Ever since his late entry into the Republican gubernatorial primary, former Congressman Bob Beauprez has been facing questions about his lengthy record from both the left and the right. Democrats have an arsenal of attacks to break out on Beauprez between now and November to motivate the base, from "birther" pandering to prophesying civil war as the Obama administration "pushes the boundaries."
On the right, although there's a wealth of unexploited material left over from the primary to demoralize conservatives, the biggest issue Beauprez has been hit on so far is his one-time support for an individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Beauprez is a longtime ally of failed 2008 and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and especially during the time before Democratic President Barack Obama proposed it, the individual mandate was considered a conservative health care reform proposal.
Today, as you know, the GOP has turned its back on the individual mandate with the kind of airtight doublethink that would make George Orwell blush. This has had the effect of leaving Republican mandate supporters like Mitt Romney and Bob Beauprez in the lurch.
Since Beauprez's primary win on Tuesday, Beauprez's surrogates have been hard at work on his first logical challenge–shoring up the Republican base in this base-dependent election. Steve House, a former minor gubernatorial candidate who endorsed Beauprez, posted this fascinating bit of damage control on Friday in response to continued grousing about Beauprez's support for the mandate from conservatives:
Gentlemen I thought I would weigh in on this because I spent a fair amount of time with Bob the past 2 and half months. I have written policy and messaging for him and in all cases he was engaged. I absolutely am a liberty minded constitutional grass roots person so when he asked me to help I was skeptical also from his past. He admits that the individual mandate comment was a mistake. [Pols emphasis] Back then people were talking about health insurance like car insurance and I am not convinced that all that many congressmen know the constitution [Pols emphasis] and why this is so wrong but he does now. I am confident he will, over turn the gun legislation, put Nathan Dunlap to death, look to drastically reduce regulation, we have discussed the difference between smaller government and limited government and he gets that. He will have a constitutional expert and a free market expert with his staff, I believe I have convinced him of that. Right now we are working on economic policy and how to move off of Colorado Health Connect. For him to win he has to consolidate the 70% that didn't vote for him first and I would expect to see meetings with Tea Part and Grassroots groups occur very soon so he can answer questions. I believe he was unprepared in 2006 because of the late move from congress to the governor's race. He is very prepared on issues now. I am going to hold his feet to the fire on being a true conservative and if he doesn't pass my test you and everyone else will know. [Pols emphasis] I hope that adds something to your thoughts.
"I am not convinced that all that many congressmen know the constitution," says House. But don't worry, "he does now!" We're not sure the words "damning with faint praise" quite do this justice. And if Beauprez doesn't pass House's "test," which apparently was not the Republican primary Beauprez just won last Tuesday, "you and everyone else will know!" Right you are, Steve, because Democrats will be making ads about it. Maybe with some choice quotes from this Facebook post. Now, if he could just use paragraph breaks…
With surrogates like these, who needs opponents?