Pace demands Tipton apologize for ‘feeling good’ about high unemployment, gas prices

Sal Pace is calling for U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton to immediately apologize for his campaign manager’s remark that “we feel good” about high unemployment, costly gasoline and the enormous U.S. debt.

Scott Tipton (Photo by Troy Hooper)
In response to a question about the Republican congressman’s chances for re-election, Tipton’s campaign manager, Michael Fortney, was quoted in the Colorado Observer on Saturday saying: “With gas prices doubled, the national debt doubled, and unemployment has barely moved, we feel good.”

State House Minority Leader Sal Pace, who is running against Tipton in the 3rd Congressional District, criticized the comment this morning in a message to the incumbent.

“Congressman Tipton owes the people of Colorado an apology,” he said. “I know far too many people who have lost their jobs and homes in this tough economy. Our struggles are real, and it’s appalling to imagine that your campaign might want even more people to suffer for political advantage.”

Pace’s campaign manager Chad Obermiller, in a prepared statement, added: “We now understand why Tipton and his Washington pals have been so ineffective in addressing issues facing Coloradans. Strangely, he has a twisted notion that will help him get re-elected.”

A phone message and email sent to Tipton’s spokesman were not immediately returned.

After Pace announced he had set a fundraising record for a challenger in the district, the Tipton campaign reported that it raised $378,000 in the first quarter of this year and it has $813,000 cash on hand, surpassing Pace’s first-quarter haul of $280,000 and $520,000 in cash on hand.

Pace out-raised Tipton in the previous fundraising quarter.

The contest in the 3rd Congressional District will be among the most closely watched in the country because Tipton is widely considered to be vulnerable. Tipton has also been dogged with a campaign violation, revelation that a “sham front group” gave him an award, an investigation and apology to a House ethics committee and accusations that he selectively informed Republicans and mining industry interests about a meeting over a San Juans wilderness proposal while excluding others.

Update: The Colorado Observer has now changed the quote it initially attributed to Tipton’s campaign manager, Michael Fortney. The original quote was on the Colorado Observer for two days and then today, without explanation and only after Sal Pace’s criticism, the quote was heavily edited and new phrases added. The Colorado Observer did not return a message. Click here for our new story.

Troy Hooper covers environmental policy for the American Independent News Network. His work has been published in The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Huffington Post, San Francisco Weekly, Playboy, New York Post, People and dozens of other publications. Hooper has covered the Winter Olympics in Italy, an extreme ski camp in South America and gone behind the scenes with Hunter S. Thompson on election night in 2004. Born and raised in Boulder, Hooper has a bachelor's degree in English from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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