Posted: Jul 23, 2010 9:46 PM by Matt Stafford
"Why should you vote for me?" Ken Buck repeated the question asked of him at a recent campaign stop in Weld County. "Because I don't wear high heels," Buck responded in reference to Jane Norton, his GOP adversary for U.S. Senate.
Those words have generated some heat for Buck.
"When the question came up, I tried to answer it in a light-hearted way and that's the way it was intended," Buck said in a televised interview Thursday.
While possibly intended to be light-hearted it may not have been taken that way.
"Those remarks, to many people, were offensive," says Jane Norton, on a campaign stop of her own in Colorado Springs.
Norton says supporters saw the comments on YouTube and informed the campaign.
The issue was joked about several times, including her introduction. After shaking hands, Norton addressed the remark.
"I thought it was tasteless but I wasn't offended because I've been on the campaign trail a lot and you hear a lot of things on the trail," Norton said.
She wasn't wearing high heals for this campaign stop, but did bring along former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who agrees with Norton -- we need more female voices in the Senate.
"We only have 17 women in the U.S. Senate, so I think diverse view points are important," Norton explains.
Buck says Norton repeatedly cites gender as a difference between her and her opponent, trying to make gender politics an issue in this campaign. Buck's campaign says Norton is trying to use personal attacks to shift the focus from the issues, something Buck would probably like to get back to -- he seems to be making efforts to move on.
"I'm glad that Jane wasn't offended, it wasn't meant in an offensive way," Buck said Thursday.
It's just an example that comments will take more scrutiny as the election gets closer, and candidates will likely be watching their actions more closely -- from head to toe.
Norton and Buck face off in the Republican primary August 10th.