Fresh from his top-GOP-Senate-candidate showing in the latest Public Policy Pollingsurvey, Ken Buck took to the talk-radio airwaves in recent days, bragging that he’s ahead of his primary opponents by “25 points or more” and that he “had a lot Tea Party support last time” and he has “a lot of Tea Party support this time.”
Reminded by KHOW’s Mandy Connell that he was tagged as a “gaffe-machine” in 2010, Buck said:
Buck: “Obviously, I’m more careful in what I say and where I say it and who I’m around. It doesn’t mean I don’t hold the same values. I think messaging is important.”
Connell wouldn’t have gotten anywhere with Buck had she asked him the sorts of things he’d say privately versus in public, but she could have at least listed a couple of Buck’s private utterances that Democrats used to sledge-hammer Buck in TV ads last time around, including his infamous exuberance for banning abortion, even in the case of rape and incest, as well as his private courting then public dumping of personhood activists, whose failed amendment would have banned common forms of birth control, as well as all abortion.
Connell, who had Buck on her show Tuesday, also might have recounted some of the Buck material leading to the “gaffe-machine” tag, like his comment comparing being gay to alcoholism.
With this info out there, listeners might have wondered about the truth of Buck’s claim to Connell: “The donors know me. They trust me.” Really? On the issues, Buck said: “I’m going to put out a series of issue statements, starting in January, that will be very specific on health care, on energy, on five or six or seven different issues.”
Five! Six! or even seven issue statements! Connell could have mocked Buck for promising such incredible depth. But instead she just let him say:
Buck: “I think it’s very important for Republicans to stand for something, not just stand against something. I’m not just part of the party of no.” On health care, for example, Buck says he wants a “free-market health-care system.”
On KLZ radio Friday, Buck took a shot at candidates who petition onto the primary ballot, as planned by his opponent Rep. Amy Stephens, instead of going through the caucus process.
Buck said the petition route “bypasses the party structure, the people who work the hardest in the party, and it’s something that would be very unfortunate, if people petitioned on.”
Discussing in more detail why it’s bad for a candidate to skip the caucus-process and petition onto the primary ballot, Buck and Clark said:
Clark: Then you have the other tactic, which is simply to pay a bunch of people to go out and get a bunch of signatures and put your name on the ballot. Well, okay, we’ve all seen what happens when that happens. It’s usually not very pretty. This particular candidate, I have a feeling, is going to run a scorched-earth campaign. We’re just going to have to deal with that. Ken?
Buck: Well, I think, one, there’s a big advantage to going to the caucuses and the assembly. And that is, you go to all the counties of the state, and you ask for their support. And they work for you in the primary and they work for you in the general election. And when you put people in front of a supermarket with a clipboard in their hands, you’re not gaining support. You may think that you may have enough money to run an air game in Denver media and win a race, but the reality is that running state-wide is very difficult to win petitioning on. And so, I agree with your analysis.
Buck told Clark: “In primaries, people are going to put their best foot forward, and they’re going to put their opponent’s worst foot forward, and we will be weaker going against a candidate like Mark Udall.”