Beauprez: 'What I'm Doing Is Standing Up For Colorado'
Former Republican Congressman Bob Beauprez is facing a close race against Governor John Hickenlooper in his gubernatorial bid. Back in 2006, he made several missteps in his campaign for governor, but in this 2014 run he's run a much tighter ship.
The governor has criticized Beauprez for having an attack first mentality and being unwilling to work collaboratively and bring people together, Beuprez makes no apologies for waging a heated campaign.
"I think what I'm doing is standing up for Colorado," Beauprez said. "There's a whole lot of Coloradans, when I travel the state that wonder where the Governor is. They ask the straight up question 'does he know he's not the mayor of Denver anymore?'"
A recent poll for The Denver Post conducted by SurveyUSA showed the race an almost even split – 45 percent to Hickenlooper and 44 percent to Beauprez. Jay Leve, the pollster at SurveyUSA told the paper that "You really can flip a coin in the governor's race and be as likely to be right as wrong."
In an interview that aired during Morning Edition, Bob Beauprez spoke about how he'd govern if elected, his thoughts on working across the aisle on education, marijuana legalization, the state's energy policy, as well his disagreement with two state policies the Governor signed into law; driver's licenses for people in the country illegally and in-state tuition for undocumented students who came to Colorado as children.
On efforts to add more resources for schools to improve 3rd grade reading scores
"Suggesting that somehow magically next year our reading scores are just going to improve, 'because…' I don't think that's a very good explanation to parents and certainly not children, who about 30 percent of, are kids in Colorado we find every year can't read at grade level proficiency and the scores just got worse. And we do have legislation out there, the READ act, that was supposed to address it."
On his remarks in a recent debate concerning overturning marijuana legalization
"It really needs to come from the people. It's in the [state] constitution now and the people voted to put it in the constitution. People are talking about that. My answer to them has always been the same thing: If they decide they want to amend, or change, or perhaps even repeal, then we'll have that discussion. I wasn't a fan of it to begin with, but now my challenge will be to do the will of the people."
On addressing immigration
"The real problem, is that for about 30 years, since the last amnesty program, we haven't secured our border, we haven't modernized legal immigration, we haven't really enforced the employment laws… Governors, I think, are feeling the impact on their states and that's why I think it will be governors, a coalition of governors, that really will bring forward the pressure and the solution on how to fix it."
Editor's Note: We spoke to both candidates in advance of Colorado's 2014 gubernatorial election. You can read more and listen to the interview with Governor John Hickenlooper here.