On Sunday, Ken Buck compared homosexuality to alcoholism during a nationally televised Meet the Press debate with Senator Michael Bennet -- and host David Gregory also brought up Buck's decision not to file rape charges in a much-debated 2005 case.
Not that it matters much, according to Buck spokesman Owen Loftus, who believes such stories are attempts to distract voters -- and they aren't going to work.
"I thought the most interesting part of the debate was when Gregory was going over the Denver Post endorsement [of Bennet], and Michael Bennet said, 'Let's focus on my potential,'" Loftus says. "Coloradans don't want to focus on what he can be, but on what his record is -- things like a 9.6 percent unemployment rate. People who watched the debate saw Michael Bennet trying to run away from his record as a representative of the president."
Regarding the homosexuality line -- when asked if homosexuality is a choice, Buck replied, "I think that birth has an influence over like alcoholism and some other things, but I think that basically you, you have a choice" -- and the date-rape case, Loftus believes "they keep bringing up all these other issues because Michael Bennet is wrong on issues Coloradans care about. They're worried about how to pay bills, how to pay the mortgage, how to pay for their kids' school. So this is just a distraction on their part.
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"We've seen in debate after debate that Michael Bennet doesn't want to answer the hard questions. He just wants to serve out platitudes. We need to create jobs and stop out-of-control spending, and yesterday, Ken laid out a clear plan on how to do that."
Presumably, the decision by Democrats to push such subjects is more about increasing the turnout of voters likely to oppose Buck than to change the minds of his current supporters -- and Loftus agrees with this theory.
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"Our supporters, whether they're Republicans or unaffiliateds or even Democrats, are focused on the issues," he allows. "They're focused on creating jobs and reining in spending. And they recognize that this negativity coming from the Bennet campaign is something that's happening across the country -- Democrats trying to run away from their record as a rubber stamp for the president."
More from our Politics archive: "Colbert Report guest Brendan Steinhauser puts Ken Buck first on national Tea Party love list."