GOP House candidates address oil spill, other issues at luncheon

Two Republican candidates for Congress faulted President Obama’s handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in decidedly different ways on Monday.

Speaking before the Mesa County Republican Women, Bob McConnell and Scott Tipton called for a united Republican Party.

Asked what they would do differently in had they been president when the Deepwater Horizon rig burned April 20, McConnell said immediately, “First thing, I’d have been there.”

Obama met with fishermen and the Coast Guard in Venice, La. on May 2.

Tipton said he would immediately call together his cabinet to tailor a response and then point out that there are safer places to drill, such as “a little place called western Colorado.”

McConnell, of Steamboat Springs, and Tipton, of Cortez, are battling in the Republican primary for the right to face incumbent U.S. Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., in the November general election.

Both Republicans told the audience of more than 100 that they would learn nothing new about them when it was too late, after the election.

“I’m new at this,” McConnell said, citing his newcomer status, having never been in politics. He did, however, hold top-secret clearance in the Army, for which he served as a lawyer, he said, and has no secrets.

He also said he would serve only three terms.

Tipton, a state legislator who owns Mesa Verde Trading in Cortez, said that after 30 years of political activity in Colorado, there is nothing new to come out about him.

He ran because of his displeasure with rising deficits and taxes, McConnell said.

His campaign, McConnell said, has allowed him to “channel my anger in a positive way.”

When he was defeated by Salazar in 2006, Tipton said he was stressing smaller government and lower taxes, just as he is now, Tipton said.

Even though he lost his first bid, “I was ahead of my time,” Tipton said.

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On the Gulf oil spill and the administration’s reaction:


“What makes a ‘career politician’?”


On the current health care reform:





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