LULING, Texas — Birthers have found another sympathetic ear in Congress: Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX).
During a town hall on Saturday, a constituent, Lesley Lawson, asked Farenthold to review documents she had from Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s birther investigation squad. “I’ll certainly take a look at it,” Farenthold agreed, but lamented that “unfortunately the horse is already out of the barn on this.” Farenthold expressed his support for the overall birther theory though, telling Lawson that prior congresses “should have looked into this and they didn’t.”
LAWSON: Will you review this and then get back to me and let me know if you will support Steve Stockman of Texas, Ted Yoho of Florida, and Representative Barletta of Pennsylvania, because they are all supporting this effort to determine the truth behind the fraudulent birth certificate of Barack Obama. This affidavit is from Mike Zullo and it tells you everything about that birth certificate.
FARENTHOLD: I’ll certainly take a look at it. I’ll tell you, on the whole birth certificate issue, I think unfortunately the horse is already out of the barn on this, the whole birth certificate issue. The original Congress when his eligibility came up should have looked into this and they didn’t. I’m not sure how we fix it. But I’ll take a look at what you’ve got.
Like Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) at a town hall Thursday, Farenthold didn’t so much disagree with birtherism as resented the fact that they’d already missed the window to do anything about it.
ThinkProgress spoke with Lawson after the event to get her reaction to Farenthold’s answer. “I believe he will take the issue seriously,” she said, heartened by his response.
Even if you think Farenthold was simply being nice in his answer, a better response than coddling birthers is to call the theory for what it is: complete nonsense with racist undertones. Indeed, two constituents got up and walked out as soon as the woman began asking about Obama’s birth certificate, showing far more courage than Farenthold in handling the birther.
Later in his response, Farenthold explained to the woman how, if given the opportunity, House Republicans would “impeach the president tomorrow.”
Farenthold is refusing to back down from his embrace of birtherism, announcing through a spokeswoman Monday afternoon that “I think that issue has come and passed. His comments on the video are what we’re going with.”