Now that the dust has settled from (now official) GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s visit to Craig, Colorado earlier this week, we wanted to share a few thoughts about why the visit matters.
Contrary to the scoffs heard ‘round 17th Street when the news broke that Romney was touching down somewhere other than the center of the universe (Denver), it is nice to see that at least one presidential campaign grasps that all things Colorado do not revolve around its capitol city.
True enough, young Barack Obama received his coronation in Denver in 2008, but given the status Colorado carries as a pivotal swing state in the upcoming election, we find it a bit odd that every visit he’s made this campaign cycle has been limited to the Denver metro area.
The Romney campaign deserves credit for showing up in unexpected places like Fort Lupton and Craig to highlight issues of national importance while making the Colorado connection. Sure, it would be easiest to drop in to the Denver metro area to have a press conference and schedule a fundraiser while you’re there (you know…the Obama template) but Romney’s different approach is refreshing in that it is including otherwise disengaged voters in rural areas of the state in this critical election process.
Beyond the value of including rural voters, the Romney camp was wise to focus in on northwest Colorado to highlight just how bad the Obama Administration has been with respect to access to natural resources on federal lands.
Whether Obama surrogate (and disgraced former Mayor of Grand Junction) Jim Spehar wants to admit it or not, the Obama Administration has systematically blocked responsible energy development in areas like the Vermillion Basin and the Roan Plateau – both in northwest Colorado. Merely saying that the President is focused on an “all of the above” energy plan that includes gas and coal doesn’t make it so. In Colorado, actions tend to speak louder than words.
If the Obama campaign is serious about their contention that their administration has been good for the coal industry, they would be well served to schedule a similar trip, to a similar town, that’s reliant upon coal to defend their actions on public lands management.
Until such a visit occurs, the Obama record will stand for itself in rural Colorado.