Muftic: Will the real Bob Beauprez please stand up
Who is Bob Beauprez, the Republican taking on Gov. John Hickenlooper in November? He is a relatively unknown to the general public since his last term in elected office ended seven years ago, and his stance on issues is missing on his website.
Polls show a close race. The campaign will heat up now, but what positions Beauprez takes on issues may change the poll numbers.
What we know is that Beauprez was a two-term congressman until 2007, serving Western Slope District 7, and he lost to Democrat Bill Ritter in the general election for governor in 2006 by 15 percentage points. Since then he has served as editor in chief of A Line of Sight, an online magazine. He published one book, “A Return to Values: A Conservative.” There is a limited record of public statements he made in 2012 and later. From that, it is possible to get a sneak preview of what may come.
He will be a good fit for rural Colorado, but not necessarily for urban/suburban voters. He will perpetuate a gender gap, may neutralize an increase in the Hispanic vote gap, and will risk attacks that “he is too extreme for Colorado” in spite of his businessman demeanor.
Beauprez already had a Romney 47 percent moment caught on YouTube, similar to what many consider the turning point resulting in the re-election of President Obama. Four years ago Beauprez noted 47 percent do not pay federal income tax. Failing to note that 47 percent do not earn enough to be taxed, he concluded, “Almost one half of the population is perfectly happy that someone else is paying the bill.” He defended his remarks again on July 2 on KWGN TV.
A recent Quinnipiac poll concluded that issues of importance to Colorado are the economy, jobs, and health care, to the exclusion of the rest. A poll revealed 60 percent say Colorado’s economy is “excellent” or “good” while viewing the national economy as the reverse. Gov. Hickenlooper, also viewed as business- and energy sector-friendly, may neutralize or win that issue.
Regarding Obamacare, what Beauprez would do differently is not known. Would he yank it from those who are already benefiting or find an acceptable substitute that provides the same protection from insurance company practices of denial for pre-existing conditions and benefits of affordability for the 400,000 in Colorado who were uninsured prior to the ACA? Colorado’s exchange marketplace is ranked as one of the top four most successful in the U.S.
A nonpartisan, nonprofit group “On the Issues,” however, has looked at Beauprez’s positions on record and assessed him to be a conservative on the right, opposing higher taxes on the wealthy, green energy as a priority, women’s unrestricted rights for abortion, and same-sex marriage. What he favors are school choice vouchers, absolute right to gun ownership, and privatizing Social Security. He is neutral on a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens, perhaps recognizing that Hispanics comprise 12 percent of the state’s voters.
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