Boebert’s supporters urge her to ‘tone down nasty rhetoric’

Rifle, Colorado (AP) — Voted by Debbie Hartman Lauren Bobert In Congress in 2020 and 2022, I am delighted with Boebert’s clear defense of the cultural issues fueling the far right wing of the Republican Party. But when Hartman recently shopped at a supermarket on this Rocky Mountain ranching outpost, she gave the Colorado legislator her one piece of advice.

Hartman, 65, a veterinary technical assistant, says, “Sometimes all you have to do is soften the nasty rhetoric and stick to the main point at hand.

This sentiment reflects Boebert’s challenge to a second term in the House. In her relatively short time in Washington, she built a national profile with a militant style that embraced everything from gun ownership to post-apocalyptic religious rhetoric. Hartman and others praise Boubert for defending their rights, but flinch at her provocations. unexpectedly tight race Last year she won with just 546 votes out of a cast of over 300,000.

“She took advantage of what Trump was doing, but maybe took it too far in some cases,” said Alex Mason, 27, whose supporter Boebert was still more resourceful than the former president. Rich, he added. donald trump.

“With this small win, I’ve opened my eyes to another chance to do all that I’ve promised,” Bobert said in an interview.

For the House of Representatives, that means “rather than owning the left, I’ll focus on realizing the policies I’ve taken,” hoping to “keep the temperature down and bring about unity.”

But for most of the week, temperatures in the Capitol building have only warmed up. Beaubert was a leading voice among a group of lawmakers who refused to support Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s bid to become Speaker of the House. historical rebellion against the party leader.McCarthy finally won Saturday morning gavel.

Some of Boubert’s harshest words are increasingly directed at fellow Republicans, including members of Congress. marjorie taylor green Georgia, another controversial Trump follower who was one of McCarthy’s most prominent conservative supporters.

“I was asked to explain MTG’s belief in Jewish space lasers and why she attended the White Supremacist Congress… I’m just not going there,” Boebert said. said on the phone before the speakership vote, while driving a winding car through a high canyon near her hometown of Silt. “She wants to say all these things and she seems unhinged on Twitter, so that’s fine.”

Boebert, 36, may try to fight the left less, but even after narrowly defeating Democrat Adam Frisch, who targeted what he called Boebert’s “angertainment”. He insisted that he had no intention of becoming another person.

“Many on the left are saying, ‘Look at your election. Miss, are you going to slow down?'” she said.

The small margin has sparked debate as to whether she could be vulnerable in another race next year.

But she thinks more about what it’s like to be a member of the majority party.

“In the minority, all I could do was have my voice. All I could do was speak out loud about what I was passionate about,” she said. must lead now, and show Americans that we deserve to be the majority.”

Ranging from the reddish-red mesa of Grand Junction, which stands out as a sentinel across the rugged high desert, to the coal-mining settlements surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, the people of the Boebert region say the landscape promotes a kind of frontier libertarianism. said. For many voters, Beaubert has become a standard-bearer for rural lifestyles and values ​​that they feel persecuted and forgotten.

Larry Clark gives one example of when relatives started asking for cash for the land after 50 years tending the family’s 160-acre ranch. Many liberal city dwellers east of the Rocky Mountains voted to reintroduce wolves to the western slopes. There, the prey of predators includes livestock that power the local economy.

“They don’t understand what country life is like,” Clark said. “Send the wolves to Boulder.”

Even as she became wary of her excesses, many of Boebert’s supporters believed she had amplified their concerns nationally and led New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. He says it served as an antidote to progressive Democrats like him.

Laurie Snyder, a former aircraft mechanic at Grand Junction, said Beaubert was America’s only chance against “pervasive corruption” in Washington. Still, he added, “She’ll probably have to learn to soften her own approach, but she shouldn’t change her goals.

Outside Rifle’s City Market, Maryann Tonder said Boebert “didn’t even want to feel like they had to compromise principles to get the job done.”

“Sometimes you have to give a little to get,” said Julie Ottman, another Beaubert supporter for Rifles, who was pushing carts out of City Market.

But others are pressuring Boebert to stand firm.

“I don’t want her to bow her head,” said Mike Gash, 64, a miner in small town Craig.


Jesse Bedayn is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues.