In case you missed the GOP gubernatorial debate hosted by 9News last week and over the weekend, we’re here to give you the highlights. Like previous debates, the GOP candidates strayed little from maintaining focus on one thing and one thing only, Governor John Hickenlooper’s failure to lead Colorado.
Former minority leader for the state Senate Mike Kopp definitely had the most memorable line of the debate when asked to respond to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s putdown of Colorado:
“However, getting advice from the Governor of New Jersey about our quality of life is like getting advice from the cast of Jersey Shore on dating.”
An effective way to make a point while delivering it with humor; voters will respond to that. His critiques of Hickenlooper were just as forceful as Kopp criticized Hickenlooper for allowing another layer of bureaucracy to be added between the average Coloradan and their doctor:
“I don’t want to be a party to implementing such bad policy where we’re adding a new level of government, I would do everything that I could to stop the state use of money for the exchange, it’s a bad idea.”
Former Rep. Bob Beauprez might have had the most devastating critique of Hickenlooper of the entire debate. Hickenlooper’s failure of leadership isn’t that he offers a shoulder to cry on during a crisis, but what happens after a crisis has passed:
What he did after that was the big failing. In order to protect public safety so-called he rejected the advice of all 55, almost all, of our state’s sheriffs who said “don’t sign these gun laws.” We can’t enforce them. They won’t improve public safety. He signed them anyway. Colorado voters have been pretty clear they believe that that was an overreach… When the sheriffs spoke and the people around Colorado spoke, he should have listened. He didn’t do that.
Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler attacked Hickenlooper for being essentially an empty suit, a man who will show up but won’t lead, especially when it comes to the consequences of the wildfires that have hit Colorado:
What I do think, though, that deserves criticism is the unwillingness to plan and take steps to prevent tragedies like that… We need our aerial tanker fleet that’s going to respond quickly… The severity of those floods [in places where forest fires have taken place] could have been reduced by good planning in advance… He’ll show up, but he won’t lead and he won’t fix those problems and he won’t work to avoid those tragedies in the future.
Another strong debate performance shows once again that despite whoever wins the GOP primary, this election, Hick won’t get a cakewalk as in previous elections. Each candidate has shown his willingness to force Hick to defend his abysmal record over the past four years.