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Candidate Will Debate Talk-Radio Hosts But Not Real Opponents!

Feb 06, 2014 | Updated Apr 08, 2014

I was worried that the re-constituted Dan Caplis radio show (minus the occasional left-leaning questions from Craig Silverman) would turn out to be a combination of ritualistic chest-thumping and high-school cheerleading for Colorado Republicans.

But Caplis isn't giving his GOP guests complete cheerleader treatment.

For example, Caplis has been trying to convince GOP gubernatorial candidates Scott Gessler and Tom Tancredo, both of whom have refused to participate in Republican primary debates, to reconsider and do the debates.

And when they offer up lame excuses, Caplis calls them on it. For example, see this exchange on Caplis' KNUS 710-AM show this moring:

Caplis: At the end of the day, what I am asking, as a consumer, is 'Hey, if you are not going to participate in these debates, I hope you spend whatever time you need to refining your skill set. You're a really talented guy, but whoever the nominee is, they are really going to have to do well in these debates to expose the true John Hickenlooper.

Gessler: Here's what I will give you as a suggestion. Invite me on your radio show, and ask me tough questions. And I think I'll respond pretty well.

Caplis: I just think it's a different dynamic live under the lights with your opponent who is trying to duck and weave, etcetera. But, hey, nobody who knows you would doubt your abilities. I think it's just a matter of training for this particular big event.

Okay, it's a bit like a cheerleading session, but still. Caplis gets credit for having enough self-awareness to know that conservative talk radio isn't, in the actual real world, like a candidate debate, which takes place out of the echo chamber with moderators and even, gasp, real people possibly asking questions.

But, if Caplis does take Gessler up on his offer to practice debating on KNUS, one wonders if Gessler would allow his opponents to call the Caplis show for a little candidate-versus-candidate on-air chit chat.