John Hickenlooper is taking heat for his lack of availability and “bunker-styled campaign,” the Colorado Sun reported in Monday’s edition of their Unaffiliated newsletter.
Hickenlooper has only agreed to one debate so far with Cory Gardner, and recently rejected a rural debate proposal put forth by Club 20, Pro 15, and Action 22. These organizations collectively represent 59 of Colorado’s 64 counties.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee ripped Hickenlooper for snubbing the rural debate proposal and for submitting a pre-taped video to the Colorado Water Congress in lieu of speaking live as Gardner did.
“Water resources is yet another issue Colorado’s rural voters deserve to hear from both candidates on, but Hickenlooper’s unwillingness to participate in rural debates proves he’s not interested in representing the entire state’s interests,” said NRSC spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez.
According to the Sun, Hickenlooper hasn’t held a widely advertised event since early March, and is only publicizing events with voters after the fact.
Hickenlooper’s team says it is not advertising most events and limiting the size because of the coronavirus. But the decision also allows Hickenlooper to avoid questions from reporters and voters, and it limits his propensity to make comments that hurt his campaign, as he did in the primary.
In contrast, Gardner has held three publicized events in recent weeks.
The Sun goes on to point out the Denver Post published a scathing letter to the editor in the print edition Friday from a Durango Democrat who ripped his campaign for hiding from voters and the press.
A letter to the editor in Friday’s print edition of The Denver Post from a Durango woman expresses “very strong disappointment” about Hickenlooper’s “lackluster” campaign. “It has no energy, no enthusiasm. It is MIA here in southwestern Colorado.” The letter adds: “Dammit, get going, man.”
Their campaign’s decision to limit his public and media availability is hardly unique among Democrats nationally. In response, the NRSC sent “Silenced by Schumer” masks to his “handpicked candidates across the country” earlier this week.
“While the Republican Majority is working hard to deliver results and answers to their communities, Democrat candidates have marching orders from Chuck Schumer to dodge any opportunity to interact with the press and voters,” said NRSC Communications Director Jesse Hunt.
“Schumer knows the candidates he’s picked are untested and unprepared to answer the tough questions Americans deserve answers to—so he’s silenced them.”
Chickenlooper’s unwillingness to subject himself to the rigors of an actual Senate campaign is perhaps unsurprising considering his prior doubts about being a capable candidate.
— CO Peak Politics (@COpeakpolitics) August 26, 2020