Former state GOP Chairman Dick Wadhams believes Colorado Republicans should find state-wide candidates modeled after Republicans who won elections over a decade ago in Colorado: former Gov. Bill Owens, and former Senators Wayne Allard, Bill Armstrong, and Hank Brown.
"They were candidates that appealed to a broad section of Coloradans," Wadhams told Internet-radio host Art Carlson Saturday. "They didn't go out of their way to alienate any Colorado voter. And as a result, they won in a state that's very competitive, like Colorado. And that's what we need in 2014."
Nothing unusual there, but the funny part was, Wadhams went on to praise a possible Republican gubernatorial candidate who's obviously among the most alienating and polarizing public figures in Colorado.
"I think it's difficult to start a campaign when you're dealing with those ethical assaults [resulting form the ethics investigation Gessler faces]," Wadhams told Calrson. "But if Scott can get past them, if he can get beyond those charges against him, he'll emerge as a strong candidate."
What about the need to find a person who won't "alienate any Colorado voter?" I can think of at least a few voters that Gessler might have alienated, maybe Hispanics, minorities, and the entire voting population of Colorado, for example, but unfortunately Carlson let the topic slide by.
Listen to the Wadhams interview here: Dick Wadhams discusses Scott Gessler on Arts Place 6-8-2013
Wadhams called Gessler "a great friend," who's "done some great work as Secretary of State."
"It's now been 11 years since Republicans won a race United States Senate or for Governor," Wadhams told the internet audience. "...The common thread among the people who've won statewide for governor and senator as Republicans is that they were very disciplined candidates."
"If the intention is to win an election, I think Republicans have to take this seriously and really make a decision on who can win," said Wadhams. "And that's not because they become overnight liberals or something. Wayne Allard and Bill Owens were two of the most conservative legislators when they ran for state-wide office and yet they could articulate their conservative agenda in a very open and welcoming way for all Coloradans to consider. We don't need Republicans who will alienate large blocs of voters."
If I were host Carlson, I would have asked Wadhams if substantive changes, even itsy bitsy ones, are required by GOP candidates to avoid the alienation trap.
Or is this all about messaging, like Wadhams implies? What about some specific policy proposals related to abortion? Hispanics? The environment? Poverty? Health care? Education? Taxes?
Those issues never came up. Carlson should have dug deep and asked about them.