Politics

Lauren Boebert Proud Boys and QAnon Report and If It Matters

Sherronna Bishop in a screen capture from a video chat with a self-proclaimed Proud Boys member identified as "Rob" and a portrait of Lauren Boebert from our recent cover story.
Sherronna Bishop in a screen capture from a video chat with a self-proclaimed Proud Boys member identified as "Rob" and a portrait of Lauren Boebert from our recent cover story. ABC News/Seth Schaeffer-Hoptocopter Films
The national attention garnered by Lauren Boebert over her run in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District reached a new peak last night, October 15.

That's when an ABC News report divulged that her former campaign manager, Sherronna Bishop, had praised the far-right, neo-fascist group the Proud Boys in a Facebook video last year, and showcased a quote from Boebert during a May appearance on what's described as a "QAnon-friendly podcast." At the time, Boebert said this: "Everything that I've heard of Q, I hope that this is real. Because it only means that America is getting stronger and better, and people are returning to conservative values."

While Boebert has not yet responded to our request for her take on the ABC News piece, Bishop sent an unusual response: the photo below, which certainly leaves a lot of room for interpretation.

While the revelations may strike those who live outside Boebert's district, which encompasses communities such as Grand Junction and Pueblo, as a devastating blow, the political leanings of residents and the specifics of Boebert's appeal raise doubts as to whether they'll have a sizable impact on the contest between Boebert and Democratic rival Diane Mitsch Bush.

Ashley Quenneville, Mitsch Bush's campaign manager, certainly thinks they should. Her statement about the ABC salvo reads: "Lauren Boebert's close relationship with violent extremists is disgusting and disqualifying. Coloradans deserve a representative who will unite us — not associate herself with white supremacist hate groups that pose a domestic terrorist threat according to the FBI. Boebert should denounce the Proud Boys and all other white supremacist groups, and the national groups propping up her campaign — including the NRCC [National Republican Congressional Committee] and CLF [Congressional Leadership Fund] — must withdraw their support immediately."

click to enlarge Sherronna Bishop sent this photo along with a text message that reads, "Here's my comment." - COURTESY OF SHERRONNA BISHOP
Sherronna Bishop sent this photo along with a text message that reads, "Here's my comment."
Courtesy of Sherronna Bishop
This last demand certainly won't happen, particularly in light of comments made by President Donald Trump at a town hall on MSNBC aired right around the time the Boebert story broke. During the event, Trump, who'd earlier told the Proud Boys to "stand back and stand by" should the results of the November election not go his way, half-heartedly denounced white supremacy after repeated goading from moderator Savannah Guthrie, but seemed much more interested in saying terrible things about Antifa. Moreover, he repeatedly dodged opportunities to castigate QAnon, which he claimed in hilariously weak fashion to know nothing about other than that its followers hate pedophilia — and said he does, too!

Of course, anyone who spends as much time trolling political media — social or otherwise, as Trump does — understands that QAnon actually contends that a group of devil-worshipping pedos are actively trying to undermine the president, who's portrayed as a God-like figure. No wonder he won't say anything bad about them.

Boebert, who has previously swatted aside attempts to tie her to whitesupremacist and QAnon philosophies, is an unabashed Trump fan, too. In an interview for a recent Westword cover story, she asserted that "he’s put his life on the line to serve the American people, to put the American people and their country first, and that’s the same message I’m getting to voters."

Moreover, as political consultant and columnist Eric Sondermann pointed out in that piece, Boebert's persona as a pistol-packin' firebrand has connected with her base in ways that suggest a kinship with the man currently living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

"There’s no doubt that Boebert wins the intensity vote" over Mitsch Bush, Sondermann said. “There wasn’t a slight preference for her voters in the primary. It was a strong preference. It’s the Trump phenomenon: His voters tend to be all in, and Boebert’s voters tend to be all in."

Mitsch Bush has cited several polls suggesting that she's actually leading Boebert right now, and Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight categorizes the competition as a toss-up. But Sondermann has his doubts. "I don’t know if it’s Diane Mitsch Bush putting up a decent fight or if Boebert is just one of those candidates I analogize to a magnet, where one end attracts but there’s another end that’s equally strong and repellent. But the 3rd District went to Trump by twelve points in 2016. Even Pueblo, which a generation ago was a Democratic hotbed, voted for Trump. And you can’t find a lot of candidates that are more Trumpian than Lauren Boebert."

If that's true, Boebert loyalists may simply shrug off the ABC News report as fake news and remain in her corner anyhow — the Proud Boys and QAnon notwithstanding.

This post has been updated to include Sherronna Bishop's photo response to the ABC News article.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts