BY FREDA MIKLIN
When Republican State Sen. Don Coram, who is challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert in the June 28, 2022 primary for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District, publicly criticized Boebert for asking a group of Jewish visitors to the Capitol if they were there “to conduct reconnaissance,” on January 20, Boebert did not deny having said it, explaining that it was meant to be a joke.
The incident, first reported by BuzzFeed News, happened when Boebert encountered a group of people dressed in clothing that is typically associated with orthodox Jews, including yarmulkes. One of the members of the group, a rabbi, told a reporter, “When I heard that, I actually turned to the person standing next to me and asked, ‘Did you hear that?’” He added, “People are very sensitive,” following the incident last week in Colleyville, Texas, where four Jewish people were taken and held hostage for hours while they were attending Sabbath services.
In response to questions, Boebert said, “I saw a large group and made a joke. Sadly when Democrats see the same they demonize my family for a year straight.” Regarding the fact that the group appeared to be Jewish, she said, “I’m too short to see anyone’s yarmulkes.”
According to reports, Boebert said that when she asked if the group was doing reconnaissance, “she was referencing the many comments that have been directed at her from Democrats about Capital tours prior to the January 6, 2021 attack.”
Coram issued a statement via text message, saying, “If Lauren Boebert would spend more time in Colorado with the people of the 3rd Congressional District instead of jetting around the country like an out-of-touch celebrity, maybe she would understand why this is not only disgusting but unacceptable. Especially after the recent events in Texas.”
The group of people who drew Boebert’s attention were at the Capitol to call on U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi of New York. Suozzi said, regarding the incident, “The bottom line is that everyone, especially members of Congress, have to be very, very thoughtful in the language they use. Because when you’re a Member of Congress, you have an important role to play in society. You can’t be cavalier in the comments you make, especially if they could be perceived as being antisemitic, or discriminatory.”
Earlier that day, the House Freedom Caucus named Boebert its communication chair. She issued a statement afterward, saying that the Freedom Caucus is, “the most influential group on Capitol Hill. These members fight every day to preserve the rights and liberties of hard-working Americans. I am honored to be selected as the communications chair for the caucus, and I’ll work diligently to make sure the caucus’s message, and the powerful messages of each member, are delivered to the American people.”
In addition to Coram, Archuleta County Republican Marina Zimmerman has announced that she plans to challenge Boebert in the June 28th primary.