Mike Coffman didn’t ‘misspeak’

Updated
 

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) delivered some pretty stunning remarks at a fundraiser over the weekend, and unfortunately for him, the NBC affiliate in Denver obtained a copy of his speech.

Around the 3:20 mark, Coffman, the two-term Republican congressman, says of the president:

“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. 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.”

Asked for an explanation, the congressman issued a statement that “I misspoke and I apologize.”

That doesn’t work. Sure, everyone misspeaks from time to time, especially in public affairs. Someone might accidentally say Iraq, when they meant Iran. Someone meant to say 47, but they said 57. They’re just verbal slipups, and they’re hardly worth getting excited about.

But it’s not an example of “misspeaking” when someone says, “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. 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.” It’s not like this just slipped out accidentally.

Coffman added in his written explanation, “I don’t believe the president shares my belief in American Exceptionalism. His policies reflect a philosophy that America is but one nation among many equals.”

For the record, Obama has emphasized his support for the principles of “American exceptionalism” rather explicitly, a fact more than a few observers acknowledged, even on the right.

Mike Coffman and Birthers

Mike Coffman didn't 'misspeak'

Updated