Tuesday, October 30, 2012
CONTACT: Joanne Schwartz, Executive Director at 303-991-1900

DENVER: #4 on ProgressNow Colorado’s countdown of the “Top Five Reasons Mike Coffman is Bad for CD-6” could be #1 on many voters’ lists—Rep. Mike Coffman’s now-infamous statements at an Elbert County GOP fundraiser last May that President Barack Obama is “just not an American.”

“Mike Coffman can’t take back what he very clearly told Republicans in Elbert County last May,” said ProgressNow Colorado executive director Joanne Schwartz. “Coffman’s apologies have never come close to acknowledging what he actually said. Coffman did not ‘misspeak,’ as he farcically repeated into the camera over and over when cornered by a reporter after days of hiding out. In hindsight, it’s painfully clear that Coffman meant what he said.”

Today’s edition of the New York Times features a profile of the Colorado Sixth District race, titled “Colorado Race Turns Fierce After Republican’s Anti-Obama Remark.” Reporter Carl Hulse writes that “until he spoke up on the president’s background at a fundraiser, Mr. Coffman was something of a nondescript figure in the House.” 1 Now, writes Hulse, Coffman’s race is considered one of the most competitive in America, “with implications for the partisan split in the House as well as for the presidential race.”

“Mike Coffman exposed not just a hateful side of himself,” said Schwartz, “but an undercurrent of extremism that pervades today’s Republican Party. Coffman realized later the terrible damage he had done to his reputation, but he can’t claim that he ‘misspoke’ or that his comments were misinterpreted. Coffman meant exactly what he told that crowd.”

“Next week,” said Schwartz, “Voters in the new Sixth District will render their judgment on Mike Coffman, and this disgraceful incident will make it an easy choice for many of them.”