She may be at odds with her fellow Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, but Lauren Boebert has long been seen as a similar figure, going from a QAnon-adjacent campaign to high-profile service in Congress. Is that reputation fair?
Lauren Boebert: What We Know
Even though they have since had a falling out with each other, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) have a lot in common. Both came into Congress as part of the class elected in 2020, and both have been associated in the past with QAnon.
And while she’s probably less prominent than her counterpart, Lauren Boebert has the same formula to her public persona: Say outrageous things, all the time, and use the media coverage for attention and fundraising.
Lauren Boebert has done plenty of both, just in the last few weeks, and that’s beyond the news that she will soon become a grandmother at the age of 36.
Last week, Boebert joined Twitter owner Elon Musk in demanding the defunding of National Public Radio, after NPR announced that it was leaving Twitter.
“I’ve been saying that for quite some time! Let’s get it done!,” Boebert said. NPR has long maintained that it gets a tiny percentage of its budget from the federal government, but Republican lawmakers for years have been calling, without success, for that funding to go away.
In even more incendiary comments, Boebert blamed “indoctrination” of children for school shootings.
“I believe that the left is radicalizing [shooters]. You know, when you’re telling someone, ‘You’re not good enough. You are oppressed. You are the lesser person,” Boebert said in a recent interview with podcaster Dave Rubin. “You are the lesser class,’ well then, that’s going to get in inside of them and cause depression and more mental health crises.”
She also said some eyebrow-raising things about gender dysphoria.
“Here is a mental health crisis, and the left is only escalating it. They are increasing this mental health crisis rather than addressing it. Gender dysphoria used to be something that you went and got help for and now it’s encouraged.”
Boebert also reacted negatively to the state of Colorado passing legislation to protect gender-affirming care, while many red states have passed restrictions on such things.
“Colorado is set to sign a law making it a sanctuary state for ‘gender-affirming care’ for children,” Boebert tweeted last week after Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed the legislation. “It is a complete disgrace that our state will be passing a law legalizing the mutilation of young children under the guise of medical care. Leave our children alone,”
However, there are indications there may be limits to the success of Boebert’s approach. That starts with Boebert nearly losing her re-election bid last year to Democrat Adam Frisch. Frisch was actually leading on election night, but Boebert went ahead a few days later, emerging victorious after a subsequent recount. It was the closest Congressional race anywhere in the country in the 2022 cycle.
Frisch is running again for the seat, setting up a likely rematch. A recent poll, albeit one from a left-leaning pollster, had the two candidates tied, while voters leaned towards Republicans by 11 percent on the generic ballot.
Another report stated that Frisch has managed to outraise Boebert by $1 million in the first quarter of the year. Frisch also had more money in his campaign account as of the end of the quarter. Frisch raised $1.7 million in the quarter, while Lauren Boebert raised $764,000. The two have both raised a great deal more than any other candidate in Colorado of either party.
This shows that while Boebert’s weaponization of outrage can be used to her advantage, it can also be used against her.
It’s also worth noting that both the polling and fundraising totals are extremely early, and that the election, in November of 2024, is very far away.
Expertise and Experience:
Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.