Ken Buck's "Extreme" Heritage

August 12 2010, 11:49 AM
Just hours after Weld County prosecutor Ken Buck edged out former Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton for the Republican Party's nomination for U.S. Senate, he was labeled as "too extreme for Colorado." Of course, the jab came from the left, a liberal umbrella group for several nonprofits called Campaign for a Strong Colorado. The GOP's state chairman, Dick Wadhams, shrugs off the attack, pointing out that former Governor Bill Owens and former Senator Wayne Allard also were deemed too extreme (via The Denver Post). Yet, while Buck's anti-establishment campaign has given some hope to Democrats that Republicans may be too radical to win votes in November, Democrats' own prospects remain difficult. That's because top issues, such as the economy and unemployment, will likely remain problematic through Election Day and could lead voters to sweep out the controlling party, writes The New York Times. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, says independent voters may decide the election and may well vote for GOP candidates. As for Buck, he's still pushing the same message---that he's an outsider---he used against Norton, as he faces Senator Michael Bennet, who is backed by the Obama administration. But Buck is also willing to take on his own party. He tells John King at CNN, "I think Republicans realize that Republicans are every bit as much to blame for the mess that we are in in D.C. as the Democrats." Buck also hints at some policies he supports, including fiscal responsibility. He says changes should be made to keep Social Security afloat. "We certainly need to raise the retirement age," he says. "I've told my 19-year-old and my 22-year-old that they're not going to be getting retirement benefits at age 62." Meanwhile, Buck is looking to pick up some much-needed financial help from the NRSC, which supported his rival, Jane Norton, in the primary, reports The Denver Post. That's a much better welcome than Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes appears to be receiving after defeating Scott McInnis. "Not one national or local GOP-backed group or individual sent out a news release congratulating Maes for his win," writes the Post, in a separate article that offers little hope for the Republican nominee.