Coffman: Oops?

The campaign for Andrew Romanoff is sending around videotape of Colorado Republican Congressman Mike Coffman in a candidate debate today struggling to answer a question on women’s rights and abortion.

In a close race in a swing district and in an era when male Republican politicians around the country make headlines on a regular schedule for casting about in halting ways or managing to offend or mangling the rudimentary science of human reproduction, Coffman must have known the question was coming, yet he nevertheless seemed caught off-guard by it and fell into what in the video looks like an award-winning performance of a conservative older American politician flummoxed to the point of embarrassed surrender when asked to speak on reproductive rights.

“I’m pro-life. Um, you know, I believe that — uh, I am just pro-life — and I’m proud of that. And uh, I do not support personhood. But, uh, I support a women’s access to, to, um, certainly to — this Hobby Lobby decision — to uh, to get –[inaudible] Uh, birth control!”

Throughout, Coffman waved his hands in the air. Near the end of the slow-motion, pained 30-seconds, he reached for Romanoff’s arm looking for help. Then he touched his temple, before at last landing on the words “birth control.” Then he simply handed over the microphone and bowed his head toward the table.

Coffman said everything but “oops.”