Romanoff Waxes Centrist In First TV Spot

The Denver Post's Jon Murray reports on Democratic CD-6 candidate Andrew Romanoff's first ad, now playing:

In the ad, the former Colorado House speaker touts a record of balanced budgets, with legislators working across the aisle to make tough choices. The contrast to Congress’ partisan gridlock is clear.

Of course, as Romanoff points out, the state constitution requires a balanced budget each year. He ends the spot by saying “it ought to be the law in Washington, too.” Romanoff has said he supports a balanced-budget amendment…

The ad’s simple lines leave little to pick apart factually, opening with: “It’s really pretty simple. You don’t buy things you can’t pay for. But that’s what Congress does all the time, spending our tax dollars on perks and privileges, while racking up a mountain of debt.” It’s an ad that Romanoff hopes will cast him as financially responsible in a district where he needs to win over plenty of moderates.

A little more from Romanoff campaign spokesperson Denise Baron:

Romanoff’s communications director, Denise Baron, noted the different approaches of the two candidates in this race. “Congressman Coffman and his colleagues voted for a budget that would shift the tax burden onto middle class families, make college more expensive, and force seniors to pay thousands more in Medicare costs. Andrew supports a balanced budget plan that grows the economy, protects Social Security, and puts the middle class first.”

It's not an ad aimed at partisan Democrats, but for the purposes of introducing Romanoff to lay CD-6 voters, that's just fine. The story of Romanoff's background in the Colorado legislature, where the budget must constitutionally balance each year, makes a great counter to trying to pre-emptively hold Romanoff responsible for fiscal profligacy in Washington, DC. It would make a good follow-up for Romanoff to make clear that said fiscal irresponsibility is the fault of Republican tax cuts and wars as much as anything Democrats have done, but that's maybe a better point for later in the cycle.

For today, Romanoff has a well-produced ad up that doesn't go expressly negative, but nonetheless responds squarely to a central Republican talking point. We'd call that a good investment.

24 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Voyageur says:

    Of course, Romanoff also understands that a federal balanced budget amendment would either be a farce or a catastrophe.  But Coffman can't call him on it.  Sigh.

  2. Moderatus says:

    What a joke. Sure, Andrew Romanoff and Nancy Pelosi will balance the budget!

    What a joke. The internal polls must not look good.

  3. BlueCat says:

    No one should be surprised. The only time Romanoff tried to be anything other than centrist was when he primaried his own party's centrist incumbent, Bennet. There never was dime's worth of difference between them on the left right scale. Centrist is definitely the way to go for this district just as it's the way to go for Governor and Senator. 

    Agree with Voyageur that the federal balanced budget thing is silly but, moderates love to hear that kind of stuff. Coffman will have a very tough time finding anything in Romanoff's Colorado legislative career background to paint him as a far lefty since he never was one except in the imagination of his anti-Bennet supporters.

    All in all a decent introductory ad and its good to see Romanoff returning to his genuine pretty centrist roots. As I think he probably found out when he went up against Bennet as the newly created progressive champion, it's going to be a lot easier to run as yourself  than to try to reinvent yourself and get people to forget all about your past record. This time he gets to run with his record, a record that works for a centrist campaign. 

    I like Romanoff as Romanoff's chances against Coffman trying to be a more moderate, but at the same time not more moderate Coffman. That's hard and, as we saw in 2012, Coffman doesn't handle it well at all. He's certainly in no position to go after anyone for flip flops on anything if he can find any. That would just invite revisiting all of his own. 

    Guess we'll see who's "falling all over themselves" and "running scared" come November.

    • Davie says:

      Well put BC.  Romanoff is running as himself in his sweet spot on the political spectrum that is an excellent fit with CD6.  

      Coffman is running away from himself and is going to have to zig and zag to try to coverup or pander to his old and new audiences.  He'll be no better at that than our resident troll/apologists from the GOTP.

    • mamajama55 says:

      Romanoff's acceptance speech at the Democratic Assembly was more specific: invest in education, in infrastructure, support raising minimum wage, keep DACA in place for Dreamers. (Starting at about 3:44 in linked video)

      Are those now progressive policies? Do they conflict with balancing the budget?

      After the banks were bailed out, the rest of the TARP program was a massive infrastructure investment, but I think it all got paid back, at least in savings from NOT having to deal with collapsed bridges and highways….Education investment gets paid back in graduating literate people, ready to work and be citizens. So….not easily quantifiable in the short term?

      I'm not very economically literate myself – but I think that there may be no conflict between his speech at the Assembly, and the ad he put out today. Discuss.

      • BlueCat says:

        Nobody balances the federal budge, certainly Republicans don't for all their blather. Because that's what it is. Blather. That doesn't mean you can't run up a surplus as happened under Clinton. Not that Republicans are any good at that either. Being mainly centrist doesn't mean you can't have any progressive ideas, either. It does mean you can win in a purple state or district. 

        The Clintons are both quite centrist and so is President Obama by any reasonable standard. That was the whole point of DLC and triangulating and Romanoff was the Colorado DLC Chair, not exactly a flaming liberal. And that's a good thing since he couldn't possibly win in CD6 if he was.

        Just because wacko righties label essentially centrist Dems far lefties doesn't mean we should take their word for it. 

  4. ParkHill says:

    Umm. Proclaiming the glory of a balanced budget isn't Centrist, it is Right-Wing, Simpson-Bowlese propaganda, and economicially illiterate. It plays right into the republican, libertarian playbook. Remember how Clinton balanced the budget, and then how George Bush cut taxes to create a "debt crisis", which could only be solved by cutting social insurance programs.

    So the logic of "balanced budget" does nothing but feed the right-wing trolls… not our local ones, but the big vultures like Koch Bros, the kleptocrats and the aristocrats.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Spot on!  Economically illiterate is an understatement.  Instead of feeding the righties delusions, I'd prefer a Representative that told these numbskulls how ignorant they've all become post-koch-indoctrination. 

  5. JBJK16 says:




    Why, I'm sure I read right here on this very blog that Romanoff would introduce a public option, if not single payer. And he would make Bernie Sanders look like a right wing loon.

    no way is Romanoff a centrist, he's practically a Sandinista.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      LOL.  Perspective . . . It's only in the last 15 years that Barry Goldwater, too, would have been considered a Maoist.  Ike?  Hell he must have been working with Krushxhev to implement Stalin's plans for turning Nebraska into a Red collective??

      • JBJK16 says:

        Ike was the best president of the twentieth century.

        • BlueCat says:

          And he was to the left of any recent serious Democratic candidate, never mind Republicans. Just look at the pro labor platform he ran on. Also, he called himself a liberal. It wasn't a dirty word then and only is now because cowed Dems let the right make it one. 

          He'd be shocked by how far right the definition of moderate has been dragged by his party, the party represented by the 1956 Republican Party Platform. By the standards of recent Republican party platforms it's practically a Communist Manifesto.

          • JBJK16 says:

            Yes, Ike was a communist. It all makes sense now.

            JFK was a Demi-god, LBJ was a mistake or an accident, Nixon-crook, Ford-fool, Carter-misunderstood, Reagan-devil and then insane,  blah blah blah.

            Like the rest of us, leaders don't get to choose their era. They do the best they can with what they have.

  6. hawkeye says:

    Newly found moderation amongst politicians … about as convincing with Romanoff as it is with Coffman.  Obviously CD-6 must be a tossup.  Political ads will have Romanoff trying to convince us he's not a spendthrift, and Coffman is in military uniform saluting the flag.

  7. mamajama55 says:

    Coffman introduced a bill to require coverage of pre-existing conditions – "just in case" Obamacare is repealed. Seriously. 

    And apparently, no reporter even asked him why he is wasting time promoting brand new unnecessary legislation to replace signed and implemented legislation which 75% of the enrollees are pretty darn happy with.

    Why does the Congressman imagine that this is a winning idea?

    Perhaps, as Meghan Trainor would sing, "I'm all about that base".

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