Republican Congressman Declines To Condemn Person Who Asks “Who’s Going to Shoot The President?”

Georgia Congressman Paul Broun has gotten attention before for things that he’s said., this time he’s getting attention for something he didn’t say:

A constituent at a town hall for Georgia Rep. Paul Broun drew laughter on Tuesday when asked, “Who is going to shoot Obama?” and the Republican didn’t come anywhere near condemning the question in his response.

“The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president,” Broun said, according to the Athens Banner-Herald. “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.”

The question came after Broun asked who had driven the farthest to be at the Oglethorpe County event, and let that person ask the first question.

Brown’s press secretary, Jessica Morris, confirmed to the paper that the question was asked. “Obviously, the question was inappropriate, so Congressman Broun moved on,” she said. Morris did not immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment Friday morning.

Sorry, not good enough. Someone asks about shooting the President and you move on? Even if it was a joke, it was a tasteless one, and the idiot who should’ve said ought have been called out. Instead, Broun treated it as a serious question.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Lgbpop says:

    Oh, get real. He did what any normal person would do which is ignore the question and not dignify it with a direct answer – something the rightists should have done with the death wishes piled upon GW Bush for his last six years in office as well. By even acknowledging such childish nonsense you give credence to the fool making the statement.

    I wish more people would do this, then it would stop altogether. The only reason it continues is because the perpetrators get what they want – an earnest, immediate, aggrieved, stupid reaction that makes the respondent look like a petty fool.

  2. reid says:

    Well, I disagree with lgbpop. I think the proper thing to do is express disapproval, the way a parent would to a child who’s done something wrong. (For an example, see, of all people, McCain dismissing the lunatic “Obama is an Arab” lady in 2008.) By ignoring it, he just lets it fester. The fact that people laughed is a bit twisted, too.

    Completely off topic, any chance we’ll see a post on the Goldman Sachs report that Rachel Maddow referenced last night? It concludes that the House budget with its big cuts would cut the GDP by 2%. That’s one of the questions I was asking recently.

  3. mantis says:

    The correct answer is, “God willing, no one will shoot the president, sir.”

    Broun’s answer leads us to believe he dislikes Obama so much, he does not think assassination is off the table. Of course Broun is the same guy who has repeatedly compared the president to Hitler, accused him of using Americorps to start a Marxist dictatorship, has pushed the crazy random Muslim Mafia conspiracy theories, and has expressed doubts that the president is a Christian and an American.

    In short, it’s no surprise that Broun isn’t opposed to the idea of assassinating the president. And he’s comfortably at home in the Republican Party, where a majority probably agrees.

  4. jwest says:

    Congressman Broun should have acted appalled at the obvious joke and berated his constituent for the comment. Because of his mild rebuke, this could escalate.

    Instead of a comment at a town hall, this joker could write a book about assassinating the president. Or worse yet, he could produce a movie about it.

    If that ever happened, I’m certain there would be outrage.

  5. mantis says:

    So, jwest, are you saying that some British people (i.e. not Americans) making a film is the same as a sitting Congressman showing no disagreement with the idea that the president should be assassinated, brought up to him in a public forum by a constituent?

    Ok, fine, you’re right. I don’t think those British filmmakers should be U.S. Representatives, either.

  6. TG Chicago says:

    It hasn’t even been two months since a Congressperson was shot, and yet this Congressperson laughs off a suggestion to assassinate the president? That would have been a horrible comment even before the Giffords tragedy, but now it’s absolutely reprehensible.

  7. reid says:

    Some “obvious jokes” just aren’t funny.

  8. wr says:

    It’s not they’re in favor of assassinating the president. They just don’t see anything wrong with killing a n*****.

  9. reid says:

    Broun has now issued a press release condemning such statements, whether serious or in jest. Too bad he can’t do that in front of his base. (He claimed he was too shocked or something and ignored it.)

  10. mantis says:

    Broun has now issued a press release condemning such statements, whether serious or in jest. Too bad he can’t do that in front of his base. (He claimed he was too shocked or something and ignored it.)

    BS. He’s already said Obama is Hitler, repeatedly. Who wouldn’t want Hitler assassinated? He probably didn’t react because he thinks the same thought as that constituent every day.

  11. reid says:

    mantis: Yes, I haven’t seen any video, but I wonder if a little smirk played across his face…. No, of course not, forgive me.

  12. jwest says:

    Were any of the liberals here conscious during the Bush years? The faux outrage is a bit hard to take.

  13. reid says:

    jwest: Yes, you know us so well, we would have been cackling with glee if the same had happened to Bush. Oh wait, no, we aren’t all hypocritical team-oriented holes.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t think I would want to be judged by the times when I’ve nodded along with some idiot just to get the conversation over. I’d be inclined to give Walker a pass on this.

  15. John Messina says:

    This congressman is a total disgrace and should resign. His flippant response to the remark was horribly deficient. He is the Hitler in the room.

  16. bandit says:

    Good projection wr

  17. anjin-san says:

    > Were any of the liberals here conscious during the Bush years?

    If you want to go back and look at my comments, you will see several saying anyone that threatens Bush needs a visit from the secret service and some time in a jail cell.

    But actually doing a little homework would cut into valuable time you could be spending making stupid remarks, so by all means, return to your life’s work…

  18. What do you expect from Georgia? They’ll probably keep electing this moron for the next 20 years. He is an embarrassment to often says the wrong things and addresses issues out of context. For Dr., he lacks common sense.