As former Colorado Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff cast his ballot today, he joked with journalists that exit polls so far have him winning his primary campaign against incumbent U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. But those jests quickly turned serious when he restated his position as the candidate bucking the establishment by running a campaign the Democratic Party never wanted to see.
Romanoff then turned on the Republican candidates, Jane Norton and Ken Buck, condemning Buck for “finding a lot of truth” in recent comments by former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, who claimed at a Buck fundraiser that President Barack Obama was the greatest threat to the United States.
With car horns honking in support in the background, Romanoff told reporters that independent voters have asked him if he’s willing to stand up to his party when it matters.
“I am doing that right now by running against the wishes of the Washington establishment,” Romanoff said. “I am not running to represent Washington, I am running to represent the people of Colorado.”
If Romanoff wins the Aug. 10 primary, he’ll face one of two Republicans who have run hard-right campaigns this year as the tea party movement has captured the imaginations of disenfranchised Republicans.
Romanoff said both possible Republican candidates support abolishing the Department of Education and believe, at least in part, that president Obama could be compared to the threat posed by terrorists.
“I find no truth in that statement. I find it reprehensible to compare the president of the United States to a terrorist as did Tancredo.”
Romanoff said that when people cast their primary ballots he wants them to consider who has the best chance of holding the seat in November and the strongest voting record. Noting that he thought he was the answer to both of the questions, he went on to say that unaffiliated voters can still choose a party and take part in deciding either the Democratic or Republican candidate.
The campaign then took to the streets, where Romanoff spoke with potential voters on the 16th Street Mall, garnering handshakes and baby photo ops from detractors and supporters alike.