Kansas Congressional Candidate Just Can’t Stop Accidentally Being a Birther


A Republican vying for his party's nomination for Kansas's first congressional district, Tracey Mann, is trying clear up a huge misunderstanding. About a month ago, Mann said at a candidate's forum that Obama "should show his birth certificate to really resolve this thing one way or another." And earlier this week, Mann said on the radio, "I think the president of the United States needs to come forth with his papers and show everyone that he's an American citizen and put this issue to bed once and for all." In light of these comments, the Hutchinson News decided to withdraw its earlier endorsement of Mann. Unless, somehow, he had simply managed to grossly misrepresent his position on the origins of our president this whole time?

Mann campaign manager Jake DeVantier said Thursday morning that Mann "misspoke" on the radio show.

"Tracey has seen sufficient evidence to prove Obama is a citizen," DeVantier said, explaining that Mann had seen that evidence some time ago, and not in the past few days. "He believed Obama was a citizen when he said that on the air."

Haha, wait, what? Why did you keep saying all those things about not being sure if Obama was born in America? Who cares! This is a total non-issue, according to another Mann statement, which we have bolded because we're going to focus on the bolded portions.

"I have no interest in pushing what some have called the 'birther' issue in Congress. If it was a priority for me I would have put it in the 'Mann Plan.' I was simply answering a question about the Obama administration's handling of the controversy. While I believe they have handled the controversy poorly, I have never had any interest in spending any time on the matter. I'm disappointed and mystified by the Hutchinson News' decision to withdraw their endorsement over what is clearly a misunderstanding of my position. If I was interested in pursuing this issue in Congress I would understand their concern. However, I have no such agenda."

Let's call this form of backing away from a politically untenable position the "Rand Paul," as in, "I unequivocally state that I will not support any efforts to repeal the Civil Rights Act of 1964.” Because nobody else would help you! But that doesn't mean his position on the Civil Rights Act is any less alarming. Similarly, Mann seems to believe that only the existence of a birther agenda, but not merely the harboring of conspiratorial doubts about the legitimacy of the president, should be cause for concern. It's like a candidate saying, "Sure, I think a race of genetically superior mole people may secretly control the world's weather patterns from their control room in the center of the Earth, but that's not something I'm going to pursue in Congress, so it's all good."

Mann camp: He 'misspoke' [Hutchinson News]
Despite interview, Congressional candidate says he's not a birther [KWCH]