Peter Boyles Show, George Brauchler, April 5, 2017

Station: KNUS, 710 AM

Show:     Peter Boyles Show

Guests:  Brauchler


Date:      April 5, 2017


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(NOTE:  These notes were compiled while listening to the interview with Congressman Coffman.  All comments noted are paraphrased, unless specifically identified as direct quotes.) 

HOST PETER BOYLES:  I’ve been a fan for a long, long, long, long time. Please say good morning — hope we can say soon, “Gov. George Brauchler”. The man is the DA. We’ll see what happens next.  DA, good morning. Welcome back to the radio show.


BOYLES:  What’s the great – you know, like, “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!”

BRAUCHLER:  That’s the truth! I was trying to wrap my mind around what this day and this whole endeavor is going to look like.  And last week, I was at the pool with my two youngest. I was trying to coax them into going off the high dive.and I thought, “Man, this is a little bit like that.” Right? Like, you get up there for the first time. You’ve see other people do it. They look like they’ve gone, relatively unscathed. You’re pretty sure you can make it. But you stop and look down, like, “What in the hell am I doing?”

BOYLES:  [laughs]

BRAUCHLER:  That’s kind of how this is

BOYLES:  I’m always, like, my mother and father raised a lot of ugly children. [laughs] [but] not a lot of stupid ones, you know? And then here I am. Right? So–.

BRAUCHLER:  Yeah. Right! Exactly.

BOYLES:  So, I have thought you are the greatest guy for the longest time and it has nothing to do with politics. You’re just a good guy.

BRAUCHLER:  Oh, thank you.

BOYLES:  No, no, come on! Truth is – and we spend time together and we hung out and talked and everything. And Brauchler is like this really good guy. And I’ve been urging him, “Run for governor, George! Run for governor!” And, so, how did you come – remember that Harvard Decision Making Model?

BRAUCHLER:  Right. Right

BOYLES:  How did you decide to do this?

BRAUCHLER:  I spilled coffee on mine. So, it got all messed up. I’m not sure how you get there. Some of this is a product, though, — you remember back in 2013? I had said some pretty strong words in objection to Gov. Hickenlooper sparing the life of that convicted mass murderer, Nathan Dunlap. And that sort of started discussion — even back then – about hey, would Brauchler seek higher office. And I said, “No, I want to get this trial done and behind me.” And then after that, there was this talk of, “Hey, would you run for Senate against Bennet?” And I got close, but I just didn’t want to leave Colorado. But in the process of doing that, you have those conversations with your family where you are sort of testing the waters, like, Is this even something we want to do, let alone could do? And I think it made it easier. As we looked down the road, we saw what 2018 looked like, looked at where we’ve come from over the past 6-10 years, and thought, “You know, if we are going to make a difference for us and for the kids in the state, we have got to do something now. So, that’s how it happened.

BOYLES:  Are you going to catch grief for the James Holmes [case]?  I know you asked for the death penalty, and the jury came back with life in prison without parole. Is that going to work for or against you? How do you deal with that as an issue?

BRAUCHLER:  That’s a great question, in large part because of the millions of things I take pride in having done as District Attorney and elsewhere in my career, that one’s garnered the most attention. And so that’s the one people seem to know me by. And I think it’s fair for people to ask those questions. I think it’s a fair question. I don’t think it’s going to hurt me.  Any right minded, justice loving person out there could see why that decision was made. I am disappointed that juror that ended up saying, “Look, I will never, ever vote for death.” And it sort of ended deliberations. Now, having said that, that’s part of the process. Yes, we have the hardest death penalty law in the country, but that’s our law, and had we gotten that vote – and had we gotten death — I would’ve expected the state to embrace that as justice. And just because we didn’t get the answer I thought was best, I’m not going to give scandal to the system. I still think that guy deserved to die. I still do. But, was that a just outcome? I think it was, based on the system.

BOYLES:  You and I – I mean, in fairness to George – we never talked about it until it was over. And I know the guy, and I know you did all the right things. So, how does this work? You’re the DA now, and when this campaign – I guess campaigning is day one, right? But, where do we go from here?

BRAUCHLER:  Well, I’m going to stay DA. I mean, this is too important a job to give up, um, for just political ambition. And someone else asked me this question – and I think it is fair, too – like, “Well, what do you do? Which one do you pick?”   And, um, I sleep very little, as most people who have ever read my Twitter feed know. I mean, I’m just a poor sleeper since coming back from Iraq. And, there are enough hours in the day to do both of these things well. But where there is going to be conflict, I’m picking the DA job over the running-for-governor piece. And there are a couple trials out there that are in the pipeline, that if they end up going to court, I’ll suspend my participation in the campaign, and go to court and try and get justice on those things. Uh, but I don’t have any illusions about it, Pete. I mean, this is a slog. I mean, we’ve seen what campaigning looks like in the modern era, and and it is a ‘politics of destruction’. And I’m not anxious for that — for me or my family.  And my hope is, maybe we have turned that corner, you know? Maybe 2016 was enough that people think, “Okay, we’re ready to take a different approach to politics.”  That’s my hope. It’s how I’m going to do it, and see where things go.

BOYLES:  You know, I – and we have had this conversation. I really don’t trust the Republican Party at all. I have no idea who they are. Donald Trump did not run as a Republican. He ran as a — well, we’ve talked about it. Colorado’s delegation — the only delegation to walk out. I was in Cleveland — myself and Chuck Bonniwell and Mark Crowley?] – and I  watched Steve House lead the delegation, walking out. The state comes in blue. They couldn’t bring the state in. They bring in Indiana red. They can’t bring in Colorado, George, it’s a tough question, but what about these guys?

BRAUCHLER:  Well, look, I like both the guys that were running for [Colorado GOP] Chairman. I’ve gotten to know them a little bit, as we’ve gone around the state.

BOYLES:  I do, as well.

BRAUCHLER:  And I like George. Look, I like an Army guy. I’ve just got a bias that way. I am an Army guy. But I like Jeff [Hays], even though he’s Air Force – and I say that kind of tongue in cheek, because that’s the “Gentlemen’s Service”, I imagine. I think he is a good man. And I think that he is going to do a good job. And I am going to be optimistic, until there is a reason to not be optimistic. Uh, I like the Vice-chair. I think Sheri [Gibson] is going to do a good job. She’s had a real focus on outreach to those parts of the state that – as you know, Pete – have sort of been dead to the Republican Party for a while, now.  And she has got a real passion for wanting to open up the Republican Party to those pieces of the state. I like that. I’m optimistic for 2018 and beyond.

BOYLES:  I mean, I think, do you run as a Trump guy? Do you run as a –? Who are y—I mean, I know you. But, again, how would you define yourself in terms of the Republican Party?

BRAUCHLER:  Well, certainly conservative. I mean, if you look at the list of names of people that have been whispered about running, you know, I am clearly the conservative in the race. But, you know what I sort of push back against, are further additional labels because you begin to box yourself into a place — just by presumption and by perception — based on those terms.

BOYLES:  True.

BRAUCHLER:  So, I feel like, for us – and you know this from what you’ve been doing – we’re different here. Right? Like, Colorado Republicans should be different than those lower level sea level Republicans. We’re just a different breed. We’re tougher. We’re harder. And we’re more liberty-minded than a lot of the others who are out there on the TV everyday. And I feel like I subscribe to that. I’m a George Brauchler, Colorado Republican.

BOYLES:  You’re my guy. I mean, I want this to be, simply because knowing you and knowing the kind of guy you are. And apparently, this is putting on – or, looking in the crystal ball. It will be Perlmutter. You’ll be up against Perlmutter. It looks like your run could be – your opponent would be Perlmutter. Perlmutter has got money. He’s got recognition. He’s got all these things. And by that time, people are going to know a lot more about, you know, the shape of the nation. Have you geared up to think, or do you have to do first things first?

BRAUCHLER:  It is kind of a first-things-first thing. But you know, you’re right to point out that the seeming elephant in the room – even though they prefer the ass – but the elephant in the room for the Democrats is Perlmutter. But don’t look past too quick Michael Johnston. I mean, he just brought in a truckload of, I presume, Bernie Sanders cash in his race. And they’re going to have a bit of a slog. And for us, that’s good, because the Democrats – as you know — have been very disciplined in elections past.


BRAUCHLER:  They go into their smoke-filled room. There’s a – I think there’s a white smoke think – and then they bring out their nominee.

BOYLES:  Yeah. “New Pope!”

BRAUCHLER:  But not this year. Not this year. They’re going to throw some punches

BOYLES:  But the Democratic Party is controlled by just a handful of people with money. And, you know, “Fast Eddie” [Perlmutter] is one of their guys. And you know, this other guy who I– you know, like I said – these – the Democrats – and being – in Denver, you could get over big by being a borderline Socialist. Bernie is one. But I think if you go outside the state – or rather, outside the city – he’s going to get jammed up. And Perlmutter’s got name rec[ognition], and he’s got a wallet, and I think those fat cats are behind him. My best guess — if I was putting money down –I’d say it’s going to be, you know, “Fast Eddie”, if he wants it. Um —.

BRAUCHLER:  Oh, Ed’s got the lineage.

BOYLES:  Oh, yeah!

BRAUCHLER:  Ed’s got the time and the grade.

BOYLES:  Yeah, he’s got money.

BRAUCHLER:  I mean, He’s been in DC forever. He’s state legislature forever.

BOYLES:  Sure.

BRAUCHLER:  I mean, you’re right about that.

BOYLES:  So, I don’t know. This is just – we just got off the stool for the first round of the fight. It’s going to be – as you point out – this is a 15-rounder. [chuckles] It’s like, — this — we will go to the cards on this one. But, Brother-man, I am thrilled!  When I hear that – that you had announced – I just was–.  Because I, you know, I haven’t like anybody there for a long, long time. [laughing] I’m like –.

BRAUCHLER:  No, I really appreciate that. I am honored to have your support. I’m just – when you were talking about the boxing thing, I don’t know if you remember this, but in one of the Rocky movies – and I think it’s Rocky III – Clubber Lang comes up and he’s all in Rocky’s face. And Nikki turns to him and he said, “Don’t let him get to you, Rock!”  And Rocky says, “Would he get to you?” And Nick goes, “Yeah.”

BOYLES:  “Yeah!” Right! And remember when he looks across in the first film – which is the one I really love. And he looks across, and he’s pointing, and he’s doing that — and he’s really knocking off Ali – and he’s pointing over, and Rocky turns to Nikki and says, “Is he talking about me?” [laughs].

BRAUCHLER:  In many ways, I feel like I am still in that corner.

BOYLES:  Oh, but yeah! I mean, that’s like […]  [Boxing, Rocky, and boxing films discussion ensues].