As the Denver Post reports:
Colorado Republicans need to focus on fiscal restraint and small government – and avoid social issues – if they want to reassert themselves against the well-funded and well-organized Democratic Party that has emerged in the Centennial State over the last four years, a panel of experts told The Denver Post on a PoliticsWest webcast.
Colorado GOP chairman Dick Wadhams also said that Focus on the Family founder James Dobson’s comments that he would not vote for the party’s presumptive nominee, John McCain, won’t hurt the Arizona senator.
“I got to tell you, I constantly go to Republican events and speak to them and participate in them and I don’t perceive that attitude among social conservatives in Colorado,” Wadhams said. “In fact, our delegation to the national convention, I haven’t done an actual count, but we have a significant number of social conservatives and they are solidly behind Sen. McCain. And so I just don’t perceive any problem on that front.”
Dobson, the evangelical Christian leader who endorsed President Bush in 2004, opposes McCain. He said in February, “I am convinced Sen. McCain is not a conservative, and in fact, has gone out of his way to stick his thumb in the eyes of those who are.”
Wadhams predicted that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney would be John McCain’s pick for vice president. Panelist Eric Sondermann, an independent political analyst and founder of Denver’s SE2 consulting firm, said that would be a bad choice because Romney doesn’t “break the mold, he is the mold.”
This social wedge-issue stuff just doesn’t play with voters like it used to, says Independence Institute policy maven Jessica Peck Corry:
“I’m concerned about the social issues,” Corry said. “Republicans – we were coming off the booming ’90s and we had the luxury in the state legislature of debating whether or not the Pledge of Allegiance should be mandatory everyday.”
“We don’t have the luxury to have those types of debates now when people are hurting,” Corry said. “We need to get government out of people’s lives, and if I could preach anything or suggest anything to candidates today it’s: ‘Don’t take the bait and start defining what people should do in their own lives.’ Because that’s why, I think, in large part, Republicans did so poorly” in elections during the last four years…
Seems pretty lucid, doesn’t it? Of course, Wadhams doesn’t want to get into pesky social issues (like abortion) for obvious reasons even though they’ve always been at the core of Senate candidate Bob Schaffer’s agenda, and Jessica Corry spent the last few years doggedly waging an unpopular and generally unsuccessful campaign against “liberal bias” at Colorado public colleges. Now she’s heading up the proponent side of a statewide ballot initiative attacking affirmative action programs, about as sticky a social issue as you can find (not so much if you’re white, point taken).
And isn’t there some kind of hardcore abortion thing on the ballot this year?
Bottom line: yeah, good advice, too bad they won’t be able to take it.