Colorado GOP Chairman 'Tired of the Nuts,' But Liked Working With Them

Dick Wadhams, the chairman of the Colorado GOP who's stepping down, told the Denver Post that he's "tired of the nuts who have no grasp of what the state party's role is."

I was kind of surprised to read that. When I talked to Wadhams in October, in the heat of election season, he seemed to be getting along with the "nuts" just fine. We talked about the Colorado GOP's relationship with tea partiers, and Waddams told me that "We've been reaching out and working with groups across the state...we've actively been seeking and working with these groups, for people to work in our victory offices, volunteering to make phone calls and knock on doors." Individual tea partiers would call up and volunteer through the state GOP's political program, Wadhams said.

But it was evident that the tea partiers were starting to take over. Of the 3,500 or so delegates to Colorado's state GOP convention, Wadhams estimated that in 2010 "about 40 percent of that state assembly were delegates for the first time. Not every one of those new delegates were tea party [or] 9.12 activists, but the vast majority were."

Wadhams would have had to run against some of those "nuts" to win a third term, after Colorado Republicans lost the 2010 Senate and governor's races during his tenure. That could have been tough. So it's perhaps fitting that he's denouncing them as he drops his bid.

I wouldn't have expected Wadhams to tell me in October that his state's conservative base was crazy. After all, he was trying to work with them to win an election. But the conclusion of national elections tends to make people a lot more honest. Turns out he probably didn't like doing all that outreach, after all.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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