Video: GOP Legislative Leaders Meet Aurora Shooting Father

WEDNESDAY UPDATE: Interestingly, the first national pickup for this story is from the conservative Daily Caller, which makes little attempt to defend Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman–and includes a conciliatory quote from House Minority Leader Mark Waller, the other Republican legislator present at yesterday's forum.

While Tom Sullivan spoke, Cadman fidgeted with a notebook and appeared to be doodling or making notes. [Pols emphasis] Waller sat and listened…

Contacted later, Waller said he understood the emotion Sullivan displayed.

“You feel horrible that the guy lost his son. It’s terrible,” he told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “One of the things he said there is, ‘try to imagine what that’s like.’ And I’m thinking to myself, I’ve got two kids, I’ve got a 14-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter and I can’t imagine what that’s like. I can’t imagine the pain of that loss.”

“The only thing I could think is I’d be just as angry as he is,” Waller continued, “but there’s nothing that can be said there that’s going to lessen his pain in any way.”

Full retreat has been sounded, folks. We await Cadman's apology.

—–

An extraordinary confrontation occurred today between the father of a victim of the Aurora shooting last summer, and GOP Colorado Senate Minority Leader Bill Cadman of Colorado Springs. If you were one of the dozen or so in the audience today at the Denver Post's wrapup discussion panel with Cadman and House Minority Leader Mark Waller, or the somewhat larger audience watching online, most of the hour-long discussion was uninspiring boilerplate and complaints you've heard many times. Republicans aren't happy with the results of this year's session. 46:00 into the discussion, Rep. Waller does get in an amusing quip about how he has no more control over crazies in his party than "Democrats do over what goes up on Colorado Pols." Touche!

​And then, as the very last question of the panel, this happened.

Transcript:

TOM SULLIVAN: Gentlemen, this is my first time down at the, uh, up in the Gallery, to watch you guys work since my time at Metro State. And I have to tell you, I was kind of appalled at with what, with some of the things that I saw down there, the levity in which our elected officials conduct themselves down on the floor. And, I uh specifically, you know with the GOP now as being labeled as a party of "Guns over People" Party. You must be very proud of that. I sat up there and listened to the stories about, you know the fictitious stories about Boy Scouts, and Canadian missionaries, moving around…

VINCE CARROLL: There's got to be a question here…there's got to be a question…

SEN. CADMAN: You know what, he's trying to accuse me of lying, I think we're done.

SULLIVAN: No, I just…

CADMAN: They're not fictitious. My son is a Scout, and my in-laws go to Canada every year. So, what is it that's not true about that? And you know what…

TIM HOOVER: Let's just ask the question, quickly, please.

CADMAN: It's people, and constitutional rights, over an elite government elected and run by a very progressive–progressive special interest group, that's not even from Colorado. So did you have a question? Or do you just want to continue to throw insults at us?

SULLIVAN: What I will tell you, sir…

CADMAN: Because I'm done. Thanks for the inter–

SULLIVAN: What I will tell you sir is that my son was murdered in the Aurora theater by a man who had bought a 100 round drum and murdered my son. [Pols emphasis]

And I want to, as people have said to me, have expressed their condolences to me, the next thing they then say to me is they can't imagine what it was like. And I would like to ask and say to the two of you, please try and imagine what that was like, having to go around to the hospitals here in town, looking for my son, and then finding out that he was lying in that theater, dead from a single gunshot wound to his heart, and then have to go back, and tell his mother and his sister that he went to the movies one night, and he never went home.

CARROLL: Thanks to all of you for coming today, we appreciate it.

(Applause)

You see, the man Sen. Cadman became indignant with is Tom Sullivan, who son Alex Sullivan was one of twelve murdered last July at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. It's clear from this video clip that Cadman was not aware who he was addressing so contemptuously until Mr. Sullivan explained. Once Sullivan did, Cadman very abruptly dropped the attitude, and sat quietly scribbling notes until Sullivan finished.

Sure, maybe Sullivan could have said earlier that he was the father of an Aurora shooting victim. Maybe that would have given Cadman the cue he needed to not act like a complete asshole to this citizen he knew nothing about.

It's still one of the most riveting, and damning, exchanges we've witnessed between a citizen and a lawmaker.

41 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Old Time Dem says:

    I disagree.  Cadman continued to disrespect and ignore Sullivan. Cadman uncaps a bottle, drinks and, looks away. And he's not taking notes.  None of the motions of his pen are forming letters–instead, he is making slashing lines on the page.

    Asshole.

    • bullshit!bullshit! says:

      He didn't know what to do. He kept looking at the camera and scribbling his tic tac toe. I think he knew he was fucked.

      And he deserved to feel that way. He's a cad, man.

      • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

        What the hell is wrong with you? Are you so blinded by partisanship that you're ignoring the obvious ambush this was?

        He didn't identify himself. He didn't ask a question. His comments were insulting and rambling. The instant Cadman realized who the man was he stopped challenging him.

        Barney Frank didn't tolerate Tea Partiers at his town halls, treated them worse than Cadman. What if somebody pulled this on him? Would you be up in arms?

        Pols owes Cadman an apology.

        • Curmudgeon says:

          Ambushed? By the father of a murdered child? What kind of pantywaisted fops are you badass GOP trolls now, anyway?

          Congratulations, Guppy. Your cowardice is beyond embarassing. It's offensive.

  2. OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

    CADMAN: It's people, and constitutional rights, over an elite government elected and run by a very progressive–progressive special interest group, that's not even from Colorado.

    I will wait - with bated breath – for Sen. Cadman to admonish the out of state interests funding the recall elections against some of oue democratically elected legislators.

    I would call it hypocracy, but you have to consciously know you're only pretending to have virtue or beliefs for it to be hypocracy. It's a special kind of mental dissorder to honestly believe it's only wrong when your political opponents do it.

     

  3. The realistThe realist says:

    He can't even fake it, can he?!  The Cadmans of the world have no socially redeeming value.  Imagine if all our elected officials were so uncaring. 

  4. nancycronknancycronk says:

    What kind of a person listens to a father tell the story about how his young son was murdered, and not show any signs of compassion whatsoever? Senator Cadman was as rude as he could be — no eye contact, doodling, cold expression, and then nothing. Shame on him, and shame on those who voted him into office.

    Check out the second definition of the word “cad” as in Cad Man. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cad

  5. gaf says:

    Notice that Waller also avoided eye contact and also failed to offer any sympathy. Both were content to let Carroll end the session without making a response.

    • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

      Do you see Waller's comments in the update? Don't drag him into your trap. Waller said nothing.

      • gaf says:

        Waller said nothing.

        Exactly. That's what I said. That's the problem.

        He offered no sympathy and was content to let "journalist" Carroll abruptly end the "interview." I would have respected Waller if he had made those later comments at the time–not after assessing the damage he caused himself by his inaction.

        I will correct part of my statement about avoiding eye contact. In the later part, Waller was looking down and at whatever it was Cadman was doing and that caught my attention. But after viewing the video again, I see that Waller was giving his full attention to the speaker for the majority of the statement. But I don't understand feeling the things Waller said he felt and saying nothing to this father.

         

  6. RunningOnEmpty says:

    Wow.  That was so incredibly rude and disrespectful.  He didn't even bother to act like he was listening.  And as usual, it probably won't make the paper because it's acceptable for a male GOP legislator to be blatantly disrespectful to a father grieving the loss of his son in a horrible mass shooting that took place only miles away but completely unacceptable when a female Democratic legislator points out a statistic to an out-of-state rape victim.  I'm not defending her, but it's amazing to me that any legislator can blow off what happened at Aurora with a "sucks to be you" attitude.

  7. BlueCat says:

    And I love the way he talks about crazies in his party as if he's talking about those other people. Look in the mirror, Senator.

  8. MADCO says:

    Look- if I learned anything last year I learned this: if you aint' rich, blame yourself.

    If you get shot in a gunfight to which you brought popcorn…

     

    just sayin

  9. JeffcoBlueJeffcoBlue says:

    This is who they are. Sneering contemptuous bastards. Unfuckingbelievable.

    And of course, since this happened in the Denver Post Auditorium in from of Denver Post staff, I expect there will be no coverage. Vince will leap on the grenade if needed to make sure.

  10. exlurker19 says:

    Wait, what, no statement from Cadman that all those comments came from Democrats and not him??  Seriously, he's had plenty of time to displace his own bad behavior onto his opponents.

     

    Senator Cadman, I am ashamed of you.  Not only are you ignorant (didn't know who you were talking to), rude (my family really is rich, so there, neener, neener), uncaring (it wasn't my kid that got killed), but you are lazy and incompetent not to have blamed your stupid remarks on the Dems yet.

     

    Shame, shame on you.

  11. bullshit!bullshit! says:

    What does Cadman say to Waller at 2:25? He turns and says something very briefly to Waller but it's inaudible.

    My guess is "ambush," but I'm no lipreader.

    A shameful but fitting end to this session.

    • BlueCat says:

      Ambush. Of course. Because no father whose son was shot dead in a senseless act of high powered mindless gun violence would have any reason to want to make his voice heard other than as a dupe of the Dems.  So that must be Cadman's very good reason for treating the man with such icy coldness and disdain even after he identified himself as a grieving father.  Dupes, even those with children in the ground, don't deserve to be indulged with even an iota of simple human kindness.  I mean it's not as if he's a fertilized egg in which case he would be deserving of  the most copious quantities of compassion.

  12. AristotleAristotle says:

    Cadman is a typical bully. Acts tough until someone can beat him, then shuts up but doesn't apologize.

    Typical bully? I can just as easily substitute the word Republican. If you're a Republican, you're a bully.

  13. ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

    Pols, Cadman didn't know who this person was, and he was being treated very rudely. Now you're attacking Cadman, when you would have reacted the same way knowing what Cadman knew.

    This is unfair and it is exploiting tragedy. You should apologize to Cadman and Tom Sullivan.

    • AristotleAristotle says:

      Prophecy fulfilled.

      I can't wait to see how ArapaGOrP spins this, ignoring all of our observations and comments as if he was the first one posting.

      Sorry, ArapaGOrP, but I already addressed this.

      If Cadman were a nice man, he would have treated his opponent with a modicum of respect in the first place.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        I realize Guppy lost all credibility some time ago, but this is really pathetic; he's even abandoned human decency.

        Seriously. What in the name of Jesus H. Christ Riding a Triceratops do you even stand for anymore, except promoting the GOP?

        • ArapaGOPArapaGOP says:

          Cadman didn't know who this man was. If Cadman didn't know who he was, how can Cadmnan have been expected to treat him differently?

          I'm not disrespecting any victim. Cadman didn't know who he was.

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            He should have. He's been in the news.

            Not that that matters. Either you're a good man, or you aren't. And Cadman showed his true colors. The man's actual identity was immaterial.

          • AristotleAristotle says:

            Just so I'm crystal clear…

            HE SHOULDN'T TREAT HIM DIFFERENTLY. He should treat every one he encounters with respect.

            But he's an asshole. Treating him differently is the best proof of that.

          • Curmudgeon says:

            No, you misunderstand, Guppy. I don't know if Cadman knew who he was. As far as I'm concerned, he's just a garden-variety GOP bully who loses his cojones outside the confines of a safe, scripted event. That's nothing new.

            You, on the other hand, knew who Mr. Sullivan was when you accused him of ambushing poor, helpless Mr. Cadman.  You are the one disrepecting a victim and accusing others of exploiting a tragedy (nevermind "But-but-but, Benghazi", right?).   You are different than Mr. Cadman. He's just a run-of-the-mill Republican. You stand out. You're a shining example of a disingenuous, amoral, cowardly troll. 

    • BlueCat says:

      ArapGoof keeps imaging how we would react, based on his own sorry clown car full of a-hole pols,  and then he's shocked when we don't.

      No, ArapGoof.  It has never been  normal for pols to be needlesly rude to people with opposing views until your side made it normal and it still isn't normal for anyone else.

  14. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    8 posts, Arapa-Guns Over People… and no one is buying the lame-ass spin you are trying to sell. That's the problem with video…it is damned hard to make it something it isn't. What a pathetic, sad little troll you are…

    Romney in a landslide!!

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