Question of the week for reporters: Why did Buck change his reason for making the “buyer’s remorse” comment?

One reason reporters should insist on talking directly to political candidates, and not their spokespeople, is to make it harder for public officials to change a position without explaining themselves.

If a spokesperson makes a statement, and the candidate later changes his tune, the candidate can simply say that the spokesperson got it wrong or missed a nuance.

That’s why the Greeley Tribune deserves big-time credit for speaking directly with Ken Buck about why he stated that a jury could view a case, in which a man had admitted to raping a college student, as “buyer’s remorse.”

Buck’s explanation to the Tribune on Wednesday, which did not make a lot of sense to me, was:

“She said she was passed out during the sexual act, so I wasn’t referring to whether she had buyer’s remorse for the act that they engaged in, but rather for the prior relationship they had.”

Back in September, Buck didn’t mention anything about “buyer’s remorse” as referring to the victim’s prior relationship with the suspect. The Denver Post reported today:

In a September interview, Buck said he never meant to imply that the alleged victim had buyer’s remorse but that “a jury could conclude this,” he said.

“If you take it in context, people understand it was my trying to give a brief comment of what a jury might find as opposed to my views on sex assault or victims,” Buck said.

In the Post’s quote above, it certainly doesn’t appear that Buck is saying that the jury might find that the victim had “buyer’s remorse” about the relationship not the sex act.

You’ll note that the Post’s interview was conducted in September.

Other than the Tribune, media outlets this week, since the Colorado Independent broke the story, have only quoted only Owen Loftus. (The Post’s Chuck Plunkett asked Buck about the general topic of insensitivity to women involved in rape cases yesterday, but Plunkett didn’t quote Buck in his blog post.)

So it appears that Buck doesn’t want to talk directly to reporters about the case or the “buyer’s remorse” remark.

Maybe his evolving explanation of comment is the reason he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Reporters should ask Buck what he meant when he said a jury might think the mostly unconscious victim, who told the suspect no, had “buyer’s remorse.”

Was Buck referring to having buyer’s remorse about the sex act?

Was he referring to the prior relationship?

And regardless, does he think it was an appropriate comment for a prosecutor to make publicly? If so, why? If not, will he apologize?

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