Candidates McConnell, Tipton speak in Steamboat |

Candidates McConnell, Tipton speak in Steamboat

Republicans hope to unseat Salazar in U.S. House

— Routt County Republican Committee Chairman Jack Taylor told 3rd Congressional District candidates Bob McConnell and Scott Tipton today that he expects them to go beyond declaring their support for the winner of Tuesday's primary race.

"I'm asking you guys not just to say, 'Yes, I'll support him,'" Taylor said. "I want you to run an ad or do whatever it takes to get your people out to vote for your former opponent" in the general election.

Tipton and McConnell spoke briefly at the regular meeting of the Routt County Republicans in the old Routt County Courthouse. The two candidates are in a primary race that will determine who will oppose Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. John Salazar in the November election.

Tipton described a whirlwind campaign that saw him in Grand Junction earlier in the day and would take him to Cortez and Custer on Thursday.

"I'm doing my best to make my carbon footprint big," he quipped.

Asked by Republican Party member Will Potter to give the first two things he'd do upon arriving in Congress, McConnell said he would seek to reduce the size and influence of the federal government.

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"I'd introduce massive cuts to the scope and control of federal government," McConnell said. "I'd reduce congressional pay by 25 percent and eliminate any special retirement programs."

Those two measures are necessary, he said, to limit the desire on the part of lawmaker to stay in office perpetually. They would also build the credibility needed among constituents to accept further budget cuts to federal programs.

Tipton, the state representative for Colorado House District 58, said he wanted to give the statehouse and the beltway a lesson in basic economics.

"What Washington, what Denver doesn't understand, is they don't know where money comes from," Tipton said. "It comes from working people earning wages and paying taxes. I would support an audit of the federal government from top to bottom."

He said he's settled on the numeral 10 as the basis for his campaign plank.

"I want to cut the size of government by 10 percent, take the capital gains tax right down to a flat 10 percent to unleash the American entrepreneurial (know-how) and cut the corporate tax rate, which is the second highest in the world, down to a flat 10 percent."

McConnell, a political newcomer and retired colonel in the airborne Army Rangers as well as a military lawyer, predicted that his party's candidate to unseat Salazar would need to pull 20 percent of Democratic votes along the southern boundary of the 3rd Congressional District along a line between Alamosa and Pueblo.

"That's where I'll be. That's where I'll win the fight," McConnell said, adding that 70,000 military veterans in the district would give him a boost.

Tipton said he would defeat Salazar by standing on his decades of consistently advocating for reduced taxes and a smaller government.

McConnell said he would espouse two values in particular if he goes on to oppose Salazar.

"Our challenge is to convince the Americans in the 3rd Congressional District that one nation under God and a conservatively governed country are American values."

Tipton said he seeks to reshape fiscal policy at the national level.

"I want to break the unholy alliance between the Federal Reserve (Board) and Congress to returns us to an asset-based economy," he said.

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