12:30 p.m.: If it’s Saturday, it must be Broomfield, where Colorado Republicans are gathered to talk rally for God, Country and Change.
And as Tom Tancredo clearly articulated, Barack Hussein Obama is not what they’re talking about.
The outgoing congressman and former presidential candidate has already taken the stage to rally up the crowd, and Bob Schaffer has accepted his party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney – who was the darling of Colorado in the Feb. 5 caucus before dropping out – is scheduled to take the floor later this afternoon.
But first, Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn, his wife Jeannie at his side, presents his observations of life in Washington a year-and-a-half into his first term. Among other things, Lamborn blames what he calls the “Pelosi Premium” for a 50-cent increase in the cost of a gallon of gas.
Lamborn, who is facing a primary challenge from Jeff Crank and Bentley Rayburn in the 5th Congressional District in south-central Colorado, trumpets the need for energy development and free market health care and also supporting men and women in uniform
“We will not look to the San Francisco values of Nancy Pelosi, but [our] national values of God and Country,” Lamborn says.
Up next: Attorney General John Suthers
12:44 p.m.: “This is not, says Colorado’s Attorney General John Suthers, “a time to mince words."
“The last two elections have not been good,” says Suthers, one of only two Republicans to hold statewide office in Colorado. The Democrats have taken the governor’s office, picked up a Senate seat, two congressional seats, and the state treasurer’s office. Democrats currently control both houses of the Legislature.
“We’re wandering in a political desert,” Suthers tells the crowd. “[But] I am convinced deliverance is at hand.”
That’s because, Suthers says, no sooner did Democrats take control, did they start acting like … Democrats.
The Attorney General rattles off his critiques: Gov. Bill Ritter’s mill-levy freeze to use toward education, which was ruled unconstitutional by a Denver district judge yesterday. Riiter’s executive order allowing state workers to organize.
Suthers also cites a less-specific “series of bills to undermine law enforcement and public safety.”
“The Democrats are acting like Democrats and it’s only a matter of time,” he says, to cheers.
So will the Republicans’ “deliverance” begin in 2008, or 2010, or 2012?
“It depends on you,” Suthers says.
12:52 p.m.: Ladies and gentleman, Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave, here to tell us a couple of little stories about life in Washington.
The Congressional District 4 Republican from Weld County talks about her run in with the architect of the United States Capitol, who she caught crossing out the reference to “God” on the certificates that accompany flags that have been flown over the capitol. The words “In the year of our Lord” had also been crossed out, Musgrave said.
“I was furious, and called the architect of the capitol into my office and asked, ‘Why would you change the wording on the flag certificate?’” Musgrave says. His response? No religious words can be used. Well, Musgrave let him know in no uncertain terms that the capitol architect would not be allowed to censure the flag certificates.
The crowd cheers, and Musgrave describes another gross outrage: in the House cafeteria in Washington, she said, the Democrats will only allow cage-free chickens to be served! And, they insist on biodegradables.
“I support reining in this spending,” says Musgrave of out-of-control spending. And, she has signed the earmark pledge. Americans, she says, can’t afford to spend money on "bridges to nowhere" — a reference to fellow Republican Sen. Ted Stevens’ infamous, never-built $223 million bridge to a tiny island in Alaska.
Musgrave rifs for a bit on the need to appoint “strict constitutiuonalist judges,” and finishes up: “I have taken darts and arrows for my stance on marriage and abortion .. we must fight and win in November!”
1:15 p.m.: Colorado Senate Minority Leader Andy McElhany and House Minority Leader Mike May take the stage and introduce a slew of candidates running for the Colorado Legislature in November.
Lot’s of energy from the floor.
Keynoter Mitt Romney is still to come.
1:45 p.m.: The lights dim and the huge-screen video fires up behind the stage.
The strains to Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American” — always a GOP crowd-pleaser — filter out across the convention hall. Full lyrics:
If tomorrow all the things were gone,