In the words of Scott McInnis, he has not yet begun to fight.
Actually he didn’t really say that, it was Revolutionary War naval captain John Paul Jones. But considering the trouble McInnis has gotten into recently, a lot of people might be expecting him to quote someone else.
McInnis, whose Republican gubernatorial campaign took a nosedive when it was discovered that a report he claimed to have written himself and for which he was paid $300,000 was plagiarized, returned to the campaign trail Monday after seeking to put some distance between himself and the controversy.
Speaking at the Colorado Farm Bureau’s midsummer meeting, McInnis, wearing brown cowboy boots, told the Denver Post, “Do I look like I’m going anywhere? These boots are made for walking and I’m ready to fight.”
There was no word on whether he correctly credited Nancy Sinatra for the line.
McInnis previously was a no-show at two appearances last week in an apparent effort to quash the plagiarism controversy in which he was accused of submitting articles to the Hasan Family Foundation and claiming they were his own writings, but were later found to be very similar to or directly copied from a 1984 report by current Colorado Supreme Court Justice Gregory Hobbs.
On Monday, McInnis said, “It was an obvious mistake. I stood up, took responsibility and moved on.”
Some people might have problems with several parts of that statement, considering that McInnis let his name be place on the “obvious mistake.” As for taking responsibility, McInnis first blamed the plagiarism on unnamed aides, and then later blamed 82-year-old Rolly Fischer, a water engineer from Glenwood Springs, whom he said provided the research. Fischer said McInnis was lying and that members of McInnis’ campaign tried to get him to sign a confession taking all of the blame for the incident. Fischer said he refused.
Several GOP leaders and newspaper editorials have reportedly said that McInnis should drop out of the Republican gubernatorial primary, which would pave the way for opponent Dan Maes. The McInnis incident could also be a boost to the campaign of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who trailed both McInnis and Maes by a few percentage points in the most recent poll.
In the past week, several Republicans and newspapers in Denver, Grand Junction and Fort Collins have suggested McInnis drop out of the race. Former Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, a Senate candidate, said McInnis has responded poorly to the charges and added, “I think he’s got a lot of questions that still need to be answered.”
McInnis said he would pay back the $300,000 he received from the Hasan Foundation, though the pledge came after the organization asked him to do so.