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Georgia Lawmaker Is Asked: When Will Someone Shoot Obama?

3 years ago
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Talk about lack of civility. Georgia Rep. Paul Broun couldn't have expected this question as he opened the floor for discussion at a recent town hall meeting in the college town of Athens. One unidentified man in the crowd reportedly asked him: "Who's going to shoot Obama?"

The Republican lawmaker said Friday he was "stunned" by the remark and chose "not to dignify it with a response." He said the culprit was an elderly man in the audience.

An Athens Banner-Herald reporter covering the event Tuesday couldn't make out the precise wording in the crowded Oglethorpe Couty Commission chamber, but heard the laughter that followed it. There is some dispute about what exactly happened next.

Broun, a physician in his third term in the U.S. House, didn't answer directly or call out the questioner, according to the Athens newspaper account. "The thing is," Broun said, "I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president . . . who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare."

Broun spokesman Austin Carson told Salon the congressman's comment about the president was not in response to the offensive question, but rather to a follow-up inquiry about Obama from a different audience member.

Another Broun aide, Press Secretary Jessica Morris, earlier confirmed that the original town hall questioner had asked about shooting the president. "Obviously, the question was inappropriate," she said, "so Congressman Broun moved on" by addressing the GOP budget proposal. The question came after Broun asked who had driven the farthest to attend the event.

However, one witness, Mark Farmer of Winterville, Ga., told Talking Points Memo that Broun himself laughed at the original question. And, according to the website, Banner-Herald reporter Blake Aued said Broun chuckled a little -- although Aued could not fully hear the man's question.

That account is at odds with what Broun said Friday. He called the threatening statement "abhorrent" and said after hearing it he "moved on to the next person" in the room. "I deeply regret that this incident happened at all," he said on his website. "I condemn all statements -- made in sincerity or jest -- that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the President of the United States or any other public official." He said his office notified "appropriate authorities."

A Secret Service spokesman said the agency has investigated the incident and concluded there was no real threat. "We consider the matter closed," said Ed Donovan.

Politico noted that, during Obama's State of the Union speech last month, Broun had posted on Twitter: "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."

Folo Tom Diemer on Twitter http://twitter.com/tomdiemer

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jdhegnes

Well, we're certainly well within Big Brother territory now. Paul Broun is a gutless p.o.s. for turning in his own supporter, who merely asked a question. The last time I checked, one of the few limited, but remaining freedoms we had was speech, and this man was just asking a question. He was not threatening the president, merely asking what the whole country is wondering, with two diametrically opposed versions of the right answer. The most likely scenario is that, after very obliquely insinuating to the crowd, through inflection and expression, that the questioner had a somewhat sympathetic ear, he heeded the advice of his spin doctors, which was do a 180, and deny, deny, deny. But Paul Broun is not the elephant in this room. The elephant is the issue of whether a citizen can simply ask a question anymore, even on a sensitive topic, without bringing the nut cases in the black Tahoes to your door. In the late thirties, German citizens thought that it was fairly inconsequential that the government could answer the questions it chose to, and stifle the rest. It is both sad and scary that the American people cannot fathom the number of things they thought were freedoms, but can't do, until they try them, and learn the hard way. "Don't step on the grass, Sam."

February 28 2011 at 5:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ialbel

Once again the double standard is evident ... On CBS "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" they super imposed the words "Snipers Wanted" over an image of Bush delivering his acceptance speech at the Republican convention. Where was the outcry? Why wasn't that a federal crime? There has been so much lying and yellow journalism around the conservatives and the Tea Party by the media that the one-sided commentaries are laughable. The attempts to portray these groups as hate mongers and favoring violence has been pathetic. I don't excuse this man's actions in any way, but it is amusing to see the circus. If a conservative host had done a similar stunt around Obama's nomibnation we would never have heard from that person again. Can anyone say feined outrage? Also, I believe this politician did the appropriate things including not answering the man's question. No answer was needed and the incident reported to the authorities. Do people of either party really want this type of thing played up in the news for political gain? In order to keep loonies from getting loony ideas this episode was downplayed and not overblown. The reaction from the police et al indicates that this specific incident was probably handled properly.

February 27 2011 at 5:21 PM Report abuse -14 rate up rate down Reply
cornell0673

the scary part about this is, this is not the only person whos asking this question yet so many are wondering the same thing

February 26 2011 at 7:48 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
dicksnowbird7

Thinking Americans are getting sick and tired of the far Right nutcases believing that they can threaten the duly elected and popular President of the United States with violent and inciteful rhetoric. Barack Obama has remained composed and above reproach re: these slurs against his legitimacy and American birth. What a treasonous and racist bunch these cowards are. Obama's staunch supporters are still here and he has fulfilled the majority of promises made during his campaign. About Braun? Destined to the dust bin of history.

February 26 2011 at 5:23 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
blackcoffeeparty

Then why yopalzee did the founding fathers include the tenth amendment in the Consitution? And you talk about treason, well the government itself is guilty of that very crime. The so called "war on drugs" is a war against the people and Constitution of the United States of America and that constitutes treason

February 26 2011 at 5:04 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
nototherepubs

DON'T TELL ME, THAT THIS GUY WHO MADE THIS THREATENING STATEMENT AGAINST OUR PRESIDENT, IS GOING TO GET AWAY WITH IT.

February 26 2011 at 4:29 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
nototherepubs

THAT IS A BLATANT THREAT TO OUR PRESIDENT. WHY DOESN'T THE FBI COME CRASHING DOWN ON THAT ELDERLY IGNORANT, POMPOUS, OLD FOOL WHO MADE THAT THREATENING REMARK THE REPUBLICANS WITH THEIR HATRED, AND PROMOTING VIOLENCE. WE RECENTLY SAW THE TRADGEDY OF GABBY GIFFORD, THE OTHER PEOPLE INJURED, THE INNOCENT NIN YEAR-OLD GIRL, AND THE OTHERS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES TO A CRAZED GUNMAN. PEOPLE LIKE THIS OLD FOOL PROMOTE HATRED, AND THE WEAK-MINDED ARE INFLUENCED...IN INDIANA THE DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL WAS FIRED FOR SAYING, THE SECURITY POLICE IN WISCONSIN, SHOULD USE LIVE AMMUNITION, WHILE CLEARING THE PROTESTORS...TELL ME, ARE THE REPUBLICANS FILLED WITH THAT MUCH HATE?

February 26 2011 at 4:27 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
sysaphus71

Actually,
Voters from this same area bought a bill board back in the late 70's saying that they were sorry for voting for Carter. Some folks have strong opinions,to say the least.
What the elder attendee of the meeting did was wrong and not constructive.
Even if it was said in jest ,it still was inappropriate.
The ire that voters have was expressed in November 2010 as ACT 1. We do not know how ACT 2 will play out, yet. I hope it will at least make sense.
But still a lot of damage has been done......people are still able to vote if they don't like what they see in about 20 months.
The VERY BEST THING that has come out of all of this is issues that had to be addressed are now so important to all that ,maybe some of them like the budget and deficit mess will finally be set on a course of correction. We can only hope.

February 26 2011 at 9:41 AM Report abuse -16 rate up rate down Reply
yopalzee

Any state that nulifies Federal Law amount to Treason against the United States. President Obama should make this very clear to those who wish to do so. Meaning, all law breakers will be arrested on the charge of Treason and on the charge of Terrorism for trying to undermine the Security of the United States.

February 26 2011 at 12:31 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to yopalzee's comment
ialbel

Chairman Obama should do what? Treason for nullifying federal law? What does all this mean? Don't we have state's rights here in the republic? What security? Are you asking about Obamacare?

February 27 2011 at 5:25 PM Report abuse -12 rate up rate down Reply
tenderlies1

If he had done what would have been appropiate hw would have had the man removed by authorities gotten his name as well as aggress and questioned before he moved forward with anything. These republicans we have in office today are disrespectful and Radicals and have worked at turning people against Obama and just maybe enough to try and harm him and to my knowledge President Obama or the Fisrt lady has never said one word of harm against anyone of them. If they cannot win an election on their own merit and their record in the past then they don't need to be there. This plan they have is not one that attracts me to their party and they certainly are not helping this country in creating division and hatred nor by their actions. Speaker Boehner has missed 2 dinners with Other Countries Dignitaries which speaks very rude of him to another Country regardless of his feelings with Obama not to mention if he should for some horrible reason have to become President. Our Allies are important and we have lost way to many already. This party makes me ashamed and they should be

February 25 2011 at 11:08 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tenderlies1's comment
ialbel

Some may be overreacting and that is shameful as well. This was investigated. Do you think the investigation was rigged or something? There are certainly a bunch of radicals protesting in Wisconsin ...are they "helping the country?" How did this topic get to Boehner from the stupid question asked at a press conference?

February 27 2011 at 5:30 PM Report abuse -14 rate up rate down Reply

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