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Although humbled and apologetic, Lauren Boebert is sticking to her guns

‘Closed mouths don’t get fed,’ congresswoman says in interview
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., holds her 6-month-old grandson, Josiah Boebert, Saturday at the Montezuma County Lincoln Day Dinner at the Ute Mountain Casino Hotel. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

TOWAOC – U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert spoke Saturday at the Montezuma County Republicans Lincoln Day Dinner, where she pitched her accomplishments on the national scale to voters and apologized for her recent headline-grabbing conduct.

She held her 6-month-old grandson, Josiah Boebert, during an interview with The Journal before the dinner, in which the congresswoman resisted the idea that voters might prefer, in her words, an “establishment” candidate in the 2024 election cycle.

Boebert said her style is working for her.

“Closed mouths don’t get fed,” she said.

She points to the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basins Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Reauthorization Act, a bipartisan bill working its way through Congress, as evidence of her work, as well as the Western Water Accelerated Revenue Repayment Act. The latter would allow borrowers to pay off to pay off water infrastructure-related debts to the federal government early.

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Boebert said the bill would help cities such as Cortez that have outstanding loans, although City Manager Drew Sanders confirmed that the city ultimately was able to pay off its loan early in March.

“We’re working on water issues, we’re working on protecting our private citizens from the seizure of their land and water, protecting private property rights, and so much more with those pieces of legislation,” Boebert said.

Questions over her tenor arose after the last election, in which she retained her seat by just 546 votes in a district where Republicans have a 9% lead in registered voters.

Even before an embarrassing incident at the Buell Theatre in Denver last month, in which she and her male companion were caught on camera behaving inappropriately during a performance before staff ejected them, some noticed that the gun-toting agitator had taken up a more reserved posture.

Boebert was one of the few holdouts who kept the now-former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from the gavel during his arduous election to the seat in January. It’s an act she continues to highlight.

“I was a key role in ensuring that we had fundamental changes in the way the House operates,” she said. “It was never about a person and who was going to be the speaker. It’s about commitments being made prior to a speaker being elected.”

But on her vote not to oust McCarthy from his seat when a motion was proposed by her colleague Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Boebert said she agreed with the reasons but “didn’t feel that the timing was right.”

Now, she is taking credit for being an early voice in support of House Speaker Mike Johnson, the Louisiana congressman who was elected to replace McCarthy last week.

Apologies have become more a part of Rep. Lauren Boebert’s campaign, and Saturday’s Montezuma County Lincoln Day Dinner was no exception. “When it comes to a personal night out, I hope that you accept my heartfelt apology,” she told the 70 guests. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)
Finding the line

Boebert appears to be looking for balance in her public persona.

Her inclination toward flashy behavior, such as shouting out her nomination of Johnson on the floor the week before his election, is something she proudly highlights.

Yet, in her speech to the fundraiser’s 70 attendees, Boebert again apologized for her behavior at the Buell Theatre.

The incident was national news and has become fodder for late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live.” Boebert’s opponents have cast it as an example of her shortcomings as a lawmaker.

Her two GOP primary challengers, Grand Junction attorney Jeff Hurd and Russ Andrews, a financial adviser from the Roaring Fork Valley, also were in attendance Saturday at the Ute Mountain Casino Hotel. They both took shots at Boebert, commenting on her boisterous “personality” and questioning her integrity.

Grand Junction lawyer Jeff Hurd, who is running against Rep. Lauren Boebert in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, talks with Allan Thayer, as his daughter Gabriella Hurd, 12, looks listens at the Montezuma County Lincoln Day Dinner at the Ute Mountain Casino Hotel. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald)

Apologetic to the crowd, Boebert remained defiant in her interview with The Journal, turning the other cheek to punchlines that have come at her expense.

“I love jokes,” she said.

She blames the frenzy on the news media and says the coverage is not reflective of her constituents’ feelings.

“It doesn’t follow me. I mean, my voters – they understand that I have taken accountability,” she said. “I have apologized. I’ve had deep conversations with many people throughout the district and at events just like this. And there’s a lot of mercy and a lot of grace and people are more concerned about what’s happening to their country.”

She says voters are concerned about other issues: fentanyl overdoses, immigration, the economy and federal spending.

Boebert similarly brushed off talk about Adam Frisch, the Aspen Democrat who nearly unseated her last year and is expected to put up a tough fight in 2024.

“He needs name ID,” Boebert said, although the $3.4 million he raised last quarter, compared with her $854,000, may indicate he already has it.

Although apologizing has become a part of her message on the campaign, at least for now, Boebert says by and large, she is sticking to her guns.

“I am who I am. If there’s an injustice that needs to be addressed, you’re probably going to hear me say something about it,” she told The Journal. “I’m not going to sit idly by and watch our country be destroyed. I’m not going to watch politicians lie to voters and keep my mouth buttoned.”


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