Throwback Thursday: Coffman’s “Rinse, Repeat” Apology

Walk with us down memory lane: two years ago today, 9NEWS reporter Kyle Clark finally managed to track down Rep. Mike Coffman outside a fundraiser after unsuccessfully trying to reach Coffman for several days. Coffman had been in hiding after an audio recording of remarks made by Coffman a few days earlier as an Elbert County Republicans fundraiser became a nationwide scandal:

Coffman had steadfastly refused to speak on camera regarding his May 12th comment at a fundraiser in Elbert County. The comments, recorded and posted online by a Coffman supporter, were first aired by 9NEWS.

"I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that," Coffman told donors. "But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American."

On May 22nd, 2012, Kyle Clark got Coffman's now-famous verbatim scripted answer, over and over:

REP. COFFMAN: I think that… Umm… I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.
KYLE CLARK: OK. And who were you apologizing to?
REP. COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.
KYLE CLARK: I apologize, we talk to you all the time, you're a very forthcoming guy. Who's telling you not to talk and to handle it like this?
REP. COFFMAN: I stand by my statement, that I wrote, that you have, and I misspoke and I apologize.
KYLE CLARK: Was it that you thought it would go over well in Elbert County where folks are very conservative and you'd never say something like that in the suburbs?
REP. COFFMAN: I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.
KYLE CLARK: Is there anything I can ask you that you'll answer differently?
REP. COFFMAN: You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke and I apologize.
​KYLE CLARK: Thank you, congressman…

To this day, Coffman has never explained his statement to the Elbert County Republicans, saying "I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America," but he "is just not an American," beyond apologizing and later saying he does think President Obama is legally allowed to be President. But Coffman's reportedly unprompted remarks don't seem to be "misspoken" or otherwise verbally bungled in the recording, and the recording of Coffman was originally posted to Youtube by a supporter of Coffman who approved of everything he said. And that's an important point: so frequently when these kinds of "gaffes" become scandalous in hindsight, the fact that the audience in attendance loved it gets lost.

Safe to say, this is an anniversary Coffman would be happy to forget.


20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavieDavie says:

    Before Moddy and AC weigh in with their faux-RAGE! I'll just tell you guys — get used to it.  Coffman is trying to run away from his extremely regrettable track record.

    We in CD6 won't let him get away with it.

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Coffman says Obama is not an American = Outrage.

    Dean speaking for Romanoff at his fundraisers last week says Republicans are not American = no problem.

    No hypocricy here.

    • DavieDavie says:

      If Coffman wants to supervise elections in a Green Zone overseas, more power to him.  In fact I hope to contribute to his ability to pursue new interests come November.

      As as you conveniently forget, Dean wasn't speaking for Romanoff, as he was quick to say immediately after Dean's innappropriate comments.

      BTW, give my complements to whomever wrote that diary on Property Rights.  Very interesting and informative.  Looking forward to more like it.

    • MapMaker says:

      As an exercise in ridding this thread from hypocricy, please express your outrage over Allan West's comments regarding Tammy Duckworth's loyalty:


      "Tammy Duckworth, you know I just don’t know where her loyalties lie, for her to have been a veteran and a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing and hopefully she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat [sic] party,


      It's so easy for nutpublicans to charge others of treason.

    • Old Time Dem says:

      There is a difference between saying the President is not an American and saying that the voter suppressio policies of Republicans are not American.

      The former is confirming support for a conspiracy theory that is only believed by crazy people.  The latter is a fact.

      • ct says:

        There is also a difference in a federal officer and Member of Congress and the actual candidate saying something and a speaker that is no longer an elected official and not the candidate saying something.  Unless you are a troll I suppose.  

Leave a Reply

Comment from your Facebook account

You may comment with your Colorado Pols account above (click here to register), or via Facebook below.