Senator Caplis? Conservative radio talker has track record of misinformation, extreme commentary

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On his January 15 broadcast, KHOW 630-AM's Dan Caplis stated that he is going to "think very hard" about making a run to succeed U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) in 2008. Colorado Media Matters has identified numerous instances of misinformation and dubious comments by the conservative co-host on topics ranging from the war on terror to immigration.

On the January 15 broadcast of KHOW 630-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show, conservative co-host Dan Caplis announced his interest in considering a run to succeed Republican U.S. Senator Wayne Allard (CO), who announced January 15 that he would not seek re-election in 2008. Caplis stated that he "was approached after the midterm elections by someone I really respect, someone from that political world, and asked to run for Senator Allard's seat, if he did not." Caplis continued:

[W]hat I told those folks was that I would think about it, I would consider it, and now that it's clear that the senator will be leaving after this term, I am going to sit down, and ... think very hard about it, and go out and travel the state, and talk to folks all over the state about what's on their mind, and what concerns them the most and how they'd feel about me as a U.S. senator.

Caplis also told co-host Craig Silverman that he "would be very, very proud to be the nominee of the Republican Party" and that "like you and like most folks out there, you wanna do good, you know; you wanna make the world a better place for your own kids, for everybody else's kids; you love this country; everybody does. You just want to make it better."

Colorado Media Matters has identified numerous instances of misinformation and other dubious commentary in Caplis' pronouncements on a number of key policy issues, as well as his dubious comments regarding Democrats and his potential Senate colleague, Ken Salazar (D-CO). Some examples:

The war on terror

Caplis: "If you want America to surrender in this war, then vote for the Democrats. You have a shared interest at that point with the terrorists"

Caplis: "[T]he enemy's going to be extremely encouraged already by the results" of the November 7 election, "so I think the timing is right to get rid of Rumsfeld"

Caplis claimed Iranian leader's letter "is a loud-and-clear message to the Democrats: 'Hey, we gave you this election, so you better come through for us or we're gonna make you pay' "

Bipartisanship

Caplis said Kerry "has become the Democrats' Mark Foley times 1,000 because now this goes beyond ... whether some guy's a pervert who assaults little boys"

Caplis: "Ken Salazar thinks you're stupid"

Immigration

Caplis agreed with caller's false claim that illegal immigrant's "illegal status is removed" when she has children in United States

Religious freedom

KHOW's Caplis: "If I'm sittin' on an airplane and there's somebody who looks like one of the 9-11 hijackers and they are ... praying out loud as we taxi, that airline darn well better remove that person."

The economy

Caplis dubiously claimed Bush tax cuts boosted federal revenue; former Bush economists disagree

The media

Frequent Fox News guest Caplis praised Fox News for its "credibility" while ignoring alleged memo undercutting network's claim of being "fair and balanced"

Abortion

Defending Beauprez's abortion comments, Caplis asked, "is there any difference between 42 percent or 70 percent?"

From the January 15 broadcast of 630 KHOW-AM's The Caplis & Silverman Show:

SILVERMAN: Dan, with this Wayne Allard announcement today, and I watched it on Channel 4 in my office, and my law partner, David Olivas, was there, and I said, you know, David, it's kind of a wide-open race; I'm thinking maybe Dan Caplis will take a look at this race, especially given how I know you and how you swept to victory when you ran for the presidency of the CU student body back in the day, and I know you're passionate about so many issues. I also figured you were getting a little cabin fever like the rest of us and anticipating these things. And I was thinking, just like Stuart Smalley, you know; darn it, you're good-looking enough, you like to debate, and the last guy I debated with regularly, now he's the governor of Colorado. [Caplis laughs] So, I figured, what the heck -- is there any possibility you're going to seek the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate?

CAPLIS: Well, I want you to keep thinking that way, brother; thank you for those kind words. You know, there is a possibility. I was approached after the midterm elections by someone I really respect, someone from that political world, and asked to run for Senator Allard's seat, if he did not. And, you know, with the news today that the senator is going to honor his term-limits pledge -- and I don't think there was ever much doubt about that; I mean, Wayne Allard, you know, he's a man of fundamental integrity. Yeah, I've been thinking seriously about it, and -- what I told those folks was that I would think about it, I would consider it, and now that it's clear that the senator will be leaving after this term, I am going to sit down, and, of course -- along with Aimee; it'll be a family decision in the end -- think very hard about it, and go out and travel the state, and talk to folks all over the state about what's on their mind, and what concerns them the most and how they'd feel about me as a U.S. senator. So, I'm going to take a couple of months and do that, and then make a decision.

SILVERMAN: Now, are you going to run as a Democrat or a Republican?

CAPLIS: [Laughs] See, that's why everybody loves your sense of humor. It -- I would be very, very proud to be the nominee of the Republican Party. But the point being that the big issues of the day cross those party lines, and that's one thing that tempts me so much to run here, is -- you know, like you and like most folks out there, you wanna do good, you know; you wanna make the world a better place for your own kids, for everybody else's kids; you love this country; everybody does. You just want to make it better. And in a state like this, you know; everybody around the country who has any contact with Colorado loves it. You wanna make your state a better place. So, what better way to do that than a U.S. Senate seat? I mean, it's really the ultimate power tool for doing good. And so, you look at that and you say, wow, you know, with that, you know, you could just cross those lines and come back to the common denominators, and what really will help make everybody's life better at every step along the way. And so, I would look forward to trying to serve everybody. So that's one of the exciting things about it. But certainly, I'd be proud, you know, to run as a Republican, and if I make that decision to run, you know, I'd seek that nomination with everything I have.

SILVERMAN: Wow, what a life, what a world, what a day, as I'm prone to say. Did you hear that, everybody out there? Dan Caplis considering a run for the U.S. Senate. Now, what's going to happen to the Dan and Craig show, Caplis & Silverman? A lot of people might be concerned about that. Talk us through that part of the equation.

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