on October 7, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on Beauprez: It’s time for a real leader

Beauprez: It’s time for a real leader

It seems appropriate that a guy who likes to play in the dirt is involved in politics –; a business where a lot of mud gets slung.

Yes, Bob Beauprez is a former congressman and the Republican nominee for governor, but he is also a bison rancher and an avid gardener who likes getting his hands dirty.

“I am obsessive about the condition of our yard and garden and all that,” Beauprez said during a recent one-on-one interview with Colorado Community Media. “I love playing in the dirt. I love plants and fussing with them and the beauty of them.”

When Beauprez isn’t tending to his plants, he is on the campaign trail trying to plant the seed in the minds of voters that Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper is a failed leader who should be voted out of office.

“He has this obsession with collaborating; wants to talk everything through, forever,” Beauprez said of Hickenlooper. “He can’t make a decision and he won’t make a decision.”

While Beauprez hammers away at Hickenlooper on a number of issues –; gun control, the death penalty and hydraulic fracturing, just to name a few –; he is also out to prove the late F. Scott Fitzgerald wrong, that there are indeed second acts in American lives.

Beauprez lost badly to Bill Ritter in a 2006 gubernatorial bid where he never recovered from the “Both Ways Bob” label that was pinned on him by a fellow Republican in the primary field.

It would be a quite a comeback story if Beauprez unseats Hickenlooper, especially in a state that has been trending Democratic in recent elections and where voters rarely have an appetite to vote out an incumbent governor. Hickenlooper is also backed by an economy that has grown stronger and created jobs on his watch.

But Beauprez believes voters now have the appetite to oust a governor who won his seat in a landslide in 2010 and whose quirky personality has both endeared him to supporters and irked his detractors.

Beauprez spent the entire summer blasting Hickenlooper for “failing to lead” on the issue of the death penalty, having been highly critical of the governor’s decision to grant a reprieve to death-row inmate Nathan Dunlap, who killed four people at an Aurora Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant in 1993.

Beauprez said Hickenlooper should have either chosen to go forward with the execution or grant clemency, rather than taking a middle road.

Beauprez has also hammered away at Hickenlooper for his handling of issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing. Beauprez has been critical of the governor’s creation of a fracking task force that is charged with providing lawmakers with recommendations on oil and gas drilling issues.

Beauprez believes the oil and gas industry is already over-regulated and that Hickenlooper’s fielding of a commission is a yet another example of his “kicking the can down the road” approach to governing.

“At some point he crossed a line of `I just want to get along and make everybody happy,’ to `Where do you want to take us and how do you want us to get there?’ Lead,” Beauprez said of Hickenlooper.

Image not cuddly

Beauprez is not afraid to attack, either through political ads or on the debate stage. But some in the media have recently wondered whether Beauprez risks coming across as being too rigid –; or even mean.

A Denver Post article described Beauprez’s performance during a Sept. 30 debate the newspaper hosted as “practiced and polished –; if sometimes stern in his conservative views …”

Left-leaning columnist Mike Littwin of the Colorado Independent said Beauprez came across as angry and bully-like during an Oct. 3 debate in Pueblo.

“There’s a very thin line between being aggressive and, well, being a jerk,” Littwin wrote.

During a tense moment of the debate, Beauprez was criticized by Hickenlooper for seeming to invoke the 2013 murder of Department of Corrections chief Tom Clements.

Clements was murdered outside of his Black Forest home, allegedly by Evan Ebel, an inmate who had been in solitary confinement just days before he was paroled.

Beauprez asked Hickenlooper: “What do you have to say to women who are widows who have orphans because of parolees that you have let out of state correction direct from solitary confinement?”

Hickenlooper blasted Beauprez’s comments.

“For you to make his murder part of a political gambit, I think is reprehensible,” the governor said.

Beauprez –; who did not specifically mention Clements during the exhange –; made no apologies about his comments when asked them during his interview with Colorado Community Media.

“It’s true,” Beauprez said as he leaned over the table for emphasis. Beauprez cited a 2013 Denver Post article that reported that 110 parolees were let directly out of solitary confinement and onto the streets in a single year.

As for whether people think he comes across as prickly, Beauprez said, “I take the job seriously.”

“Most people that know me know that I’m a pretty good grandpa, that I’m a pretty good dad. I’ve been a very good husband, so I’ve got that side to me as well,” he said. “But this isn’t about who you want to go have a beer with or shoot a game of pool with. This is about who can lead this state.”

Beauprez, who is pro-life, has also been on the defensive on women’s issues of late.

Although abortion and contraception topics have played a big role in Colorado’s U.S. Senate race, they only became a focal point in the campaign when Beauprez said during a Denver Post debate that intrauterine devices (IUDs) are abortifacients, meaning a drug that causes abortions.

Beauprez’s view is not backed by the Federal Drug Administration, which classifies the device as one that prevents pregnancies, not ends them.

Beauprez told Colorado Community Media that he believes women should use whatever birth control they want, “but I don’t think taxpayers ought to be funding that.”

Beauprez said that when Hickenlooper and Democrats try to attack Republicans on issues like abortion and birth control, they are guilty of trying “to change the subject.”

“People are so hungry for people to address the real issues in this campaign, but (Democrats) don’t want to talk about it,” he said.

With voters set to receive mail ballots soon, it is hard for Beauprez or any other office-seeker to get away from politics. When he does, Beauprez likes to retreat to his bison ranch, time away that he said is “almost like therapy.”

When asked if there are similarities between bison ranching and politics, Beauprez let out a hearty chuckle and said, “Good question.”

“With bison you don’t change their minds much,” he said. “You kind of have to convince them, cajole them, but mostly you have to encourage them and wait it out and be patient.

“And maybe that is a parallel (to politics), that you can’t always do it on your time, your schedule, your way. You’ve got to make sure and bring them along.”​

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