Klingenschmitt Denounced By Colorado Republican Leader Whose Seat He Hopes To Fill
The other day we noted that Gordon Klingenschmitt had been forced to issue a half-hearted apology after sending out an email asserting that gay Democratic congressman Jared Polis would soon be aligning himself with ISIS and begin beheading Christians in America.
Klingenschmitt, who is currently the GOP nominee for a seat in the Colorado legislature, was immediately denounced by both Democratic and Republican leaders in the state and now he has been specifically denounced by former House Minority Leader, Mark Waller, who held the very seat for which Klingenschmitt is now running:
Former House Minority Leader Mark Waller on Aug. 27 blasted the fellow Republican who is seeking to succeed him over his recent "horribly inappropriate" anti-gay comments.
Waller, who is not seeking re-election for his Colorado Springs-based House District 15 seat, also told Colorado Community Media that Gordon Klingenschmitt's candidacy "certainly does have an impact" on other races on the fall ballot.
Waller said his "11-year-old son can identify that as a hateful speech."
"I think it was horribly inappropriate to say," Waller said. "It doesn't matter if he's a person running for state representative or a person on the street. I think it's terrible to say.
"Obviously, he does not speak for me or the Republican Party."
Waller hasn't endorsed Klingenschmitt, but he wouldn't go as far as saying that he should drop out of the race - as Klingenschmitt's opponent, Democrat Lois Fornander has.
"If you're not voting for him, you're voting for the Democrat and quite honestly legislative majorities matter," Waller said. "But that puts (House District 15 voters) in a rock and a hard place in terms of who to vote for."
House District 15 is heavily Republican and Klingenschmitt is still favored to win, in spite of his recent comments.
For his part, Klingenschmitt says that he is sorry for his comments but blames it on the fact that he wrote the email late at night.
"I'm a first-time candidate," Klingenschmitt said, "and I am new at this":
Klingenschmitt apologized earlier in the week and did so again during a phone interview. He said he was trying to point out the "bad policies of Jared Polis," but that he realizes his comments were offensive.
Klingenschmitt has taken issue with Polis' backing of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. He said the legislation should have religious exceptions.
"I apologize for the hyperbole and I wrote that statement when I was tired between 1 and 2 in the morning, but I do not apologize for defending Christians for persecution."
When asked if it dawned on him that he was using language that has historically been used to persecute gays while trying to defend Christians from "persecution," Klingenschmitt said, "I don't accept the premise of the question."
Klingenschmitt said he hopes voters will see past his comments.
"I'm a first-time candidate and I am new at this," he said. "I made a mistake and I won't always say the right thing, but I do have a backbone and I will always stand on conviction."
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