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Dem hopeful: Lamborn comments 'irresponsible'

The retired Air Force officer trying to unseat Rep. Doug LambornDouglas (Doug) LambornThe Navy's reading program undermines America's security GAO to review decision to move Space Command to Alabama Colorado presses Biden to reverse Trump Space Command move MORE (R-Colo.) on Tuesday said the incumbent was being “irresponsible” when he said U.S. generals who disagree with President Obama should resign “in a blaze of glory.”

Irv Halter (D) said in a statement that Lamborn's comments "strike at the heart of the U.S. Constitution which clearly states that the President, regardless of who holds the office, is the Commander-in-Chief."

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The four-term incumbent made the remarks at a small campaign event last week in Colorado Springs after a man in the audience urged Lamborn to support the generals and troops "despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House."

“A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, 'Hey, if you disagree with the policy the White House has given you, let's have a resignation,'" Lamborn replied. "You know, let's have a public resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory."

The comments were made as the administration steps up military efforts against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

A Lamborn campaign spokesman said the lawmaker was referring previous administration policies such as “draconian defense budget cuts" and changes “to don't ask don't tell, where generals and admirals approached members of Congress and expressed serious disagreement with these policy changes.”

There are “no current discussions taking place and there are none that have anything whatsoever to do with criticizing our current military strategy to combat ISIS,” spokesman Jarred Rego said. “Congressman Lamborn supports that plan and voted to implement it.”

That explanation didn’t fly with retired major general, who faces Lamborn in the November election.

"Congressman Lamborn has now admitted once again to encouraging our military leaders to publicly resign in protest during a time of war. While he contends that these actions were in the past, it does make them any less egregious,” Halter said.

Halter added it was "iresponsible for a member of Congress, particularly one who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, to encourage officers to resign."

The comments also prompted stinging rebukes from Lamborn’s fellow Colorado Republicans.

Rep. Mike Coffman, who is facing a tougher than expected challenge from former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff, on Sunday tweeted: “As a Marine combat veteran, I know to keep my politics off the battlefield.”

Rep. Cory Gardner, who is deadlocked in a race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Udall, said there is "no room for partisan politics when it comes to our men and women in uniform.”

Rick Palacio, Chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party, on Saturday said Lamborn’s response “shows that he has no understanding about the military and has no problems injecting politics into our national defense for his own gain."