Cory Gardner struggles with Obama birth question

(Oh no, Gardner’s a “birther” too? We had such high hopes for him. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE 1: The audio from the Wednesday night meeting can be heard here:… 1221097202

UPDATE 2: Campaign manager says Gardner believes Obama “most likely” a citizen.…

Cory Gardner, the frontrunner for the 4th Congressional District Republican nomination, answered a question about President Obama’s birthplace Wednesday night by saying “the administration is trying to say he was born in this country.”

Gardner struggled as he responded to this question at a town-hall meeting in Fort Collins: “Do you know for a fact if Barack Obama was born in the United States?”

After initially trying to parry the question with a joke — “I don’t know if you were born in this country” — Gardner waded in. Deep.

“Based on what they’ve shown, what they’ve tried to say, I think the administration is trying to say he was born in this country. I know what everybody else knows.”

By this time it became clear the questioner was a Democrat. The man, who didn’t give his name, followed up: “My question is, my question is then why do so many Republicans refuse to believe that he was born in this country?”

That led to calls from the audience of “Show me the birth certificate.”

For a transcript of the exchange (and hopefully soon an audio file) see my Coloradoan blog here:  

72 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Middle of the Road says:

    and moreover, to the hardworking folks in the party that are doing the heavy lifting (phonebanking, fundraising, knocking on doors–the folks that deserve 90% of the credit for keeping their party afloat with their dedication, time and dime)–find someone, anyone–the higher ranking in the party, the better–and have them denounce this shit once and for all. This crazy talk that our president isn’t a US citizen is what makes your party look like the lunatic fringe. It’s what prevents folks from even considering putting your people in office.

    Come out hard. Come out strong. But for God’s sake, come out publicly, loud and clear, and remind folks that the policy differences you have with this President are more than enough to differentiate yourself from Obama and the Democratic Party. You don’t need to detract from your ideals and your message with this crazy talk which only serves to undermine your entire platform and purpose.

    • Ralphie says:

      The rank-and-file believes it.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        I really do but I have a feeling you may be right.

        But I can’t help but think that there are more than a few Republicans out there who think this birther crap is just batshit crazy. And if they do, they need to speak up because the voices of the sane in the Republican Party are being drowned out, more and more, year after year, by the crazies.

        Susan Collins from Maine said it better than I ever could, when Specter left the Republican Party. Sadly, it appears the Republican Party has largely ignored or marginalized the sane within their own party.

        • Libertad says:

          That guy continues to hound on this issue, why he doesn’t believe that the HI certification of live birth isn’t valid is beyond me.

          • RedGreenRedGreen says:

            Many of the birthers aren’t sure Hawaii is part of the United States, so even the certification isn’t enough.

              • Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

                To a lot of Republicans, apparently.

                • Laughing Boy says:


                  I respectfully think you guys are really missing your focus here.  Concentrating on this idiotic birther and racist stuff almost as a ruse to ignore what’s really going on with a majority of Republicans that are neither birthers or racists.  

                  McArdle had a great take on it:

                  Talk of death panels and crazy signs is, if polls are to be believed, a tiny fringe of the many Americans who do not like this health care plan much.  It’s even, as far as I can tell, a small minority of the many Americans attending town hall meetings to harangue their congressmen.  Democrats appear to think that blowing those people up into the totality of the movement will help them win the PR battle on healthcare.  I suspect this will do more harm to the Democrats, and their ability to effectively deliver their message, than it will to the conservatives.

                  I think the miscalculation is on the fact that this ‘problem’ a supermajority seems to be having with passing a bill is much more related to divisions within their own party, not some crazy, powerful new version of the VRWC that is somehow able to dictate policy while being completely out of power:

                  That is your problem.  A majority of Americans do not want what the “progressive” wing (20%?) of the Democratic Party is saying they will rebel over if Obama leaves it out.  Most Americans like their healthcare, and a majority do not want the government to run it, which is the end result of the public option.

                  So, casting most Republicans as racist or insane…

                  …is only going to work as a canard for so long.  

                  Zogby, not generally a Republican favorite, comes out tomorrow with a poll that puts Obama’s approval at 45.3% and his disapproval at 50%.

                  And, et tu, WaPo/ABC News poll?

                  It almost seems like the harder he’s worked to sell his healthcare reform program all summer, the more they’ve seen him speaking earnestly and well in town hall after town hall, the less confidence Americans have developed in the president.

                  There’s a reason for that, and it ain’t birthers and idiots with swastikas.

                  • AristotleAristotle says:

                    … that many Democrats and lefties are fed up with the way Obama is handling this situation. Here he is, still talking bipartisanship and giving up crucial ground on health care reform when he ought to be leading, rallying the troops, and getting this thing through Congress by hook or by crook. If he did that, his numbers would be a lot better because only hardcore ‘pubs, libertarians and Larouchies would disapprove.

                    Now, as far as the birther and swastika dopes packing loaded rifles are concerned, they’re the ones showing up to town hall meetings and getting press coverage because they’re more interesting and newsworthy than anyone who is conservatively dressed, polite, and can ask a lucid question. That’s nothing new; if you want someone to watch your news program, read your paper or your blog, you better deliver something that will catch the public’s attention.

                    Now, back to your point. Are they really just a “small number” or are they representative of a much larger segment of the population at large? That’s hard to say. But the various polling outfits do consistently show that large numbers of self-identified Republicans think there’s something fishy about Obama’s origins, and that’s scary because you can only think that if you’re gullible. I don’t know what GOP circles you run in, LB, but they seem to always be in a decidedly small minority in these polls.

                  • sxp151 says:

                    the majority of Republicans are not birthers? Every poll I’ve seen puts a healthy majority of Republicans who think Obama probably wasn’t born in America.

                    As for racism, it’s kind of hard to poll it, but I’d like to see some kind of proof before I start thinking more than a handful of Republicans aren’t serious hardcore swastika-tattooing sheet-wearing racists.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      As for racism, it’s kind of hard to poll it, but I’d like to see some kind of proof before I start thinking more than a handful of Republicans aren’t serious hardcore swastika-tattooing sheet-wearing racists.

                    • sxp151 says:

                      But seriously, have you seen any polls where they ask people about their views on race, then break it down by party? There was a famous poll where they found that some white Democrats agreed with at least one negative stereotype about black people, but they never said anything about how Republicans responded. I’ll retract the comment if I see a real poll that says most Republicans don’t have racist views.

                      I think one reason people haven’t done such a poll is that the results might make some people uncomfortable.

                      This is an interesting result, for example.

                      You made a statement that the majority of Republicans were not birthers, and a majority were not racist. (Actually you said a majority were neither one, which is a more demanding statement that I won’t hold you to.) I’d like to see some evidence of that.

                    • redstateblues says:

                      LB, I don’t think you’re racist.

                      I do however think that you, as a rational, reasonable Republican, are getting held hostage on this issue by the same people you are firmly behind on the health care debate.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      I’m pretty connected, in terms of being at least around some of the Republicans that get denigrated often on this site, and I’ve never heard a racist or just wacky comment (birthers) come out.

                      The racist stuff doesn’t fly with me (as both of you and some others on the site can probably vouch for, in terms of who I am and what I do) and I just don’t see it in the party here.

                      I know it’s anecdotal, but I really believe it’s being used as a panacea by some folks for why people don’t want this ‘reform’ at this time.

                      SXP, you really can’t believe that only a handful of R’s aren’t racist, do you?

                    • sxp151 says:

                      and the rest, for all I know, are racist. They say the plural of anecdote is not data. I’d like to see some data.

                      I certainly think, given the evidence we’ve seen recently, that the burden of proof is on Republicans to show that they’re not racist. Speaking collectively, of course.

                    • Go Raiders* says:

                      So your premise is that unless someone proves to you that they are not racist, then they are?

                      And what proof would you like, a note from mommy, a letter from a friend who happens to be a minority, a donation receipt to the Obama campaign?

                      That has got to be one of the most asinine comments that I have ever seen on this site and is a pretty good explanation of why I, as well as many others, stopped posting here.

                      A statement like that is probably the most bigoted thing that I have seen in a while.

                      Denver Broncos… Still Suck!

                    • sxp151 says:

                      Thanks so much for your valuable contribution.

                      As I said several times, I want to see polling data, not letters from mommies or token minority friends. I want to know what Republicans think on average through statistical measurements. Do you have a lot of trouble with reading comprehension?

                      You probably drive like a white guy too.

                    • Go Raiders* says:

                      You probably drive like a white guy too.

                      Sounds like you a making a racial comment there.  Can you prove you are not a racist?

                      Denver Broncos… Still Suck!

                    • sxp151 says:

                      if I couldn’t extract meaning from the things I read.

                    • Go Raiders* says:

                      Party of tolerance, my ass.

                      If anyone here is a bigot, it is you.

                      Denver Broncos… Still Suck!

                    • sxp151 says:

                      Of course, the real racists are the ones who still think racism exists, and that white people are the primary practitioners.