Election 2024

Lauren Boebert “almost entirely ignored” during 2nd GOP debate in her new district

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a young brunette woman with long hair opens her mouth in an O against a red and blue background at the Conservative Political Action Conference
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) Photo: Shutterstock

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) seems to have faced a new kind of challenge in her second GOP debate in her new district: being ignored.

Boebert is a master at keeping herself in the spotlight, but the anti-LGBTQ+ congresswoman’s GOP primary opponents spent their time at the debate focusing on the issues, leaving Boebert “almost entirely ignored,” according to a report from The Colorado Sun.

Only one insult was hurled at Boebert on the stage Monday night. Underdog Chris Phelen asked the audience, “Are you sick and tired of people that are coming to Congress just to get more social media hits, likes — whatever they’re doing? I am — and that’s what I think that someone up on this stage is doing.”

Boebert responded by saying her attempts to pass legislation in her first term were stymied by Democratic leadership and defended her social media presence by explaining that she has “used that bully pulpit to get a lot of things done.”

The congresswoman has used her social media accounts to relentlessly attack the LGBTQ+ community. In 2022, a report from HRC noted that Boebert’s Twitter account was the third biggest source of anti-transgender misinformation on the social media platform, just after rightwing pundit James Lindsay and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Other than that exchange, though, Boebert went more or less unacknowledged. It was a departure from the first GOP primary debate in late January when all of Boebert’s eight opponents agreed that they would not support her candidacy if they weren’t running.

One candidate, state Rep. Mike Lynch, called Boebert a carpetbagger at the first debate, a term that refers to someone who tries to get elected in an area that they have no real connection with. It is often applied to career politicians who are seen as selfish and unscrupulous.

Prior to that debate, state Rep. Richard Holtorf declared, “Does she think we’re that stupid? Does she think we’re going to be fooled by this trickery? Seat shopping isn’t something voters look kindly on.”

The lack of acknowledgment at the second debate didn’t stop Boebert from hurling attacks at the others, criticizing some of them for opposing a national abortion ban and supporting aid to Ukraine.

She also brought up their scorecards from the Colorado Liberty Republicans, from whom she has a 100% “liberty score” and “A” rating. Some of her opponents have received Ds and Fs in the past, which Boebert called “embarrassing.”

“When you say that you are a ‘no-nonsense conservative’ and have a failing conservative voting record, that is a problem,” she said.

Boebert currently represents Colorado’s mountainous Third Congressional District, but she almost lost her reelection battle in 2022. Facing numerous scandals and the same Democratic challenger who almost beat her last time, she announced last month that she would run in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District in the east of the state, dominated by plains but much more conservative — and safer from Democratic challengers — than the Third.

In January, a Colorado paper also called out Boebert for appearing to know very little about her new district.

And in a scathing op-ed, former state GOP chairman Dick Wadhams tore into Boebert for trying to become a career politician, “resorting to the very motivations she claimed to abhor in 2020.”

And it’s not looking good for Boebert in the Fourth. She scored a fifth finish in a recent straw poll ranking the eight Republicans running in her new congressional district. While the poll was unscientific, her unpopularity in it suggests that “she’s finished,” one Republican group said.

Boebert got a score of “0” on HRC’s Congressional Scorecard for her first term in Congress, showing her solid opposition to LGBTQ+ equality. She didn’t just vote against LGBTQ+ legislation; she led a press conference in front of Congress to stop the Equality Act – which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in federal civil rights law – from passing in 2021 when Congress was voting on it.

She claimed that the law would be used to take children away from their parents if the parents refused to give their kids access to gender-affirming care, something that wasn’t in the bill at all.

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