Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

Sorry … Can You Repeat That?

Last Thursday, Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) stoked the birthers when he said President Barack Obama wasn’t American, at least not in his heart, and he’s been walking back, or sideways or forward, from the statement since.

“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America,” Coffman told a friendly audience in Albert County, Colo., according to Colorado’s 9News. “I don’t know that, but I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”

The audio recording was obtained by 9News. Coffman followed up by releasing a statement apologizing and claiming that he misspoke.

“I have confidence in President Obama’s citizenship and legitimacy as president of the United States,” he said.

However, Coffman was a bit vague about whom the apology was directed to, and so the local news folks wanted to do a follow-up of their own.

On Tuesday, 9News asked the Congressman to clarify, while Coffman did his best not to clarify.

Reporter: “Do you think that voters are owed a better explanation than, ‘I misspoke?’”

Coffman: “I think that … I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Reporter: “Who are you apologizing to?”

Coffman: “I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Reporter: “‘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 —”

Coffman: “I stand by my statement that I wrote, that you have, and I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Reporter: “Was it that you thought it would go over well in Albert County, where folks are conservative, when you’d never say something like that in the suburbs?”

Coffman: “I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

Reporter: “Is there anything I can ask you that you will answer differently?”

Coffman: “You know, I stand by my statement that I misspoke, and I apologize.”

So, Congressman, if we understand you correctly, what you’re saying is that you stand by your statement that you misspoke and apologize.

Watch the painfully awkward video here.

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