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Boebert Apologizes for Vaping in a Denver Theater

8 months ago 40



Politics|Boebert Apologizes for Vaping in a Denver Theater

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/16/us/politics/boebert-theater-vaping-apology.html

The Colorado congresswoman previously denied vaping during the performance, but could be seen doing so on surveillance video.

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Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado was kicked out of a performance of the musical “Beetlejuice” in Denver after causing a disturbance.CreditCredit...Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Annie Karni

Representative Lauren Boebert, a hard-right Republican rabble-rouser from Colorado, apologized on Friday night for her behavior at a recent performance of the family-friendly musical “Beetlejuice” in Denver, after surveillance video revealed her vaping and behaving disruptively in the theater.

Ms. Boebert, 36, previously denied reports that she had been vaping. A pregnant woman seated behind her asked her to stop before she was ejected for “causing a disturbance” at the show, according to The Denver Post.

“The past few days have been difficult and humbling, and I’m truly sorry for the unwanted attention my Sunday evening in Denver has brought to the community,” Ms. Boebert said in a statement Friday night. “While none of my actions or words as a private citizen that night were intended to be malicious or meant to cause harm, the reality is they did and I regret that.”

Ms. Boebert, who can be seen on the video touching and carrying on with her date while sitting in the middle of a crowded theater, blamed what she called her “public and difficult divorce” for her behavior and said, “I simply fell short of my values on Sunday.”

Ms. Boebert, a mother of four boys who likes to show off pictures of her new grandchild to colleagues in Congress, said she “genuinely did not recall vaping that evening” when she told her campaign to issue a statement denying she had done so. She said she would have to work hard to earn back trust from voters in her district.

It may be a heavy lift for Ms. Boebert, who won re-election in 2022 by just 546 votes.

If her too-close-for-comfort re-election campaign was a message that Colorado voters didn’t like her brand of disruptive politics, she hasn’t appeared to have received it. Since January, she has often acted in ways many Republicans view as detrimental to keeping control of the House in 2024 and to her keeping her seat.

In June, Ms. Boebert tried to force a vote on articles of impeachment against President Biden, claiming his immigration policies constituted high crimes and misdemeanors. Some of her colleagues called the move “crazy,” and it was eventually shunted off to committees for further study.

Ms. Boebert distinguished herself during the fraught speaker’s race in January as one of the most committed holdouts against Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, milking the moment for maximum Fox News exposure. In the House, she has cultivated an abrasive public persona, sometimes heckling her Democratic colleagues in the halls of the Capitol and largely ignoring reporters’ questions, except to loudly proclaim at times, “I love President Trump!”

The behavior has also earned a cult following on the right. Ms. Boebert, who often wears five-inch Lucite heels and skintight dresses, has a national base of fans who enjoy her disruptive antics and extreme rhetoric.

On the House floor, Ms. Boebert has railed against drag performances for children and claimed the left was “grooming” children by exposing them to “obscene content.”

Annie Karni is a congressional correspondent. She was previously a White House correspondent. Before joining The Times, she covered the White House and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign for Politico, and spent a decade covering local politics for the New York Post and the New York Daily News. More about Annie Karni

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