John King, USA

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August 11th, 2010
06:15 PM ET

Buck: Republicans are also to blame for 'mess' in Washington

Editor's Note: Watch John King USA at 7 p.m. on CNN.

(CNN) – The Republican nominee for Senate in Colorado said Wednesday that Republican frustration with both parties in Washington politics is driving grassroots victories over establishment candidates in GOP primaries around the country.

"I think Republicans realize that Republicans are every bit as much to blame for the mess that we are in in D.C. as the Democrats," Ken Buck told CNN's John King in an interview set to air at 7 p.m. on John King USA. "And we can't send this kind of Republican to Washington, D.C. to fix this mess."

Buck said he doesn't think the Republican Party has a national leader at the moment, and he expects the GOP's 2012 presidential nominee to be selected through "a wonderful process" whereby one contender emerges from a large pool of candidates-much like he has.

"I think we're going to see a number of people get into the race," Buck said. "We'll see who has the stamina, who has the financing, who has […] the grasp of the issues to attract voters."

Buck received national attention last month after a video surfaced online that showed him complaining about Tea Party members who'd asked him about President Obama's birth certificate. On Wednesday, Buck said it was "frustrating to try to deal with those folks."

"I certainly wasn't making a disparaging remark about Tea Partiers generally, but, rather, about a few birthers who were trying to disrupt meetings," Buck said.

Buck, who has made fiscal responsibility a cornerstone of his campaign, said changes need to be made now to keep Social Security afloat.

"We certainly need to raise the retirement age," Buck told King. "I've told my 19-year-old and my 22-year-old that they're not going to be getting retirement benefits at age 62."

"We've got to make sure that our younger workers understand that as life expectancy increases, the retirement date for benefits increases, also," Buck added.

On Tuesday, Buck defeated former Colorado Lt. Gov. Jane Norton in an at-times nasty primary battle. He is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet, who was appointed to fill the Senate seat vacated by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in 2009.

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  1. Margaret

    As a Democrat, I find Mr. Buck one of the most sensible Republicans I have ever known. What he says about Social Security makes sense. Also I am a 70 year old senior citizen who believes people that retire and sap the system at less than "full" retirement age are wrong. I believe full retirement for me should have been 70 instead of 65 and 6 months. I worked a full time job until retiring just 1 month ago! I believe people need to work as long as physically contribute to the system.... they need to be productive citizens for this country. Working and contributing until you reach full retirement age to Social Security instead of taking from it is the only way it will be saved. Besides, working contributes to better mental and physical health which in the long run costs the country less in Medicare expenses!

    August 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm |