DENVER — Colorado GOP Chairman Ryan Call denounced the comments of Republican state legislative candidate Gordon Klingenschmitt, who mused in a recent email newsletter that Boulder Congressman Jared Polis would be “joining ISIS in beheading Christians.”
Klingenchmitt, the House Republican candidate for District 15 in El Paso County, is an evangelist of sorts who Democrats have targeted of late.
He wrote in his Pray in Jesus Name Project newsletter about Polis’s work on non-discrimination legislation over the weekend.
“The openly homosexual Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced a revised bill to force Christian employers and business owners to hire and promote homosexuals with ZERO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTIONS for Christians who want to opt out.
“Polis ‘wants sexual orientation and gender identity treated the same way as race, religion, sex, and national origin, when it comes to employment protections,’ claims the Advocate, under the headline “Polis trims ENDA’s religious exemption.
“Dr. Chaps’ comment: The open persecution of Christians is underway. Democrats like Polis want to bankrupt Christians who refuse to worship and endorse his sodomy. Next he’ll join ISIS in beheading Christians, but not just in Syria, right here in America.”
Colorado Democrats seized on the statement Monday, blasting out a response from House Speaker Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, who is gay and a prime sponsor of the state’s civil unions law.
“The Colorado Republican Party has squandered their credibility over and over again with these kinds of over the top and offensive remarks,” Ferrandino said. “They are far behind the people of Colorado when it comes to issues of basic fairness, civil rights, and apparently even common decency.
‘I call on Ryan Call and other Republicans to denounce Mr. Klingenschmitt and his homophobic, extreme, and slanderous attacks against Congressman Polis.”
Call told FOX31 Denver Monday night that the comments aren’t representative of Republicans as a whole.
“Gordon, as I’ve said before, does not speak for the Colorado Republican Party,” Call told FOX31 Denver. “His views do not reflect my personal position or the position of the party.
“But this tired, ineffectual tactic of trying to brand all Republicans based on these comments — the Todd Akin approach — it’s not going to work this time around,” Call continued. “Voters are too sophisticated. They know that one legislative candidate in Colorado Springs doesn’t reflect the views of Bob Beauprez or Cory Gardner.”
Late Monday, Klingenschmitt himself offered an explanation for the comments and an apology in a YouTube video.
“I used hyperbole,” Klingenschmitt said, before going on to explain what hyperbole is and to challenge Polis to the ALS ice bucket challenge.