It looks like Rutt Bridges has found his speaking voice. This afternoon Bridges issued a statement condemning Congressman Bob Beauprez for his awkward statement to The Rocky Mountain News that at best was a poor choice of words and at worst an insinuation that Mexicans are lazy:
"I've vacationed in Mexico before. I know exactly what 'Mexican time' is," said Beauprez in regards to the timeframe it might take to extradite accused murderer Raul Gomez-Garcia from Mexico. Here's the statement issued today by Bridges:
Upon reading Mr. Beauprez’s comments in The Rocky Mountain News, Rutt Bridges said, “Stereotypes and slurs don’t represent Colorado values. To build consensus on common-sense solutions you need to bring people together, not drive them apart—I don’t see how Mr. Beauprez’s offensive comment helps those working to see that justice is done.”
While the statement could have been stronger, this was nevertheless the right move to make politically. If Bridges makes it out of a primary, Beauprez could very well be his opponent in the general election, and it certainly helps to try to keep any of his missteps in the public eye. Democrats in Colorado have long done a poor job of jumping on opportunities to make Republicans pay for mistakes, but it looks like Bridges is trying. We'll find out tomorrow if it works.
UPDATE: It looks like it's worked already. 9News.com has the story, with a response from Beauprez's office...
"The congressman regrets his poor choice of words and offers a sincere apology to anyone who was offended," Beauprez spokesman Jordon Stoick said in a statement Wednesday afternoon."He will continue to fight to see that cop killers are not able to delay and avoid justice by fleeing the country. That is what he intended to convey in the interview and it is unfortunate that political opportunists would attempt to twist this into something it clearly is not."
Pretty standard response, but with a little jab thrown in at the end. Maybe this governor's race is finally getting more interesting.