Tancredo challenges Maes to drop out of remaining debates

Tom Tancredo, the Republican who turned to a third party to enter the race for governor, is calling on the GOP nominee, Dan Maes, to drop out of the remaining debates.

On a Denver radio talk show earlier this month, Maes said that if there were a standard for who should be invited to debates, he’s set that level at candidates who are polling at 20 percent or higher.

But since then, a new poll showed Maes well below that level.

“Dan Maes said he’d end his sideshow if he dropped below 20 percent,” Tancredo campaign manager Bay Buchanan said in a statement.

“We’ll see if he lives up to it, or if this turns out to be just another one of Dan’s tall tales or serial exaggerations.”

Campaign spokesman Nate Strauch said Maes won’t be dropping out of any of the remaining six debates, most of which are sponsored by Front Range newspapers and television stations.

Strauch said Maes never promised to drop out of the debates, only that if there were a standard for them, only candidates polling above that level should be invited.

The question of such a standard arose earlier this month when Tancredo, who’s running as the candidate for the American Constitution Party, complained that he wasn’t being invited to all of the debates, such as Club 20’s in Grand Junction on Sept. 11. The Western Slope group doesn’t invite candidates whose parties represent less than 1 percent of registered voters.

On KHOW-AM’s Caplis and Silverman Show on Sept. 9, Dan Caplis asked Maes where he would set the bar for inviting candidates to debate. Here’s part of their conversation:

Maes: “Somewhere you have to set the bar and say who comes and who doesn’t. That’s my arbitrary number, 20 percent. If you’re polling 20 percent, come on board. If you’re not, then you don’t come.”

Caplis: “But isn’t that kind of a dangerous thing to say because what if in one of these polls that comes out soon, you dip below 20 percent. At that point, should they disinvite you?”

Maes: “Here’s what’s different about me and career politicians, Dan. When I set a rule, I live by it and I don’t change the goal post when it doesn’t suit me well. So, yeah, if hypothetically there was this magical 20 percent rule and I dropped below 20 percent, shame on me for dropping below 20 percent, and I should not be included.”

On Tuesday, Fox News reported that Hickenlooper was at 44 percent, Tancredo at 34 percent and Maes at 15 percent.


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