early and awkward

Congressman Mike Coffman Accidentally Suggests That Obama Is Not an American Four Times

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO) (R) speaks as Rep. Jon Runyan (R-NJ) (L) listens during a hearing before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee April 14, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Mike Coffman gesturing. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

When your every word is monitored and recorded, you’re bound to slip up and inadvertently say something you don’t mean every once in a while. That’s what happened to Congressman Mike Coffman, a Republican from Colorado, during a fund-raiser earlier this month:


I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said. “But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”

After a short pause, which Elbert County Republican Chairman Scott Wills recalled as “deafening silence,” Coffman was met with applause, tentative at first.

Mike Coffman Accidentally Outs Self as Birther