A couple of weeks ago, Rep. Mike Coffman (R), whose Colorado district is increasingly competitive, lashed out at President Obama in a bizarre harangue. “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America; I don’t know that,” he said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”
Coffman later said he was sorry for “misspeaking,” but the controversy surrounding his remarks was significant enough that the normally-accessible congressman has refused to talk to reporters, and begun sending aides to public events.
This week, a reporter with the local NBC affiliate met up with Coffman. As this clip, by way of David Sirota, helps show, the brief interview really didn’t go well.
The questions for the Republican weren’t exactly unfair or even hard-hitting. The reporter just gave Coffman an opportunity to explain what he meant when he condemned the president.
But Coffman, rattled, was stuck repeating the same silly talking point, as if he were some kind of political robot: he “misspoke” (though he really didn’t) and he “apologizes” (though it’s not clear to whom).
Watch the clip; it’s brutal.
Update: On Thursday, Coffman published an extended apology in the Denver Post.