It’s not often you see the Democratic Party intentionally driving traffic to Fox News. But the right-leaning network’s coverage of this week’s surprise announcement by GOP gubernatorial front-runner Walker Stapleton evidently created enough of an impression of “chaos” — Fox News’ word — in Colorado Republican ranks that it rated a press release from state Democratic spokesman Eric Walker.
You’ll recall Stapleton on Tuesday withdrew the petitions he’d submitted to the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office to land a spot on the GOP primary ballot. He accused the firm that gathered signatures for him of engaging in “fraudulent conduct” and lying about it to his campaign as well as to state officials. Stapleton said he instead would try to qualify for the primary by seeking support from GOP delegates at the state party assembly in Boulder this Saturday.
The announcement was startling enough to make the national news cycle and land on Fox News’ radar, which in turn got Walker’s attention. His press release was headlined, “Fox News Calls Stapleton’s Petition Fraud a ‘Political Earthquake’ in Prime-Time National Report,” and led with, “Stapleton’s petition fraud scandal is making national news. Watch this segment on Stapleton’s signature fiasco from Fox News’s flagship prime-time broadcast, Special Report with Bret Baier …”
Of course, to whatever extent the Stapleton camp hoped to garner praise for doing the ethical thing — Tuesday’s announcement was an about-face; the campaign previously had stood by the petitions — there was no mention of that angle in Walker’s mass e-missive.