10/19/2010 02:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Running a Real Business? You Sure? Ask Bernie Buescher First...

There's a difference between expressing expertise and communicating condescension. And Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Bueschercrossed that line during a debate with opponent Scott Gessler on Tuesday at the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.

Here's what Gessler said, in part:

You know, I manage a business. I have a law firm. We have 13 people total. You know several business... several families rely on us. And I have done this, managed businesses, for about 18 years now.

A couple of minutes later, here's what Buescher said:

I spent nine years there (West Star Aviation). Grew it to about 220 people, and today it's about 360. It's probably one of the three or four very best employers in western Colorado. But I really learned how to run a business. And, in all due respect to Scott, I also ran a law firm at one point; running a real business is substantially different. Let me tell you, I've tried to bring those same skills to this office.

You can see those remarks in the video above. A longer version of the video is here.

Does Buescher mean that running the 13-person Hackstaff Gessler LLC is not a real business compared to managing hundreds of employees at West Star Aviation?

What if Hackstaff Gessler had 400 (or 4,000) employees. Would that make a difference?

The National Federation of Independent Business has more than 7,500 members in Colorado and 92% have fewer than 20 employees, according to Tony Gagliardi, the Colorado state director.

Small businesses (law firms or otherwise) would make up the bulk of business registrants at the Colorado Secretary of State's office.

So, ask a small law firm trying to make payroll in this economy if it's a real business. They're facing the same trials and tribulations as any other business owner.