DENVER (CBS4) – The enemy of my enemy is my friend.
That old adage is playing a role in the race for the governor’s mansion in Colorado.
A group with funding ties to the Democratic governors association has bought two ads. One highlights Tom Tancredo’s opposition to Obamacare in the hopes that Tancredo, a former Colorado House member, will win the GOP primary because he’s the most favorable opponent for Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The ad plays two sides, subtly suggesting Obamacare — formally the Affordable Care Act — is a positive development while touting Tancredo as an anti-Obamacare force to Republican primary voters.
“Even as it’s starting to work,” the ads intones, “Republican Tom Tancredo is still one of country’s strongest opponents of Obamacare. That’s right. Tancredo believes Obamacare is a scam.”
Tancredo, for one, is bemused.
“A scam? Yeah, it is. I know attack ads when on me I see them, baby. This is not one,” Tancredo told CBS4.
But other GOP gubernatorial candidates aren’t laughing as much.
“I wish they would run those ads against me, saying that Mr. Kopp is against Obamacare,” Mike Kopp, another GOP candidate, said in a primary debate.
Another candidate, former U.S. House representative and former governor’s race candidate Bob Beauprez, accused Hickenlooper and Democrats of maneuvering within the GOP primary and orchestrating a Tancredo victory.
“He’s now resorted to dishonest, underhanded, behind-the-curtain tactics,” Beauprez said.
The same group is running a more explicit attack ad against Beauprez.
Not only could a Tancredo primary win help Hickenlooper in the general election, it could hurt Rep. Cory Gardner — the presumed GOP candidate in the U.S. Senate race — in his battle against Sen. Mark Udall.
Tancredo told CBS4 he was going to air his own ad, but thanks to the Democrats, he doesn’t have to.
“I know exactly why they’re doing it,” Tancredo said.
The state Republican Party said the Democrats pulled a similar move in 2010 when it worked behind the scenes to elevate Dan Maes, who lost to Hickenlooper.
Hickenlooper’s campaign said they don’t know the group behind the Tancredo ad.
The GOP debate airs on CPT channel 12 on Friday at 9 p.m. and Friday, June 13, at 9 p.m.