In his comments, DeGrow sees the endorsement as a sign of Beauprez's dwindling relevance. In my view, he wrongly interprets the former Congressman's praise for Sias as an attack on Frazier. It could more easily be read as an attack on Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter, if indeed it is an attack at all.
However, on the matter of Beauprez's motivation, there is significant chatter among social conservatives about Frazier's credentials, or lack thereof. Some potential donors have even shied away from the candidate.
One of my sources, a sober social conservative who judges his words carefully, has written that the candidate is "definitely not pro-life and pro-family," quoting Westword:
"[Frazier's] markedly liberal stance on social issues is likely to put off his party's conservative Christian base. While he's not necessarily pro-choice, he noted that 'I am not a fan of abortion, but I struggle with whether it is the appropriate role of the government to place itself there.' He's also been very public in his support of benefits for same-sex couples."
My source spoke with Frazier and mentioned the Westword article to him. The candidate "bristled" when questioned, but he confirmed that it was "substantially true."
A candidate questionnaire from Frazier would appear to contradict this evidence. There, Frazier wrote "I am pro-life, from conception until natural death. I believe that there is no Constitutional right to an abortion. In fact, protecting life is a paramount duty of any lawful government... Every life should be allowed to come into this world."
However, my source plainly recalled that Frazier repeated the boilerplate "rape and incest" exceptions when explaining his position. He was caught short when challenged with the consistent pro-life position, as if he had never heard it before. So there too are ambiguities.
Many would tolerate his unclear "struggle" with legal protections for the unborn were he just a friend, but they will not tolerate that in a candidate.
Furthermore, Frazier's support for same-sex couple benefits represents a novel expansion of government power and a surrender to cultural leftism. Too many Colorado Republicans whine about Tim Gill, but then turn around and support the advancement of Gill's most cherished policies.
It is possible these grave betrayals of conservative principle are a factor driving Beauprez's endorsement, even though they go unmentioned in his letter. He is a former Catholic youth minister, after all.
DeGrow's comments include a standard appeal to the Future, saying the Beauprez endorsement "comes across more as a leading figure of the Colorado GOP’s stodgy Old Guard missing the boat on the enthusiasm and energy behind the fiscally conservative, pro-liberty 'New Way Forward' embodied in Frazier’s campaign."
These are typical PPC talking points, which (like the Frazier campaign website's issue section) lack a shout out to social conservatism.
Republican activists in the Denver area have shown themselves to be tone-deaf about SoCon concerns, to the point where a Denver Metro Young Republicans' meeting venue is a hamburger diner with homosexual camp themes. This suggests political incompetence and anti-conservative hostility as well as questionable principles, a point I have tried to drive home to them.
Social conservatives more often have familial, civic and religious duties. Thus they are generally underrepresented in the libertarian-skewed political debate.
If the Frazier campaign stalls on their issues, he won't stop the chatter and he won't attract their votes in the general election. His supporters can argue that Perlmutter's positions are more repellent, but that's not an argument that can sustain enthusiasm.
Twitter: @bobbeauprez @LangSias @RyanFrazier2010 @peoplespress @kevinjjones