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Nation’s energy issues give fuel to presidential debate

By Joe Hanel Herald staff writer

Editor’s note: This weekly roundup of campaign news will resume June 2.

DENVER – Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday made his first visit to Colorado since the Feb. 7 caucuses, speaking at an oil and gas business near Fort Lupton.

Romney accused President Barack Obama of hurting the U.S. economy by standing in the way of energy production and blocking the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

Obama has pointed out that oil production is at an eight-year high, but Romney mocked that argument.

“The president tries to take credit for the fact that oil production is up. I’d like to take credit for the fact that when I was governor, the Red Sox won the World Series,” Romney told The Associated Press. “But neither one of those would be the case.”

Gay rights on stage: It was a big week in the gay rights debate. On Tuesday, Colorado House Republicans killed a civil unions bill through a filibuster.

On Wednesday, Obama became the first president to publicly support same-sex marriage. The same day, Gov. John Hickenlooper called the Legislature into special session to make another attempt at civil unions.

And Romney seemed to oppose civil unions in an interview with Fox 31 Denver.

“I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender, and I don’t favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name,” Romney told the TV station. “My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not.”

Release the Kraken: Obama’s campaign committed the eye-popping sum of $25 million to television ads in nine key states, including Colorado.

The one-minute spot sounds a positive theme, calling attention to the rescue of the auto industry and the death of Osama bin Laden.

“Instead of losing jobs, we’re creating them – over 4.2 million so far,” the narrator says.

The ad coincides with Obama’s first official campaign rallies last weekend and serves as an unofficial start to a six-month season of heavy campaigning for the president.

The ad will air in Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Nevada, according to media reports.

Victories for Paul: Colorado’s Ron Paul-friendly delegation to the Republican National Convention will have some company in Tampa, Fla. Paul supporters appeared to dominate state nominating conventions in Nevada, Iowa and Maine last weekend.

Countdown: 45 days until the primary election. 178 days until the November election.

jhanel@durangoherald.com

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