Coffman Repeats 2014 Spanish Closing Statement Practically Verbatim

Tom Tancredo y Mike Coffman.

Tom Tancredo y Mike Coffman.

This weekend, the debate between Republican Rep. Mike Coffman and his Democratic opponent Morgan Carroll in Spanish aired after being taped on October 4th. Carroll’s campaign fired off a press release as the debate aired on Saturday that we suspect they could barely wait to send, because it’s a bit of a bombshell:

Coffman Verbatim Recycles Spanish Debate Remarks From 2014 – Two Years Later

Despite claiming to have learned Spanish, Mike Coffman declined to come up with new closing remarks at the Univisión debate this election cycle — failing to respect Spanish-speaking voters to give them a statement that reflects the realities of 2016. Listen and compare Coffman’s 2014 closing to his 2016 closing:

2014 Remarks:

Coffman: Gracias. Para mí, es muy importante poder compartir mis planes e ideas para crear más empleos, y más oportunidades para todos en Colorado. Mis prioridades son ustedes. Las familias. Los trabajadores. La seguridad de nuestro país. Y los jóvenes que serán los líderes de mañana. Yo crecí en una familia de clase trabajadora en la cuidad de Aurora, ganando el salario mínimo. Obtuve mi diploma de secundaria mientras estaba en el servicio de militar. Después, empecé un pequeño negocio en Aurora. Entiendo lo que es pagar impuestos como trabajador y también mantener abiertas las puertas de un negocio. Sé lo que es trabajar duro, y por muchas horas, para lograr el sueño americano al igual que ustedes. Yo quiero que Washington trabaje para el pueblo, no al revés. Debemos prosperar y asegurar que las políticas de Washington den oportunidad y ayuden a las familias obtener a su sueño Americano. Sería un honor tener su voto. Que dios los bendiga a ustedes y a los Estados Unidos. Gracias y buenas noches…

2016 Remarks:

Primero, muchas gracias a Univision por organizar este debate. Tambien le doy las gracias a todos los que estan[?] en casa y por tenerle paciencia a mi espanol. Mis prioridades son ustedes. Las familias. Los trabajadores. La seguridad de nuestro país. Y los jóvenes que serán los líderes de mañana. Yo crecí en una familia de clase trabajadora en Aurora, ganando el salario mínimo. Obtuve mi diploma de secundaria mientras serví en el ejercito. Después, empecé un pequeño negocio en Aurora. Entiendo lo que es pagar impuestos como trabajador y también mantener abiertas las puertas de un negocio. Sé lo que es trabajar duro, y por muchas horas, para lograr el sueño americano al igual que ustedes. Yo quiero que Washington trabaje para el pueblo, no al revés. Debemos prosperar y asegurar que las políticas de Washington den oportunidad y ayuden a las familias obtener a su sueño Americano. Sería un honor contar con su apoyo y su voto. Que dios los bendiga a ustedes y a los Estados Unidos. Gracias y buenas noches.

Reading the statements is one thing, but you’ve really got to see this spliced together to understand how bad it is–whether or not you speak Spanish. Here’s an excerpted mashup we were forwarded, but the original video is no less damning:

So yeah, that’s pretty painful to watch! Frankly, since it’s evident that in both cases Coffman was merely reading a prepared statement, requiring no actual knowledge of the language, we’re baffled at how his campaign let this happen. There’s no reason why they couldn’t have given him a different statement to close this debate than the one he gave in 2014. Did they really think no one would compare the two?

“Mike Coffman can lie to the voters in any language he wants — but the fact that he repeated the same lies at the same debate is a direct insult to Spanish-speaking voters,” said Carroll for Colorado spokesman Drew Godinich. “Despite trying to distance himself from the Trump campaign, Mike Coffman took a page directly from the Melania Trump handbook. If Mike Coffman’s goal was to insult Colorado Latinos, then he should consider this debate a resounding success.” [Pols emphasis]

For a campaign that has invested so much in putting its best foot forward to Latino voters in this diverse and competitive district–and especially in light of Coffman’s long anti-immigrant record that invites basic questions about his honesty–it’s an unbelievable gift to his opponent. It is sloppy and lazy and contemptuous of a vital bloc of voters, at a moment when Coffman simply can’t afford that.

If Carroll’s campaign or Democrats up the food chain have any sense, this will be an ad by the weekend.

In every language they can.

12 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    My understanding is that Coffman speaks fairly good Spanish. So, I'm not seeing how this is a big deal, other than being part of Pols' continuing jihad against Coffman.

    Methinks your ire would be better directed towards the ineptitude of the Carroll campaign. Just sayin' (from out "in the boonies" of the 7th congressional district). 

  2. itlduso says:

    How is this possible when, according to the Denver Post endorsement of Coffman,

    "Coffman spends hours every week learning Spanish" ?

    Perhaps Chuck Plunkett could provide us with proof of Coffman's diligence.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    One way to test Coffman's Spanish proficiency — in 2014 the questions were all submitted in advance, and Coffman simply read the prepared replies.  It was not an interactive debate, just a test of his pronunciation skills.

    Was that the format of this year's debate or did he actually take and respond to ad hoc questions, with dialog between Coffman and either Carroll or the moderator?

  4. FrankUnderwood says:

    las palabras misas….otra vez

  5. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    The only differences I see are:

    In the 2014 version, he says he obtained his secondary school diploma while serving in the military. In the 2016 version,he cleaned up the grammar a bit, and said that he served "en el ejercito", which means in the army.

    Then it's a long description of growing up in a working class home in Aurora and working long hours in a small business to pay the bills. Identical wording on both. Does anyone know if this is factually accurate?

    The only other difference I see is that, in the 2014 version, he closes by saying that it will be an honor to have their vote. In 2016, he said that it will be an honor to count on their support and their vote.

    Obviously, he thinks that Latinos have short memories and are easily conned.

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