Boebert touts anti-vaccine mandate, pro-gun priorities in reelection campaign appearance
Western Slope congresswoman hopeful Republicans will take back House in 2022
Rep. Lauren Boebert holds an end-of-year press conference at the Home Loan State Bank community room in Grand Junction on Dec. 31 2021. (McKenzie Lange/The Daily Sentinel)
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert held a tightly-controlled press conference on New Year’s Eve day at Home Loan State Bank’s community room in downtown Grand Junction, where she announced her plans for reelection in 2022.
She said she ran for Congress two years ago because she didn’t want her four sons “raised in a socialist country.”
“The far-left is taking a wrecking ball to our nation,” she said. “I promised to fight for our freedom.”
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Boebert talked about what she considered her accomplishments during her tenure, including the introduction of 24 bills — none of which have been passed into law. She’s hopeful that Republicans will take back the House in 2022, allowing for more legislative success by Republicans like herself.
She spoke against government mandates and said that she would continue to “stand up for the right to defend ourselves with a firearm.” Boebert owns Shooters Grill, a restaurant in Rifle where the servers openly carry guns.
Boebert said liberals have shown that their policies don’t work, citing vaccine mandates, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and President Joe Biden’s inability “to shut down the virus.”
Boebert will face at least one challenger in the Republican primary — Marina Zimmerman, from Durango, has announced she will run. State Sen. Don Coram, a Montrose Republican, is also considering a run against Boebert.
The Silt congresswoman said she plans to stop the “southern invasion” at the border.
“Open borders is a huge problem,” she said. “We have to build the wall and stop the illegal invasion.”
Boebert mentioned how she worked to prohibit “illegal immigrants” from receiving $450,000 checks — financial compensation had been proposed for families who were separated from their children at the border under the Trump administration. Biden’s Justice Department ended negotiations of a settlement for the thousands of affected families.
She explained how she first voted against the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes annual appropriations for military activities and programs of the Defense Department.
“This year it was loaded with left-wing woke nonsense that I couldn’t vote for,” she said.
“That’s a risk for me, but this year’s was loaded up with too much liberalism,” including provisions that would add protections for public lands.
Boebert ended up voting in favor of a revised version of NDAA after many environmental provisions were cut from the defense package, including public land and wilderness bills, such as the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy — or CORE — Act.
When asked about her stance on vaccination in light of a potential surge in COVID-19 outbreaks, she declined to answer if she or her family were vaccinated.
“I’m pro-freedom, and keeping personal health information private,” she said.
Regarding her interactions with the congressional select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Boebert said that an ethics committee in June decided not to investigate her own alleged actions surrounding the events of that day.
Boebert was one of 21 House Republicans who voted against a resolution awarding Congressional Gold Medals to the Capitol Police who defended the Capitol from the rioters.
Boebert chuckled at the words “insurgent attacks,” used by another reporter, when asked what responsibility Republicans have to tamp down the conspiracy theories that fueled the people who attacked the Capitol. The congresswoman threw the question back to the reporter, saying, “What about the Democrats’ conspiracy theories” regarding how the Russians worked to influence U.S. elections?
Boebert claimed Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delegitimized the Jan. 6 Committee when she removed GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and Jim Banks from the panel. However, two Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger remain on the committee.
In December, Jewish and Muslim groups filed a formal ethics complaint against Boebert for her offensive remarks against Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar.
“Democrats call everything racist. They call parents domestic terrorists for attending school board meetings,” Boebert said.
For safety reasons, Mesa County District 51 School security staff escorted school board members out of a contentious school board meeting in 2021. In fact, school board members across the country have reported experiencing personal threats due to controversial masking policies and other hot-button issues.
Before the start of the press conference, a Newsline reporter was first denied access to the event because she didn’t possess “press credentials.” A man named “Alex,” who wouldn’t give his last name or title, relented and allowed the reporter to enter after viewing online a story with her byline.
However, not everyone in attendance had media credentials. Another man, who refused to give his name, said he was invited by the campaign to “keep an eye out, to be available.” When asked what he needed to be available for, he responded “end of discussion.”
Outside the event, amid snow flurries, a lone protester named Ricki Howie stood holding a sign with the word “Traitor” written on it. The word refers to Howie’s assertion that Boebert was involved with the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“I found out (this morning) she was going to be here,” Howie said. “She never announces when she’s going to appear. So, I thought I’d be here and give her a piece of my mind.”
Howie added, “She’s a traitor to (Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District). She does nothing but shout ‘freedom’ and carry a gun. How does that help us?”
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