— Jason Attermann
During a town hall meeting, Representative Paul Broun (R-GA) failed to condemn a question relating to the assassination of President Barack Obama. As Politico reported:
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.’
Following the question, Broun chose not to address the misplaced humor in the harming of the president, but instead remained passive and ignored the question for the duration of the town hall meeting. His press secretary eventually denounced the question, but the incident is still cause for concern.
More after the jump.
Broun has a history of using and tolerating over-the-top rhetoric, so his silence and toleration of an assassination innuendo at the event comes as no surprise. Despite bipartisan support for replacing vitriol with civility, Broun’s failure to immediately condemn the question demonstrates a betrayal of the oath that he swore to uphold the Constitution because of his failure to speak out for the safety of the president.
As we have said repeatedly, threats – even jokes – on the lives of public officials are unacceptable and must be condemned by all. In the wake of the Arizona tragedy, we simply must do better.