And yet another example of a Republican politician saying something appallingly moronic and xenophobic about President Obama, then trying to walk it back and claim that he just “misspoke” and didn’t really mean it — but only after the audio leaked to the local press.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) is backpedaling after 9NEWS was first to report on an audio recording of his comments at a recent fundraiser where he raised the issue of President Barack Obama’s birthplace and said the president, “in his heart, he’s not an American.”
At a May 12 fundraiser at the Elbert County Fairgrounds, Coffman wrapped up a 12-minute speech to donors with an unprompted discussion of President Obama’s citizenship and national identification.
“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.”
Now here’s the funny part. The audio was made public by one of his contributors at the meeting, who agreed with it and thought it should be distributed more widely:
The recording and a photo of the event were posted online by Coffman supporter Brooks Imperial, who attended the fundraiser.
“I’m glad the congressman said it. Not enough have. More should,” Imperial said.
And of course, Coffman is now “apologizing” and claims it was just a slip:
Coffman issued a written apology Wednesday evening.
“I misspoke and I apologize,” the statement began. “I have confidence in President Obama’s citizenship and legitimacy as President of the United States.”
Coffman went on to offer a defense of his intent.
“I don’t believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism. His policies reflect a philosophy that America is but one nation among many equals,” the statement read. “As a Marine, I believe America is unique and based on a core set of principles that make it superior to other nations.”
Yeah, he just “misspoke.” He wasn’t pandering to the most bigoted and ignorant among us, including some who donate to his campaign. This isn’t misspeaking, it’s a glimpse into what he really believes but doesn’t want people to know he believes. As for American exceptionalism, the only thing exceptional is that this kind of stupid rhetoric actually works with a huge segment of the population here.