GOP ‘on probation of sorts’ with voters

Tea party favorite Ryan Frazier speaks to fellow Republicans at a Friday luncheon at Two Rivers Convention Center in Grand Junction. He also appeared at the freedom rally in Sherwood Park. Tea party rallies take place all across the state, see page 8A.

Not all Republicans have grasped the small-government message of the tea party movement, a man who helped kick off the tea party two years ago in Grand Junction told similar crowds again Friday.

Ryan Frazier, a Republican who last November lost his bid for Congress, said the GOP takeover of the House did little but reflect voter frustration with Democrats.

“We are on probation of sorts” with voters who want a smaller, less expensive federal government and less debt, Frazier told about 90 Mesa County Republicans at Two Rivers Convention Center. “People chose Republicans because the other guys were screwing up,” he said.

He spoke later to more than 100 people at a tea party-style freedom rally in Sherwood Park, along with Tom Tancredo, a former Colorado Republican congressman and third-party candidate last year for governor.

Frazier was considering a bid for the U.S. Senate when he spoke to more than 2,000 people at Lincoln Park as the tea party movement started to bubble up across the country.

“The energy of 2009, that has to come back” for the small-government message to resonate with voters, he said.

Frazier praised a plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to cut more than $6 trillion from the federal budget over a decade.

The House on Friday approved the Ryan plan. U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., supported the measure.

Frazier criticized the 2011 budget agreement that cut $38 billion in spending, which he said was far short of what was needed.

The budget deal “sounded great, until you looked under the hood,” Frazier said. “Then you saw there was no engine there.”

Frazier, who acknowledged he is considering a bid to run for mayor of Aurora, where he is a term-limited City Council member, shied away from discussing state water policy with Mesa County Republicans, but he stressed Aurora is spending heavily to reuse its municipal water.


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