This last Saturday Colorado Republican Congressman Mike Coffman asserted at an Elbert County fundraiser that President Barack Obama is not truly American, as reported by a Denver Post article.
At the Elbert County fairgrounds, Coffman is quoted as saying "I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that," Coffman said. "But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."
Here's the audio. Denver's 9News obtained the audio.
Those comments were followed by what Elbert County Republican Party chairman Scott Wills described as "deafening silence", followed by a tentative applause.
His remarks, unprompted, as the Post reports, culminated a 12-minute speech. After 9News posted the quote, Coffman backpedaled, as the Denver Post reported. Here's Coffman's backpedal:
I misspoke and I apologize," the statement began. "I have confidence in President Obama's citizenship and legitimacy as President of the United States.Once again a congressman with a Tea Party mentality makes a comment questioning our President's citizenship and stating he's anti-American at his core. Then when it becomes known, he issues what has become standard fare: a lame non-pology. In order to keep his teabagger bonafides, he won't come out and assert with conviction and certainty that Obama is 100% American, but instead tell us he has "confidence" in Obama's citizenship as also an attempt to deflect more scrutiny. Coffman offered no follow-up, apology, or even non-pology about whether Obama is an "American at heart". That would be sin against teabagger theology.
Coffman has been a congressman for several terms, so he's not a "Tea Party" representative the same way Rand Paul and Pat Toomay are, but he certainly has showed fealty to the crazy right cause. The chances of him suffering any real consequences from this (by that I mean at the polls) are slim to none. He represents a beet-red district, covering wealthy enclaves like Douglas County. Probably won't even have to break a sweat this fall.
Thankfully he's not my congressman. My representative is a good guy - Ed Perlmutter. If any of us have the opportunity, though, we should rub his nose in it. Whenever he's in public, he should be asked about it and made to account. Pin him down, make him squirm about his remarks stating that our President doesn't believe in American ideals. Since the SCLM won't do their job, it's time for us to. No treating as "one side" of an argument.