A good test of a candidate’s character is whether he stands up to the nut jobs he meets on the stump. To Tracey Mann’s discredit, the candidate in the GOP primary (in right photo) for the 1st Congressional District came off sounding like a “birther” at a candidate forum and on a Salina radio show, telling radio listeners that President Obama “needs to come forth with his papers and show everyone that he is an American citizen.” News of Mann’s comments caused the Hutchinson News, Salina Journal and Garden City Telegram to withdraw their Mann endorsements. The Journal this week endorsed state Sen. Jim Barnett instead; the Telegram suggested voters consider Barnett or wait until the Nov. 2 election and consider Democrat Alan Jilka, who had disparaged a “birther” question at the event where Mann answered it. Kansas secretary of state candidate Kris Kobach (in left photo) has been in the “birther” camp, too, telling an Overland Park crowd last week that President Obama’s citizenship “is a fair question” because the birth certificate he’s released “doesn’t have a doctor’s signature on it.” Kobach asked: “Why just not produce the long-form birth certificate?” Kobach spokesman Ben Davis said the candidate has been getting questions about Obama’s citizenship at almost every event for months. So what? Kobach should have declined to pander and set the record straight instead. Or, as the Garden City Telegram editorialized in criticizing Mann: “When it comes to questioning Obama’s citizenship, the best response is no response.”
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