“I know better.” “There’s no room for that.” “He’s an embarrassment.”
Those are some of the phrases with which state Republicans are putting space between themselves and the comments Congressman Doug Lamborn made at a bar-basement event in Colorado Springs last week.
Lamborn told conservative “liberty voters” that he and other lawmakers have been urging military officers to resign in order to send a message to President Obama that they disagree with his leadership.
“[D]o let me reassure you on this,” he said. “A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation. Let’s have a pubic resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory.’
“I haven’t seen that very much. In fact, I haven’t seen that at all in years.”
The comments were first reported by Corey Hutchins at Medium and then spotlighted by the Colorado Independent. They have rocketed around the mediasphere and have been the subject of stories at the Huffington Post, MSNBC, Newsweek, TPM and other outlets.
Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman, a former Marine who is running for reelection in one of the tightest races in the country, tweeted a response on Sunday.
— Rep. Mike Coffman (@RepMikeCoffman) September 29, 2014
Republican U.S. Senate candidate and Colorado Congressman Cory Gardner weighed in this weekend, saying “there is no room for partisan politics when it comes to our men and women in uniform.”
Colorado Springs City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, a retired Air Force officer, fired off a pair of no-nonsense tweets:
— Jill Gaebler (@jillgaebler) September 27, 2014
Truth: Lamborn places politics & self before country, while our military members place country above their own lives. http://t.co/7pjhnnnSf2
— Jill Gaebler (@jillgaebler) September 28, 2014
The responses from Republicans echo those made by Democrat Irv Halter, the retired Air Force general running to unseat Lamborn in the very conservative 5th District.
“Congressman Lamborn’s statement shows his immaturity and lack of understanding of the American armed forces, He wrote in an email to the Independent. “Someone who serves on the House Armed Services Committee should know better.”
Jarred Rego, Lamborn’s campaign spokesman, told the Gazette on Saturday that they’ve felt no pressure regarding the remarks and insisted that the congressman was referring to old policies like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and Pentagon budget cuts from sequestration.