It seems Idaho Gov. Butch Otter got exactly what he wanted when the states' two fringe candidates were allowed to participate in a debate this Wednesday.
Four Republican candidates vying to be Idaho's governor participated Wednesday in a debate that longtime political observers knew had the potential to be...colorful. It certainly was.
The two candidates considered to be the race's only serious contenders, incumbent C.L. "Butch" Otter and state Sen. Russ Fulcher, were joined by two frequent candidates who've never been elected to any statewide office, Harley Brown and Walt Bayes.
The hour-long broadcast on Idaho Public Television felt more like a skit from Saturday Night Live than a serious political debate. It was light on policy ideas and heavy on one-liners. [...]
Gov. Otter wouldn't have participated unless all four candidates were given the opportunity to be part of the debate, says Idaho Public Television Executive Producer Bruce Reichert.
"There probably would not be a debate otherwise," says Reichert. Plus, Reichert says IPTV requires candidates who are invited to debates to be actively campaigning, which, Reichert says Brown is doing.
The campaign manager for Otter's main opponent, Russ Fulcher, insinuated on Twitter the move was a political one. Read on...
Here's more from TPM: Fringe Candidates Steal The Show At Idaho's Gubernatorial Debate:
Here are a list of highlights from the debate:
• Bayes, early on in the debate, said he went to jail for homeschooling his kids.
• Brown, wearing a leather biker vest, explained how bikers have suffered discrimination. Brown said bikers "are cop magnets like a Playboy bunny wearing a mini skirt that gets hit on all the time. They pull us over without probable cause and they bring out the sniffing dogs and they search us and our bikes, even when we're not flying our colors. If you're a leather clad Harley Davidson driver, the cops are going to zero in on you like a heat-seeking missile."
• Almost immediately after that, apparently to contrast himself with the other candidates, Brown then came out for same-sex marriage. "I'm glad they want to get married and live like that." Otter, after that, vowed to fight a magistrate judge's recent ruling striking down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
• Otter said states that have not established their own healthcare insurance exchanges "have Obamacare on steroids."
• Brown defended his infamous "Harleyisms" saying "I hit everybody. Jews, Polish people, Irish, Italians, religious jokes and black jokes." He later said "I don't like political correctness. It sucks. It's bondage."
• Bayes: "I honestly think half of the Republican Party is Democrats and half of the Democratic is Communist." That sparked laughter from Brown.
• In his closing remarks Brown explained how God told him he would become president which motivated him to get a presidential tattoo on his shoulder. He then went on about how his ex-wife got "trumped up restraining orders" preventing him from seeing his kids.