Gardner feeds the Obama citizenship beast at health-care town hall

State Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, in his bid to oust Democratic U.S. Rep. Betsy Markey next year and become former Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave’s arch-conservative heir apparent in the 4th Congressional District, poured gas on the smoldering Obama citizenship “debate” last week – or at least refused to douse the flames.

According to Fort Collins Coloradoan editor Bob Moore, Gardner, who faces a tough GOP primary just to take on Markey, awkwardly answered a series of questions from a Democrat at a health-care town hall in Fort Collins last week.

Gardner, according to Moore, declined to refute the notion Obama was born outside the United States, a popular conservative rallying cry these days akin to the “Obama’s a Muslim terrorist” tactic that worked so well during the 2008 election

Also according to Moore, Gardner on an earlier health-care teleconference, verged into such unrelated rants as cap and trade in the climate change bill and the possible reintroduction of the Fairness Doctrine.

Cap and trade strangely came up at a health-care town hall with 2nd Congressional District Rep. Jared Polis Wednesday in Edwards when a Boulder man attending his third such Polis meeting brought it up in the context of conservatives being disenfranchised in a liberal district.

Gardner is a big backer of oil and gas interests, last year helping to form a shadowy 501(c)4 called the Western Skies Coalition (along with GOP gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry) that sought to sway voters in key state senate races. It also called on politicians to sign an “Energy Action Plan” pledge.

Big on pledges, Gardner is now calling on visitors to his website to sign a petition giving Markey direction as she deliberates health-care reform. Perhaps Markey needs to post a pledge for Republican candidates compelling them to dispel the Obama citizenship smear.

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