

  • by: Colorado Pols

Democrat Bill Ritter picked up a key endorsement today when the Rocky Mountain News joined The Grand Junction Sentinel and Montrose Daily Press in backing him for governor over Republican Bob Beauprez. From the News:

Bill Ritter for governor.

Yes, you heard right. We believe that the former Denver district attorney, despite his inexperience outside the law enforcement realm, is the better of two good candidates running for Colorado’s top job.

True, our endorsement today is a bit of a gamble given Ritter’s limited experience. It could even turn out to be a major mistake. But based on the Bill Ritter we’ve known over the years and watched on the campaign trail, we don’t think that’s likely. It will be an error only if Ritter himself proves to be a reckless liar, and we’ve seen no evidence for that being the case…

…Our choice was not an easy one, since we also admire Ritter’s Republican opponent, Bob Beauprez. Indeed, we have to believe the 7th District congressman – whom we’ve endorsed both times he’s run – would certainly make a better governor than he has let on during this campaign…

…For us, the tipping point between the two men has to do with their campaigns. To be blunt, Beauprez’s performance during the past 15 months has not been reassuring. It began with his taking an unconvincing stand against Referendum C, one seemed designed to secure his right flank rather than satisfy personal conviction. It continued with his mysterious embrace and then repudiation of Amendment 38, and a couple of verbal gaffes. And for a long time it wasn’t clear why Beauprez even wanted to be governor. Only recently – too late in our view – have his positions begun to gel into a focused, coherent message.

This newspaper has watched Ritter under fire and seen him take on new challenges. In everything he does there’s a certain steadiness that we believe Coloradans will find reassuring.

Eighteen months ago Ritter was an improbable candidate whom few gave a chance of grabbing the Democratic Party’s nomination, given his anti-abortion views. Now he’s poised to defy the odds and become the next governor. Fortunately for Coloradans, he’s shown he deserves it.


14 thoughts on “Rocky Mountain News Endorses Ritter

  1. (I put this on the open thread, but it’s relevant here.)

    Get this…

    Sure, it’s interesting that the Rocky endorsed Ritter even though they have endorsed Beauprez in his two Congressional races, but the real story lies in this quote:
    “For us, the tipping point between the two men had to do with their campaigns.”

    You don’t say. Thank you, Rocky, for writing what everyone else has known for months:  that campaign sucks.  The consultants are washed up, the staff is in way over their heads, and Beauprez had turned into a lazy candidate. These people are done.  They have nothing to contribute to modern campaigns and proved that any luck they may have had in recent years was just that – luck.  Incompetent, unimaginative, parochial, delusional, out of touch and uninspiring. 

    But then the Rocky goes on…

    “To be blunt, Beauprez’s performance during the past 15 months has not been reassuring. It began with his unconvincing (added for emphasis) stand against Referendum C, one seemed designed to secure his right flank rather than satisfy personal conviction. It continued with his mysterious embrace and then repudiation of Amendment 38, and a couple of verbal gaffes. And for a long time it wasn’t clear why Beauprez even wanted to be governor. Only recently — too late in our view — have his positions begun to gel into a focused, coherent message.”

    Yes.  Beauprez muffed this as did his staff.  The biggest circle jerk of this campaign season would be that troupe.  Hillman, Suthers and Coffman better start distancing themselves right now.  As should every legislative candidate out there.  Beauprez is sinking fast

  2. From the Greeley Tribune:


    La Salle governor candidate asks Beauprez to drop out

    A La Salle man running as a Republican write-in candidate asked the leading candidate, Bob Beauprez, to resign from the race Thursday.

    “Plummeting poll numbers demonstrate that Rep. Beauprez is no longer a viable candidate in this race,” said Chuck Sylvester, a La Salle farmer who announced his candidacy this summer. “Voters have overwhelmingly stated they do not trust him to lead this great state. Traditional Republican voters are abandoning him, and that’s a signal that would be foolish to ignore.”

    Several polls conducted in the past few days show Democratic candidate Bill Ritter holding a lead of about 16 percentage points.

    The Beauprez campaign pointed to a poll released Thursday by Zogby International and the Wall Street Journal, showing Beauprez within about four percentage points.

    Sylvester said the Colorado Republican Party is allowing Ritter a victory because Beauprez can’t win. He said Beauprez had a “dismal track record” as a member of Congress.

    “The Republican Party central committee members in Colorado need to wake up and smell the coffee,” Sylvester said. “I’m running for the job as Governor of Colorado the old-fashioned way — I want to earn it.”

    Well said, Chuck.

  3. That endorsement talks more about Beauprez than it does about Ritter.  What about the issues?  What about substantive examples where Ritter has proven he can lead this state?  To say that he has been steadfast is not a good enough reason for the second largest paper in the state to endorse someone who would lead it.  I’m disappointed…not disappointed about who they’re endorsing, but disappointed in their lack of substance.

    1. It comes across as such a backhanded compliment, or rather endorsement, that it seems like they threw up their hands and said “well, least of two evils.” I think they had a lot they could have written about, but chose to shore up some republican readership by pointing out previous endorsements for BWB and then crititquing his campaign.

      1. That’s the whole point.  They pretty much harpooned the future careers of the campaign staff.  From here on out, it won’t be the Benson race that was the worst in republican history.  It’ll be the Beauprez campaign. 

      1. but they may have endorsed Romer against Andrews or even Benson.

        More interesteting question is when was the last time the Rocky endorsed a Gubernatorial candidate that did not win.

  4. Beauprez joins a long list of inept gubernatorial and presidential candidates who have blown their own campaigns in various ways.

    Both ways Bob appealed to the GOP establishment because won CD-7 twice in difficult races and seemed to be an effective congressman.

    But he’s blown his opportunity, I think, by being extremely coy about why is running and what he wants to do if elected. And he’s made some big verbal and strategic mistakes that showed him to be both out-of-touch with voters and a Repulsive Republican Radical who can’t win the unaffiliated votes. Indeed, he drives moderate Republicans and unaffiliated voters to the sidelines, if not to Ritter.

    That he was against C&D is unimportant. His wimpiness on those and related issues undermined his credibility and set him up as a big target that any respectable Democrat could bulls eye.

    Ritter, on the other hand, has managed to come across as quite a bit brighter than Beauprez even though the latter has done fairly well in debates with Ritter. It doesn’t hurt Ritter that he has no record outside of law enforcement and that BB’s attack on his law enforcement record doesn’t have enough substance to turn the tide in favor of the GOP’s doomed candidate.

    Since I don’t know BB’s staff and don’t really care to, I have no idea about how effective they are individually. They’ve made mistakes, as all staffs do, but it seems gratuitous and unfair to blame the candidate’s failures on them.

    It’s very hard to turn a lousy candidate into a winner when the opponent is a better candidate and less foot-in-mouth prone.

    1. Oh how the power-hungry Republican Establishment must be regreting its snobbish and elitist dissing of the party’s best candidate for governor, Mike Coffman.

      The establishment went for “stature” instead of brains and experience, judging that Coffman lacked the “presence” to win the gubernatorial race. And, for some reason, the anti-establishment Repubs went for a carpet bagger, Slick Marc.

      While no one can say whether Coffman would have beat Ritter, it’s almost certain that he wouldn’t have burned out the way MH and BB did.

      Too bad for the GOP, it’s financial backers already are sliding over to become members of the Democratic Party Establishment, going where the power is and taking their big dirty bucks with them. Will they be able to push the traditional Dem power brokers asside?

      1. This is unreal. I can not remember the last time that you and I have agreed on any issue ever. Your analysis of the governor’s race is spot on in my opinion. The heirarchical structure that dictates what candidates can run for what higher office positions, I think, leads to what we see in the governor’s race on the republican side. I dont know about holtzman being a carpet bagger, but BWB coming out of one of the most “even” districts I thought would have given him a slight lead.

        BWB demonstrated incompetence with his campaign. Whether the accusations of colaboration are true or not too many people link Trailhead with him, and this is having a detrimental impact on his campaign. You listed reasons that he is failing/will fail and you are completely right.

      2.   He certainly would have been a more serious, credible, presentable Republican candidate who (although it’s pure speculation) would probably be running neck-and-neck right now with Ritter. 
          And I give Coffman some credit for going to Kuwait in ’91 and to Iraq last year.  He very well may have had mixed motives (genuine sense of duty as a Marine plus political gain), but most decisions in life involve selfish as well as altruistic motives. 
          He put his neck on the line which is a lot more than Tancredo (I’m depressed; don’t make me go to Vietnam) and Both Ways (my ulcer is bleeding; don’t send me to Vietnam) did when duty called.

  5.   I am not saying any one person in reality would be a good governor. I know many that would, but they are not rich and are not known to the public to even get a nod. Every politicians lies to get votes. That is how they get into office. However once they are there I would realy love to know if they are going to do anything to help the thousands of residents like me. Sort of like the promise our founders made to get the bill of rights passed. They made a promise and to the best of my knowledge that may have been the last one ever kept. Here is my little tiffy that I would love to see a canidate address. Not just to the minority or rural voters, but to every single or married person in this state. Colorado is taking over the technology boom from California and it one of the fastes growing states in the nation. Well heres my little tid bit to make this rant longer.

    I would like to know what you would do with the commission on higher education regarding adults continuing or going back to school at a school for the degree and course they chose. I mean this for the thousands of low income families living at or below poverty levels that can’t go to school simply by filling out the FASFA. The schools of brick and mortar will never go away. With the advance of the Internet more school are offering highly complex and intense online courses to fit in the lives of working parents. Should a person be told they can’t go to school because they can’t afford it or they have to drive an additional 100-150 miles a day to receive state assisted funding at a school the state chooses, even if the school does not offer a course specific degree and yet they alter their degree program to include course to call it a specific degree? What will you do to help the thousands of Colorado families that need an adult education to seek an improved quality of life? After all isn’t that your platform? Coloradoans improved quality of life? I am enrolled seeking a degree and we are the family I just described. Should my kids be punished living in poverty because I can’t get a good paying job even with the knowledge I have? Yet I know of one person working as a youth counselor for the department of youth corrections. His education? A GED!! My parents could not afford to send me to a 4 year school after High School. I worked 2 jobs to support my self my first shot at it. I did graduate with a certificate of completion and yet NOBODY considers that an education!!! Am I stupid for going back to school? Should I not try to improve my families’ quality of life while parents get to send their kids to charter schools, with state funding, because they feel their kids are too good for public school? Yes I am mad at the politicians’ and the way they constantly think of the special interest groups and supporters before any thing else. There is no way any one can tell me that no student has never gone to school out of state, even though the main campus is here, and has received state aid because of some congressman or legislator pushing their tuition through. We do not get food stamps or public medical care for our kids. We pay our own insurance and try to do the best we can without state help. But gosh darn it we need help so I can give my kids a future. So tell me in all honesty what you plan on doing without a political dance around rhetoric. Either you can do something or you will not. Do you care about Coloradoans lives or is that a front.

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