Does pundit Ciruli really think Coffman has moderate image?

In 9News’ story yesterday about Rep. Mike Coffman’s statement that “in his heart,” Obama is “just not an American,” Political Analyst Floyd Ciruli was paraphrased as saying Coffman’s comment is a “blow to his moderate image.”

I’m tainted, I know, and possibly unable to fathom the mainstream image of Coffman, but my perception is that Coffman is pretty far to the right on the political spectrum, a far cry from a “moderate.”

So I called Ciruli to find out if, indeed, he thought Coffman had a “moderate image.”

Ciruli said the 9News’ paraphrase was accurate, but his view wasn’t based on any polling he’d seen on Coffman.

“Coffman’s major image comes from some his statewide offices, which have essentially been of the administrative type and have not led him to be known as a person of intensely right-wing views,” Ciruli told me. “He’s been the Secretary of State. He’s been the Treasurer. Those are administrative jobs that don’t lead you to have a particular image.”

Ciruli also said his view of Coffman’s image is partially based on the fact that Coffman replaced Tom Tancredo.

“And under those circumstances, you’re always a moderate,” Ciruli said, adding also that Coffman is “not really a favorite of the Republican establishment.”

I told Ciruli that I hadn’t seen any polling either, but I did notice that Coffman repeatedly called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” that he supported Colorado’s personhood amendment, that he wanted to pull the Peace Corps out of China, and that he said the flat tax has “tremendous value.” (I forgot to mention that Coffman supported Rick Perry for President and Paul Ryan for Vice President.)

“I don’t disagree with you,” Ciruli told me, adding that Coffman’s immigration views are out of the moderate range.

“They are relatively new issues,” Ciruli said. “They reflect to some extent his new environment, which is a very conservative Congress.”

“I assume [the Obama comment] was a faux pas, and he wisely apologized very quickly,” Ciruli told me, pointing out that Coffman’s mostly Arapahoe-County district is one of the most competitive in the country.

“He had not apologized when I did my interview last night at 5:30,” said Ciruli. “I specifically asked because I thought, my gosh, he should get out from under this, unless this is actually what he thinks, and he did.”

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