DENVER — A few weeks after a video surfaced of Congressman Mike Coffman questioning President Barack Obama’s “American-ness”, his Democratic opponent is pushing another video of Coffman that was posted by the same person as the first.
The new video shows Coffman speaking at the Elbert County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner back in February and praising Congressman Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, for famously interrupting Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress by yelling “You Lie!”
In the video, Coffman is shown telling the audience that he sat behind Wilson when he spoke out and that he spoke with him the following day.
Here’s what Coffman said:
I was sitting behind my friend from South Carolina, Joe Wilson. Joe sits with me on the Armed Services Committee and has got to be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met: quiet, soft-spoken.
Obama said, ‘In my bill, it does not allow illegal immigrants to get benefits.’ And so I saw Joe Wilson lean forward and I saw him raise his finger up, and then he goes, ‘You lie! You lie’
And I’m thinking, ‘Wow, this is going to be a story tomorrow’.
I saw him the next morning, and he looked like he didn’t get a lick of sleep the whole night. And I put my arm around his shoulder and I said, ‘You know, Joe, I think something good is going to come out of this; and I think the American people are going to understand why you did what you did.
And the reason he did what he did is because Joe Wilson had offered in committee the enforcement packages that the Democrats purposely left out concerning illegal immigration.
Joe Wilson, over the next couple weeks, raised $2 million on his campaign website.
Democrat Joe Miklosi, who is challenging Coffman for his 6th C.D. seat, has hammered Coffman in recent weeks for questioning whether Obama is an “American in his heart”; and for apologizing via an Op-Ed piece in the Denver Post and then admitting on the radio that he only did so for political reasons.
Miklosi told FOX 31 Denver that Coffman’s remarks about Joe Wilson are part of an emerging pattern.
“Coffman shows us again that he is more than eager to exploit offensive rhetoric behind closed doors to further his extreme agenda,” Miklosi said in a statement. “And it’s even more clear now that Mike Coffman has little respect for the office he holds or for the office of the Commander in Chief.
“Mike Coffman’s extreme rhetoric and extreme record have no place in Colorado. This kind of behavior is more fitting for right wing talk talk radio than for the halls of Congress. We all know we deserve better.”
Coffman’s comments about Wilson came back in February, although his newly-hired spokesman, Owen Loftus, tells FOX 31 that Coffman often tells the story at public events; the comments questioning Obama’s devotion to his country came last month.
Loftus downplayed the new video and pointed out that Miklosi’s campaign, in addition to sending out the original video that was posted by a Coffman supporter, is also sending its own re-edited version.
“Rep. Coffman was simply recounting what happened during the health care debate,” Loftus said. “I encourage everyone to watch the full video, not Joe Miklosi’s carefully edited version.”
“In the full video, you’ll see that Mike was talking about the issues — something Joe doesn’t want to do. Mike voted against and will continue to oppose federally mandated health care, which Rep. Miklosi adamantly supports.
“The Denver Democrat needs to explain why he is ignoring the majority of Americans, and continues to support a law which cut $500 billion from Medicare, and increased the cost of health care on Colorado’s working families and small businesses.”