Rocky: Democratic "political preening ... largely unanswered by Republicans who say they're too busy getting out the vote"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

A Rocky Mountain News article about Republicans' "get-out-the-vote" efforts reported that "political preening," such as campaign visits to Colorado by big-name Democrats, "has gone largely unanswered by Republicans." The article did not mention that President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and possible 2008 presidential contender Mitt Romney have attended recent campaign events on behalf of Colorado Republicans.

An October 28 Rocky Mountain News article about Republican "get-out-the-vote" efforts in Colorado reported that "political preening" by Democrats has "gone largely unanswered by Republicans who say they're too busy getting out the vote to worry about holding feel-good news conferences and rallies." The article cited visits to Colorado by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) in support of Colorado Democratic candidates and reported that Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) "predict[ed] ... a clean sweep of each of the state's seven U.S. House districts." But the article failed to note that, in recent months, several nationally prominent Republicans have attended campaign events on behalf of Colorado Republicans and have made predictions about Republican electoral victories.

The October 28 News article (an online version of the story appeared on October 27) by Chris Barge reported that "Democrats running with the wind at their backs may be headed for a wall when the GOP cranks up a get-out-the-vote machine perfected over the past five years." The News further reported, "More than anything, [7th Congressional District Democratic candidate Ed] Perlmutter and Democrats across the state seem to be banking on discontent with the Iraq war and Republican congressional scandals to carry them through Election Day." According to the News:

Big Democratic names such as Barack Obama and John Edwards headlined get-out-the-vote rallies this week in Colorado. Former President Clinton flies to the state Wednesday.

Democratic confidence is running so high that leaders like Sen. Ken Salazar are telling crowds they predict a "Colorado miracle" on Nov. 7 -- a clean sweep of each of the state's seven U.S. House districts.

The political preening has gone largely unanswered by Republicans who say they're too busy getting out the vote to worry about holding feel-good news conferences and rallies.

"This is serious, serious business for us," said state GOP spokesman Bryant Adams.

In contrast to the News article, the Associated Press reported in an October 26 article about Edwards's visit that "Republicans also have their stars visiting Colorado, with Massachusetts governor and possible 2008 presidential contender Mitt Romney campaigning Wednesday for gubernatorial candidate Rep. Bob Beauprez and Vice President Dick Cheney scheduled to make a pitch for state legislator Doug Lamborn Nov. 3 in Colorado Springs."

As the News reported in an August 17 article -- also by Barge -- "House Speaker Dennis Hastert on Wednesday urged a small gathering of donors to help keep the national Republican agenda on track by electing [Republican congressional candidate] Rick O'Donnell to Congress." The same article quoted Perlmutter, O'Donnell's Democratic opponent in Colorado's 7th District, who noted that previous O'Donnell fundraisers included visits from President Bush and Vice President Cheney:

"I think that this visit, coupled with Speaker Hastert's first visit, the president's visit, Cheney's visit and visits by other Republican leaders, again just shows Rick is joined at the hip with the Bush administration and Republican leaders."

Colorado media outlets widely have reported the visits. An October 26 Denver Post article reported that "Romney came to town Wednesday [October 25] to stump for fellow Republican Bob Beauprez." The article noted that "Romney also campaigned with Republican U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, who is facing Democratic state Rep. Angie Paccione in the 4th Congressional District." The Post article also reported Beauprez said that Romney "is a big player, big dog. And more than just a pretty face -- like another one [referring to Obama] I guess was in town yesterday -- he can actually point to a record of accomplishment."

Another Post article from October 26 noted Cheney's upcoming appearance "to support Republican [5th District Republican candidate] Doug Lamborn in his bid for Congress." According to the Post:

"We look forward to hosting him in Colorado Springs, and we are confident that he will help energize the grass roots for the final push," [Lamborn campaign manager Jon] Hotaling said. "He's coming out to support the entire Republican ticket. The White House and the party realize that they need strong Republican turnout in El Paso County to help all of our Republican candidates statewide."

Wanda James, campaign manager for Democrat Jay Fawcett, said the visit by Cheney shows the race is competitive.

Furthermore, October 5 News and Post articles noted President Bush's recent visit to support Beauprez. According to the Post, "President Bush stopped in Colorado on Wednesday [October 4] to stump for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, boosting Beauprez's coffers but prompting Democratic attacks on his ties to an unpopular president." The Post reported:

Still, Beauprez praised Bush as a legendary leader. "In the time of great trials, great leaders emerge -- Washington, Lincoln, Churchill and Bush."

Bush returned the compliment.

"I'm proud to be here with Bob Beauprez. I've gotten to know him quite well," he said. "He's a person who understands that as the chief executive officer of a state ... you have to have a vision and the capacity to make decisions necessary to achieve that vision."

The October 5 News article about Bush's appearance at the Beauprez fundraiser also noted that "Colorado's most famous Republican football player," John Elway, "delivered a pregame pep talk."

In suggesting that Democrats are engaged in "political preening," Barge's October 28 News article reported, "Democratic confidence is running so high that leaders like Sen. Ken Salazar are telling crowds they predict a 'Colorado miracle' on Nov. 7 -- a clean sweep of each of the state's seven U.S. House districts." But the article made no mention of similar Republican predictions of electoral victory. As The Washington Post reported on October 15, Bush recently predicted that following the elections, "We'll have a Republican speaker [of the House] and a Republican leader of the Senate."

From Barge's October 28 Rocky Mountain News article, "GOP voting machine keeps Dems on toes":

Democrats running with the wind at their backs may be headed for a wall when the GOP cranks up a get-out-the-vote machine perfected over the past five years.

Operatives inside both parties predict that Republicans will close the gap in all close races during the crucial days before the election the GOP calls the "Final Four."

[...]

More than anything, Perlmutter and Democrats across the state seem to be banking on discontent with the Iraq war and Republican congressional scandals to carry them through Election Day.

Big Democratic names such as Barack Obama and John Edwards headlined get-out-the-vote rallies this week in Colorado. Former President Clinton flies to the state Wednesday.

Democratic confidence is running so high that leaders like Sen. Ken Salazar are telling crowds they predict a "Colorado miracle" on Nov. 7 -- a clean sweep of each of the state's seven U.S. House districts.

The political preening has gone largely unanswered by Republicans who say they're too busy getting out the vote to worry about holding feel-good news conferences and rallies.

"This is serious, serious business for us," said state GOP spokesman Bryant Adams.

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