Boebert Melts Down as Debate Moderator Grills Her on ‘Beetlejuice’ Incident

Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) probably rues the day Tim Burton came up with an idea about a fast-talking frightmeister. Without that movie, there would have been no musical adaptation; and without that adaptation, she never would have had the opportunity to feel up her date at a performance of the show in Denver last year.

But unlike Michael Keaton’s titular ghost with the most, the Beetlejuice grope sesh is the story that just won’t die. In fact, it was resurrected once again at a televised Republican debate in Colorado on Thursday night, with dire results for Boebert.

The congresswoman, who represents Colorado’s 3rd congressional district, is currently vying for her party’s nomination in the 4th, a rural and more reliably red enclave within the state. And while her national profile far outstripping that of her opponents has proved a boon for her campaign’s coffers, it also means she was the only candidate onstage challenged over her penchant for vaping and loudly singing along to musicals in darkened theaters.

“Do you want to talk about the theater thing?” Channel 9’s Kyle Clark, moderating the debate, asked Boebert after one of her opponents referenced it.

“Uh, sure,” Boebert said. “So, Kyle, I—I certainly have owned out, uh, I owned up to my night out in Denver.”

Notably, after being forcibly escorted out of the theater last September, Boebert only pleaded “guilty to laughing and singing too loud.” It was only after Channel 9, a Denver station, obtained and published surveillance footage showing the full extent of her disruptive behavior that she “owned up” to it.

“Um,” Boebert continued at the debate, “and you know I—I’ve gone on that public apology tour and I’m grateful for the mercy and grace that has been shown. But I’m—I’m not going to continue to live life in shame and, um, be beat up by this. And, you know, I would like to go back to my record.”

Clark cornered the congresswoman, however.

“I just want to make sure. Did you apologize for the behavior that went on with you and your date?” he asked, pressing on as she tried to interrupt him. “Or—pardon me—or did you apologize for lying to voters about what you did that night and the disrespect you showed to service workers that night? What specifically were you apologizing for?”

Stammering that things had been “absolutely taken out of context,” Boebert denied that she had “flipped someone off” as surveillance video of her ejection from the theater clearly shows.

“I think it has been very mischaracterized,” she said. “Um, I’m—I’m apologizing for you, Kyle Clark, for getting video and releasing that and people seeing it in a very private moment.”

The legislator then tried to turn the tables on Clark, blustering that he’d talked about “how disgusting it is to record someone without their knowledge” in a recent podcast interview.

The moderator eventually cut her off mid-rant, thanking her and turning back to the other candidates—who spent much of the rest of the hour-long debate tag-teaming Boebert, poking holes in her congressional record and pointing out how little legislation she has passed during her time in office.

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