Ann Coulter makes priorities clear at event in Steamboat |

Ann Coulter makes priorities clear at event in Steamboat

Conservative commentator and author Ann Coulter speaks during an event hosted by The Steamboat Institute on Friday night at the Thunderhead building.

— Controversial conservative commentator Ann Coulter told a crowd in Steamboat Springs on Friday that the only thing she cares about is November's presidential election.

"If we don't beat Obama now, it's lights out for America," she said. "This is our only chance to repeal Obamacare."

Coulter was the featured speaker at the Thunderhead building during a private event called Dinner on the Mountaintop. It was organized by The Steamboat Institute and was attended by about 185 people.

Much of Coulter's 30-minute speech focused on the presidential election and her desire for a conservative — namely Mitt Romney — to beat President Barack Obama.

"He's going to be hard to beat this year," Coulter said.

One of the biggest hurdles the Republican Party faces is ousting an incumbent, she said.

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"We've only done it once in the last century," Coulter said.

She said that voters also like Obama on a personal level and that people like the fact that he is the country's first black president. Broadcast media organizations also create a challenge for the Republican Party, she said.

"The NFN, or non-Fox media, is madly in love with him," Coulter said.

They key to ousting the Democrat will be winning over the independent voters, she said.

"We need those independents, and there is nothing scary about Mitt Romney," Coulter said.

Her choice for the Republican vice presidential candidate is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"I'm seeing it as eight years with Mitt Romney and then eight years as cleanup with Chris Christie," Coulter said.

After Coulter's speech, she took several questions. One person asked what she thought were the most important issues facing the country. She said they are the economy, joblessness and an enormous bureaucracy.

"The problem now isn't taxes," Coulter said. "The problem now is regulation … just endless bureaucracy."

Construction company owner Fred Duckels attended Friday night's event and enjoyed Coulter's witty commentary.

"It was more than just a satire," Duckels said. "She had a lot of insight into what was going on."

For at least one attendee, Coulter's remarks about the challenges facing the Republican Party in the presidential election were not encouraging.

"I wanted her to win me over," said Joey Archer, who is from Salt Lake City and traveled to Steamboat with her husband, Bill, to hear Coulter's talk.

The Steamboat Institute's board Vice Chairman Rick Akin said that the event was well-attended and that he considered it a success.

"Her thoughts were thought-provoking as usual," Akin said.

Friday's event drew a small crowd of about six protesters, who held signs near the base of Steamboat Ski Area as people walked to the gondola cars.

Kyle Hornor, a 21-year-old Colorado Mountain College student, helped to organize the demonstration.

"We are upset that The Steamboat Institute brought such a divisive political figure to Steamboat Springs," Hornor said. "She has the right to say the things she does, but I don't think it's productive."

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247 or email

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