Opinion: Right idea, wrong mountain for GOP candidate in Colorado


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The Democrats have Vice President Joe Biden for gaffe laughs. Now the Republicans in Colorado have a candidate wrestling with an all-too-familiar PR scandal in his scenic home state: not being able to recognize his own state’s mountains.

It’s the sort of gaffe possibly unique to a state with more than a dozen distinct mountain ranges. First it was former congressman Bob Schaffer, whose initial ad in an unsuccessful U.S. Senate race last year touted his Colorado loyalty by noting that he proposed to his wife atop Pikes Peak.


The problem: The ad flashed an image of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley.

Now it’s former congressman Scott McInnis, who hopes to become the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee next year. His Web page debuted with a striking image of snow-capped peaks. Problem is, the peaks look like none in Colorado. The slip-up was unearthed by the political junkies at (who, like many Coloradans, seem to be a bit mountain-mad as well).

They determined the image is actually of the Canadian Rockies. The McInnis campaign swiftly replaced it with a photo of the Flatirons, iconic peaks that loom over the left-leaning town of Boulder. Blame Google Images, said spokesman Mike Hesse.

Getting a mountain photo wrong isn’t really all that hard to do. See more not-Colorado mountains in photo above.

A young McInnis volunteer searched the Web for ‘Colorado Rockies’ and got the Canadian image instead.

Staffers had been warned to make sure all images were 100% Colorado. ‘We’re aware this had happened before and we told them to be very careful of that,’ Hesse said. ‘It was a hiccup. Overall I’m delighted with the website and we’re moving forward.’

-- Nicholas Riccardi

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