Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez is holding a press conference this afternoon to react to the news that a group of Democrats are going to start running negative ads against both Beauprez and fellow GOP candidate Tom Tancredo. If you missed the earlier story this morning, click here to read up.
We are anxiously awaiting the press conference because we're curious just how Beauprez is going to try to deal with this situation. 9News political reporter Brandon Rittiman tweeted this morning (at right) about one approach Beauprez will pursue — claiming that the ads show that Gov. John Hickenlooper is scared of Beauprez — but there's not much cattle to go with that hat.
The reality here is that Beauprez is facing a heck of a Catch-22 here. Let's take a look at his options:
1. Use the Democratic Ads to Claim Strength in Your Campaign
There are a whole bunch of reasons why this doesn't work, and all of them are related. Beauprez will try to say that the ads prove that Democrats are scared to face him in the General Election, but that response flies in the face of, well, reality. Beauprez's own campaign pollster just announced this week that he is trailing Tancredo for the Republican nomination. Magellan Strategies is the same organization that Beauprez used to conduct a likely voter survey in mid-April that showed him LOSING to Hickenlooper by a 50-35 margin.
If you are a glass-half-full kind of person, you could say that Beauprez isn't polling as bad as his 17-point loss to Democrat Bill Ritter in 2006. Of course, you would also have to acknowledge Beauprez's problems raising money and his $320,000 worth of "loans" to his campaign coffers. How and why any of this adds up to Hickenlooper being "afraid" to run against Beauprez is difficult to determine. Beauprez will try to show strength as a result of this ad, but nobody will believe him. The negative ads running against Beauprez are a reflection of his weakness as a candidate. Not the other way around.
2. Try to Clarify Your Position on Obamacare — Which You Have Already Botched
If you haven't seen the Beauprez ad, take a look after the jump. This is where Beauprez plunges headfirst into the thorn bush with no exit in sight. As Colorado Pols first reported last month, Beauprez's own words on health insurance reform are in stark contrast to his anti-Obamacare message today. In fact, the second half of the Democratic ad targeting Beauprez focuses on his double-speak on health insurance reform. Or, if you rather, it's "Both Ways Bob" being "Both Ways Bob."
In other words, Beauprez is going to hold a press conference about a negative ad which he cannot refute because it is all in his own words. How, exactly, is that going to turn out well?
3. Use the Press Conference to Talk About Tancredo
As we've noted before in this space, one of the smartest things Tancredo did this election cycle was to refuse all debate invitations. Tancredo has been the de-facto winner of recent GOP Gubernatorial debates simply by not being in attendance; when Republicans talk about Tancredo not being there, all they are doing is making the story about Tom Tancredo. Beauprez might try to use his press conference to go after Tancredo and the Democratic ad running against him — but all that would do is draw more attention to Tancredo ad that calls him "too conservative" for Colorado.
Team Beauprez is doing its dardnest to make lemonade out of today's lemons. We don't see how Beauprez can possibly come out ahead here, but we're excited to find out what he has planned.