The torch tweet: Curtis demands apology and Allen says ‘No way’

Posted at 9:12 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 23:12:46-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Fox 13 does not have access to any secret plans from the Democratic and Republican candidates in Utah's 3rd Congressional District, but their strategies are becoming clear as the race hits the home stretch.

Democrats: Make it about President Donald Trump.

Republicans: Don't make it about President Donald Trump.

Case in point: the torch tweet.

Kathie Allen tweeted two pictures: Charlottesville demonstrators holding tiki torches as they march to a Robert E. Lee statue, and the Statue of Liberty with her torch held to the sky.

"Dear Mayor Curtis: Pick a torch. You can't have it both ways," Allen wrote.

“Democrat Kathie Allen Insinuating that John Curtis is a white supremacist is a ridiculous charge and a new level of desperation for her struggling campaign," said a statement released by Curtis Campaign Manager Danny Laub.

"We're not calling anyone a white supremacist or racist; we are asking Mayor Curtis to take a stand against those things," Allen told Fox 13.

Laub said Curtis is clearly against those things, having tweeted a strong condemnation of White Supremacists following the death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville.

Why is that not good enough for Allen? One word, she says. Trump.

"I'm a candidate who does have the courage to stand up against racism and to defy Donald Trump and that is essential at this point in our history as Americans," Allen said.

Laub says his candidate will stand against Trump when they disagree.

"Like most people he'll represent the parts that he agrees with, and he'll push back when he doesn't," Laub said.

Curtis has said he did not vote for Trump, but instead wrote in the name of a friend, but aside from that his campaign has not specified issues on which the two disagree.

The latest poll from Dan Jones and the Salt Lake Tribune from early September shows the fine line Curtis walks among Republicans and Independents in Utah. Donald Trump had the approval of 46 percent of Utahns, with 50 percent disapproving.

For red-state Utah, that's a dramatically low approval rate suggesting that Trump doesn't have the coattails of past Republican presidents.