Making the most recent shot in an ongoing tiff, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis called Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton of Cortez a hypocrite on the radio Friday.
"Oh my God, this politician, Tipton, you won't believe how hypocritical," Polis told KOA Radio's April Zesbaugh.
Tipton called out Polis this week in a spat that began last month when Tipton asked Polis to ensure rural Colorado governments got a fair share of the federal stimulus. On Monday Polis signed an executive order divvying up nearly $1.8 billion in federal dollars, including $275 million for local governments.
Tipton said that was different than what Polis said before, which was that the legislature holds the purse.
"He writes me two weeks ago and he's like, 'I hear you're not going to send this money out to communities, how dare you, you need to send this out to communities,'" Polis said to on KOA Friday. "I said, 'Of course we're going to send it out, give us a little time,' then we sent it out, and then he writes, not calls, and says, 'How dare you send it out to communities without talking to legislators.'"
He said the money he put in his order will go to local communities, then he pivoted back to personally assailing Tipton.
"He likes to complain either way," Polis said. "He's a big complainer. Nobody likes a complainer."
Zesbaugh reacted, "I did not expect that answer. I feel like I struck a nerve there, governor."
Polis responded, "It's not a nerve. It's all part of the game. It's just funny when politicians say, 'Send it out,' then you send it out and they say, 'Don't send it out.' What this money is for his the health response."
Listen to Zesbaugh's complete interview by clicking here.
Tipton on Friday said Polis is trying to shift the conversation.
“Governor Polis is name calling because his position is indefensible and everybody who has been paying attention knows it," Tipton said in a statement to Colorado Politics. "He’s deflecting, as he’s done for over a month. Governor Polis was tangled up this week in a web of his own contradictions, has refused to provide answers to basic questions being asked by municipal and county officials across the state about relief funds under the CARES Act, and is now pounding his fists and name calling because I stood up for local governments and challenged him.
"He has shown that he does not like to be challenged by people from rural Colorado, but he better get used to it if he’s going to keep trying to act against their interests. All I am asking for is bipartisan cooperation and full transparency as this process moves forward.”
When Tipton first raised the question of how the money would be distributed last month, Polis was asked about it during press briefing.
Polis told reporters on April 16 that said he said to Tipton, "Look, Scott, you used to be in the legislature, you know how this works."
"Now you're in a national legislature. The legislature has the power of the purse."
After Tipton called foul over Monday's executive order on how the spend the money, state Republican lawmakers joined in, saying they were not consulted by Polis in any way.
"Nothing about this executive order is collaborative or bipartisan, and local officials I have heard from — on both sides of the aisle — have expressed frustration about being kept in the dark," Tipton said on Tuesday.