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Stumping For Beauprez, Christie Stands Firm On Colorado Pot

Bente Birkeland
Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez talks to reporters with Chris Christie. Christie, the head of the Republican Governor's Association is in Colorado campaigning for Beauprez.

While campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie refused to back down from his comments made earlier in 2014, criticizing Colorado’s quality of life after legalizing recreational marijuana.

“We’ve got to stop in public life worrying about making everybody happy and faking it, like we’re going to agree all the time,” said Christie.

He went on to reiterate that legalizing marijuana is the wrong thing to do from a societal and governmental perspective and he does believe it diminishes the quality of life in Colorado.

“I’m gonna say what I think. Some people will love it and other people won’t,” said Christie. “I’m not one of those guys who’s going to change my opinion because I’m standing in Colorado.”

Christie heads the Republican Governor's Association and is also considered a potential Republican Presidential nominee. He and Bob Beauprez greeted customers at Sam’s No. 3 diner in downtown Denver. Christie will then head to Aspen and travel to Chicago later to campaign for another candidate.

Christie said he’ll be back in Colorado frequently during campaign season, and said his visit is a testament to the strength of Beauprez’s campaign.

“There’s nobody who’s awake and alive in Colorado that doesn’t believe this is a winnable race,” said Christie. “The only people that don’t believe it are just flat out partisans.”

Recent polls have put the Governor’s race at a statistical dead heat. According to the latest poll from Public Policy Polling, Governor John Hickenlooper’s approval rating has dropped a net of 10 points since March.

Credit Bente Birkeland / RMCR
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie greets a patron at Sam's No. 3 diner in Denver, Colo., July 23, 2014.

“I’m really glad he is here,” Beauprez said. “This is validation that this thing is winnable.”

Hickenlooper has faced a backlash, especially over his support for stricter gun laws and how he’s handled the debate about the measures. Christie though had nothing negative to say about Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper currently chairs the National Governor’s Association, and Christie said he’s always worked very well with Hickenlooper and gets along with him personally.

“I like John a lot,” he said. “I’m not going to come here and say John Hickenlooper is a bad person. I don’t think he is.”

Hickenlooper himself is finding support in the November race. He recently unveiled a list of more than 100 business leaders supporting his bid for re-election, including Republicans and Independents.

Bente Birkeland has been reporting on state legislative issues for KUNC and Rocky Mountain Community Radio since 2006. Originally, from Minnesota, Bente likes to hike and ski in her spare time. She keeps track of state politics throughout the year but is especially busy during the annual legislative session from January through early May.
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