Republican U.S. Congress candidate Scott Tipton hosted former President Bill Clinton aide turned conservative commentator Dick Morris at a Grand Junction-area fundraiser Tuesday, and the Colorado Democratic Party blasted the appearance, noting both Morris’ alleged sex scandal that forced him to leave the White House and a $1.5 million lien levied against him for his failure to pay taxes.
“Scott Tipton is ‘a real conservative, a conservative who can fight for you, and most importantly a conservative who can defeat [incumbent 3rd Congressional District Rep.] John Salazar,'” Tipton’s site quotes Morris .
Democrats point to the circumstances surrounding FOX News analyst Morris’ departure from the Clinton administration in 1996 as a sign of Morris’s questionable ethics. The Dems cited a New York Times article that referenced a story in the New York Post that reported Morris as having weekly meetings with a prostitute over the course of a year.
“While I served I sought to avoid the limelight because I did not want to become the message,” Morris said at the time of his resignation. ”Now, I resign so I will not become the issue. I will not subject my wife, family or friends to the sadistic vitriol of yellow journalism. I will not dignify such journalism with a reply or an answer. I never will.”
Democrats also pointed out that Morris had failed to pay $452,000 in taxes and penalties (though he reached an agreement and did pay those fees) and had previously claimed that Clinton told him that he would have to re-appoint then-U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno “because she would have turned on me over Waco.” Morris later retracted that statement and said it was his own conjecture.
Colorado Democratic Party Chair Pat Waak said in a release: “If Scott [Tipton] thinks Dick Morris’ endorsement is a great coup, he must be forgetting his history. Morris has proven himself morally questionable time and time again. As the first major fundraiser of his general election campaign, what kind of tone and precedent does this set for Scott personally? Scott should be condemning the actions of Dick Morris, not bowing down and taking his money. Does Scott think this is OK? It’s not. It’s embarrassing and disgraceful. Colorado deserves better than this.”
Tipton’s campaign said Waak should focus more on Salazar and less on Morris’ past.
“If Pat Waak spent more time worrying about John Salazar’s failure to produce jobs and his record of voting with [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time, she probably wouldn’t need to be so concerned about national political experts coming to the 3rd Congressional District to predict his defeat in November,” Tipton said.