Georgia GOP Rep. Paul Broun Backpedals Furiously

What violent right wing rhetoric?
Wingnuts • Views: 37,680

Last Tuesday in a town hall meeting, Georgia GOP Rep. Paul Broun failed to condemn an audience member who asked, “Who will shoot Obama?”

According to Blake Aued of OnlineAthens, the question got a “big laugh” from the audience.

At Rep. Paul Broun’s town hall meeting on Tuesday, the Athens congressman asked who had driven the farthest to be there and let the winner ask the first question.

We couldn’t hear the question in the back of the packed Oglethorpe County Commission chamber, but whatever it was, it got a big laugh. According to an outraged commenter on the article, the question was, when is someone going to shoot Obama?

This was Broun’s reply:

The thing is, 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 that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Greg Sargent reports that the Secret Service has investigated the incident, and concluded that the questioner was an elderly person who regrets making a bad joke. They now consider the case closed.

But what’s Broun’s excuse for his weasel-word answer? Again and again we see Republican politicians doing this; they’re terrified of losing their base of rabid Tea Party nuts, so they say nothing in response to the most outrageous and violent rhetoric. Just a smile and a nod, and a mouthful of non sequiturs.

Sargent’s latest update: Broun seems to realize he made a big mistake.

Tuesday night at a town hall meeting in Oglethorpe County, Georgia an elderly man asked the abhorrent question, “Who’s going to shoot Obama?” I was stunned by the question and chose not to dignify it with a response; therefore, at that moment I moved on to the next person with a question. After the event, my office took action with the appropriate authorities.

I deeply regret that this incident happened at all. Furthermore, 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. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated.

But if this kind of rhetoric is so intolerable to Broun, why did it take him three days to denounce it — and only after it became national news?

UPDATE at 2/25/11 11:02:30 am

By the way, Rep. Broun also panders to Birthers, like nearly every GOP politician.

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