Last week, ColordoPols reported that gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez agreed, in no uncertain terms, that the federal government has the right to require you, dear citizen of the United States, have health insurance. It's called the "individual mandate" and, of course, it's the foundation of Romneycare and, later, Obamacare.
But once Mitt Romney became irrelevant, Beauprez changed his mind, with no explanation. And reporters, who've pretty much ignored the Pols story, have yet to ask him for one, even though there was ample coverage of Mitt Romney's endorsement of Beauprez.
Someone should ask Beauprez about it, because this is supposed to be the election when Republicans are so hot mad about Obamacare (and guns) that they're going to submit mail-in ballots it droves.
As to how the Romney flip is playing out within the GOP base, OGREeXposed.com, which frequently critiques the GOP establishment, had this to say last week:
Perhaps the most concerning and disturbing revelation concerns Beauprez's position on the individual healthcare mandate, the lynchpin to Obamacare and Amycare (Colorado's version of the Obamacare exchange.)
In a 2007 op-ed discovered by the far-left blog ColoradoPols, Beauprez clearly and unequivocally supported the imposition of an individual healthcare mandate. Beauprez equated the mandated purchase of health insurance with car insurance. This, of course, was closely related to his endorsement of Mitt Romney for President in the 2008 election. Beauprez would later distance himself from supporting the individual mandate--yet another "both ways Bob" moment.
Beauprez is no stranger to controversy over fundamental policy questions. During his 2006 primary run for governor, Beauprez was accused by his primary opponent Marc Holtzman of joining far-left Democrats and big-government Republicans in supporting referendum C. Referendum C permitted the state legislature to spend above the limits imposed by the Tax Payer Bill of Rights, and ended the tax payer refunds which became so popular. Beauprez was accused of supporting and then opposing Referendum C, which is how he was tagged with the nick-name "both ways Bob" in the first place.
It looks like Beauprez' previous support of the individual health-care mandate resulted from his you-endorse-me-I'll-endorse-you, relationship with Romney. But you wonder what good Romney does for Beauprez anyway.
OGREeXposed bluntly tweeted last week:
A @MittRomney endorsement for @bobbeauprez just turned away as many Rs as it attracted. Bob is living in 2006. #copolitics
Ken Clark, co-host of KLZ's Grassroots Radio Colorado, emailed me:
Romney's endorsement of Bob Beauprez simply means that Beauprez has aligned himself with the establishment arm the the GOP which is really not a surprise. Beauprez was one of the first in Colorado to not only endorse, but to speak on the behalf of Romney's failed presidential run. It further illustrates the divide between candidates whom act upon principle as opposed to what ever seems to be expedient in the moment. Beauprez endorsed the Romney campaigns rule changes at the 2012 convention which was nothing more than an attempt to remove the voice of the Grass Roots and the Ron Paul supporters from the political process and control who would be the nominee. They would like nothing more that to shut the liberty groups down and have us follow them blindly into oblivion, I'm sorry but that simply will not happen.
Rob Douglas, columnist for the Steamboat Pilot, pointed out via email that Romney could become a valuable fundraiser for Beauprez. In similar vein, Eli Bremer, former chairman of El Paso county Republican Party, wrote me that this could help Beauprez, because the "Republican primary electorate around the country in 2014 seems like they are much more serious about evaluating the traits that traditionally make for good general election candidates."
On the surface, Mitt Romney's endorsement of Bob Beauprez might be expected by the casual observer. After all, Beauprez was an early and unwavering supporter of Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign and Beauprez worked hard for the campaign here in Colorado.
But I think Romney's endorsement goes deeper than political payback. Given the fairly small number of endorsements by Romney so far this cycle, I believe he is exercising discretion in picking candidates to support. That tells me Romney is a true believer when it comes to Beauprez. And, if you look at the personal and professional similarities between the two men, you can see why there'd be a natural affinity. Both have succeeded in business and politics. And while both also experienced the sting of defeat, they continued to find ways to advocate for their beliefs.
Asked if the Romney endorsement would help Beauprez, former state Sen. Norma Anderson said, "It depends. For those that supported Romney in the presidential election it will help. For those who didn't, it won't. That's usually how it works."