Colorado Republican Senate candidate Ken Buck has once again talked himself into some trouble - this time by calling certain tea-party activists "dumbasses" for questioning the legitimacy of President Obama's birth certificate.
According to the Denver Post, Buck was caught on tape saying in June, "Will you tell those dumbasses at the Tea Party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I'm on camera." He added, laughing: "God, what am I supposed to do?"
Buck was speaking to a Democratic operative who had secretly recorded the conversation.
Buck, who enjoys strong support from the Tea Party movement, has since somewhat walked back the remarks, though he focused on language, not content.
"I'm not suggesting the language was appropriate," Buck told the Post today. "But after 16 months of being on the campaign trail, I was tired and frustrated that I can't get that message through that we are going to go off a cliff if we don't start dealing with this debt."
In separate comments on Sunday, Buck said the so-called "Birthers" have been distracting his campaign from more important issues like the economy. Earlier this year, he suggested that he may support legislation that would ensure presidential candidates are U.S. citizens, but he has since shied away from the issue.
Jane Norton, Buck's chief rival in the state's Republican primary, quickly jumped on his remarks. In a statement, she said, "My opponent has given more profanity-laced tirades than he has specifics on reforming our unaffordable system of entitlement." She added: "Ken Buck's childish insults about tea partiers once more raise the question: exactly who is Ken Buck, and can we really trust him? And just as pointedly, does Ken Buck have the temperament and character to be a United States Senator?"
But Lu Busse, who runs the 9/12 Project Colorado Coalition, told an NBC affiliate in Denver that while she wishes Buck had used better language, she understands that he misspoke.
"He could have not called us a name," said Busse. "It would have been better to say, 'Why do these people' and he shouldn't have used a bad name, but I don't see it as he meant anything personal to me or to the other people in the Tea Party movement. It was just an unguarded moment and he was frustrated."
This is not the first time Buck has caused a stir for making questionable comments. Buck found himself in the midst of controversy last week after Norton released a campaign spotlighting Buck's comment that voters should vote for him because he doesn't
A week earlier, Buck was criticized after saying the following about former Congressman Tom Tancredo, who said that the biggest threat to the country was Mr. Obama: "[I] can't believe that guy [Tancredo] opens his mouth."