DENVER — Can a birther comment Bob Beauprez made four years ago questioning whether President Barack Obama is an American citizen hurt the Republican now that he’s running for governor?
Democrats, who discovered the comment and shared it with FOX31 Denver, certainly hope so.
In June 2010, Beauprez appeared as a guest on The Talk to Solomon Show, and was asked about whether President Obama was born in America by the host, Stan Solomon, a favorite of fringe conservatives who is an anti-gay birther who said last year that Trayvon Martin “deserves to be dead.”
“On the birth certificate, I don’t know,” Beauprez said, responding to Solomon’s claim that there “is no birth certificate.”
“I’ve heard both sides of it. I find it absolutely astounding that, if he has one, if this is all just a myth, why in the world not put it to bed? There’s a reason why they haven’t at least settled that controversy.”
In April of 2011, after Donald Trump’s birther turn sparked a new wave of media attention around the issue of the president’s American nationality, the White House obtained the original long-form birth certificate from the State of Hawaii and released it to the public.
Beauprez, in the radio interview 10 months prior to that, went further.
“I address it another way: if this guy is an American citizen, he’s a different kind of an American than virtually any that I know,” Beauprez said.
“My dad and mother taught me a long time ago that you’re known by the company you keep. We should have figured out a lot, and some of us did. When this guy’s friends are Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Rev. Jeremiah Wright — his mentor, again, is Saul Alinsky — what do you think you’re going to get?”
Beauprez, a former congressman who lost the 2006 governor’s race by 17 points, made a late entrance into this year’s race in late February after being urged to run by the Republican Governor’s Association, which wasn’t satisfied with any of the other candidates in the field.
Many establishment conservatives believe Beauprez may give the GOP its best chance to beat Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper.
And Democrats may believe that too.
Progress Now Colorado is making a conscious decision to release the four-year-old birther video now, rather than saving it until the fall’s general election campaign — a sign that Democrats would probably rather see Tom Tancredo or Scott Gessler win the Republican nomination.
It’s unclear how much damage the four-year-old comments will do to Beauprez with conservatives, with the GOP state assembly just weeks away and the primary not until June 24.
Clearly, Democrats are hoping the release of the video will make Republicans think long and hard about how electable Beauprez really is.
Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, survived a similar birther comment in 2012, winning reelection in November six months after he was caught on tape saying that he didn’t believe that President Obama was “an American in his heart.”