On the FOX Business Channel today, Rep. Mike Coffman unleashed a startling attack on President Barack Obama over the proposal to close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba–the sort of rhetoric that has gotten Coffman in trouble previously in his career:
Why do you think the President is picking this fight?
“I think it’s probably a base issue going into the 2016 election. I can’t think of any other reason why he is doing this. This obviously was a big issue for him in the 2008 campaign…as was ending the war in Iraq. He certainly pulled out all U.S. forces prior to the 2012 election to meet that campaign pledge….we are now back in Iraq in a far worse situation. This president seems to be impervious to new information. The fact is this is not a recruiting tool for terrorism. What is a recruiting tool for terrorism is a president that projects weakness in American foreign policy.” [Pols emphasis]
Are there worries that these truly bad guys would then convert American prisoners to a terrorist way of life?
“The security… at the Super Max in Colorado is not a concern to me. The concern to me, again, is giving them all the due process rights by bringing them onto U.S. soil. These are enemy combatants…. They need to be housed at Guantanamo Bay…”
The rhetoric against President Obama by Republicans on national security issues has always been over the top, but there’s an additional step taken when a lawmaker accuses the President of personally being “a recruiting tool for terrorism.” It gets worse when you consider Coffman’s statement in the context of what he said to Lincoln County Republicans at a fundraiser a few years ago: that President Obama “is just not an American.”
This “recruiting tool for terrorism” line seems to have become boilerplate for Coffman in recent weeks, with our friend Jason Salzman having taken note of it late last month. Representing the most ethnically and culturally diverse district in Colorado, we honestly do think it’s possible that Coffman’s rhetoric is more out of touch with the constituents he represents than any other politician in America.
It’s just a question of his constituents hearing about it.