Politics

Aug 8, 2011 8:39 PM by Andy Koen

Groups rally outside Lamborn's office

Local pastors and civil rights leaders called on Congressman Doug Lamborn to resign Monday morning over his use of the term "tar baby" in reference to President Barack Obama. The Colorado Springs Branch of the NAACP, the Southern Colorado Ministerial Union (SCMU) and members of the El Paso County Democratic Party held a rally outside of the republican congressman's Colorado Springs office.

Rev. James McMearn of the New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church of Fountain, Colorado and leader of the Southern Colorado Ministerial Union said they want want Lamborn to know that he is "going to have to work" for his re-election.

"I don't believe Republicans who love America and love the president would stand for this kind of behavior."

The group had hoped to hear from Lamborn personally. A press assistant welcomed them into his office and explained that the congressman was out of town this week.

Press assistant Jarred Rego told the group, "The congressman doesn't think this is yesterday's news at all, and as I said, he's unavailable this week. But starting next week when he comes back, he looks forward to meeting with a variety of people."

Rosemary Harris Lytle of the Colorado Springs Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)handed Rego a collection of letters both from her office and the SCMU members. The letters not only expressed outrage at the remark, but at a perceived disrespect that has been shown toward the president.

"We are embarrassed that our congressman would use such a phrase in any kind of public interview," Lytle said.

Lamborn used the term "tar baby" during an interview on July 29 with talk radio hosts Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman on KHOW-AM. The topic was the debt ceiling debate taking place in Washington and Lamborn said, "Even if some people say well the republicans should have done this or they should have done that, they will hold the president responsible. Now, I don't want to even have to be associated with him. It's like touching a tar baby and you get it, you know, you're stuck and you're part of the problem now, you can't get away."

On August 1, Lamborn's office issued a statement saying the congressman had written a personal letter of apology to the president.

The statement reads, "Lamborn was attempting to tell a radio audience last week that the President's policies have created an economic quagmire for the nation and are responsible for the dismal economic conditions our country faces. He regrets that he chose the phrase "tar baby" rather than the word "quagmire."

When we requested an on camera interview with the congressman today, Press Secretary Catherine Mortensen said Lamborn has apologized repeatedly for the gaffe and wouldn't be available for interviews.

Following the meeting at Lamborn's office, Lytle said she had spoke with legislative director Daniel Nordberg and that a face to face meeting was tentatively scheduled for an undisclosed date next week.

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