One thing is clear, as Andrew Romanoff steps off the stage: the man has grit.
Challenging Sen. Michael Bennet, Romanoff is in many ways challenging the system and challenging the way Washington works and challenging his own party.
With elections in Pennsylvania and Arkansas showcasing an anti-incumbent trend, Romanoff says it’s a message the Senate should pay attention to.
“The message to our own party: stiffen your spin or stand out of the way,” he said.
During his speech, Romanoff distanced himself from the status quo, from big business and from PAC money, from backroom deals and from the non-representative government he has witnessed. And he spoke passionately about reform and regulation and politicians who have forgotten who elected them.
“The same flood of corporate cash washed away our hopes for a public option…it watered down the reforms we still need on Wall Street,” he said. “…The pay-to-play culture corrupts our Congress and corrodes our country.”
He continued: “I am the only candidate in this race, and one of the few in America, who refuses to except contributions from special interest groups,” Romanoff said. “When we win this election, I will not owe my seat to (corporations) or Washington, but to you.”
Sen. Michael Bennet, on the other hand, put a clear target on Republican opposition, while also touching on everything from “common sense immigration reform” to bringing the troops home to the new energy economy. His was a traditional campaign speech based largely on party priorities. The Bennet campaign is clearly ready to take on Jane Norton and other Republican challengers.
“I’ve worked hard to stand up for what is right for Coloradans,” Bennet said.
And he and Washington Democrats are not done with efforts in the financial industry, energy, immigration and beyond. “They (as in Republicans) want to take us backward, but we know we need to take Colorado and our country forward,” he said.