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Colorado Democrats bestow BS — that’s Bush-Stapleton — award on Walker Stapleton after interview

Author: Ernest Luning - January 12, 2018 - Updated: January 13, 2018

The Colorado Democratic Party awarded the Bush-Stapleton BS Award to Colorado Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican candidate for governor, on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at his office at the Capitol in Denver. (Courtesy photo)

The Colorado Democratic Party on Friday delivered its inaugural “Bush-Stapleton BS Award” to State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, a Republican candidate for governor — purportedly for “the most BS told in a single interview” but maybe also for the chance to print the smiling poop emoji on a fancy-looking certificate.

In all, the Democrats count seven “whoppers” told by Stapleton in an interview with The Villager, the Greenwood Village-based newspaper that covers the south metro area. Those include Stapleton’s contention that enrollment numbers in the state’s health care exchange prove its “futility” and his dismissal of critics who point out Stapleton has some illustrious relatives.

“In 2016, Donald Trump BS-ed his way into the White House, and this year, Walker Stapleton is trying to BS his way into the governor’s mansion by hiding his extreme right-wing views,” said Eric Walker, the state Democrats’ communications director in a statement. “Voters should be careful not to step in Stapleton’s BS as they head to the polls to elect a Democratic governor this November.”

A spokesman for Stapleton’s campaign declined to comment on the Democrats’ stunt.

The interview with Villager news editor Peter Jones raises many of the criticisms that have been leveled at Stapleton over the years — including that he “moonlighted” on the public dime and that he bent the spirit of campaign finance rules by helping an independent expenditure committee raise vast sums of cash before he made his gubernatorial campaign official.

Read the Democrats’ list calling “BS” on Stapleton’s statements here.

Stapleton uses the word “hogwash” twice in the first few paragraphs of the article — first to dismiss charges he’s what the author terms a “dynasty” candidate because his cousins include former President George W. Bush and his great-grandfather, a former mayor of Denver, is the namesake of the city’s Stapleton neighborhood and the airport it replaced. Stapleton also “bristles” at the criticism Jones relates more than once in the article.

He bristles and calls hogwash simultaneously at a question about his family tree. “I think labels are hogwash and a bunch of political bull that don’t mean anything,” Stapleton told The Villager, adding that he’s also related to country singer Chris Stapleton, but “just because he’s my second cousin doesn’t mean that I sing like him.” (The singing Stapleton, incidentally, is set to appear as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on Jan. 27, when comedian Will Ferrell hosts.)

Responding to a question about his role helping raise funds for an independent expenditure committee — in a move similar to the way another Stapleton cousin, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, helped prime the pump for a committee that supported his ill-fated run for the presidency a couple years ago — Stapleton simply says, “That’s a lot of political hogwash,” and then adds that it’s going to “take a lot of money” to beat U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, one of nine Democrats running for governor and one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Watch the Democrats’ spokesman Walker, accompanied by a videographer, deliver the award certificate to a friendly if skeptical-looking Stapleton staffer at his first-floor office at the Capitol:

Stapleton is one of eight Republicans running for the office held by term-limited Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.