Washington (CNN) - Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Georgia, is clarifying comments he made during a recent House Armed Services Committee hearing in which he suggested that the island of Guam, a U.S. territory, might "tip over and capsize."
While hearing testimony from Navy Admiral Robert F. Willard on March 25, Johnson expressed fear that the Pacific island of Guam might capsize if additional U.S. troops are deployed to a military base on the small island as planned.
"My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize," Johnson said.
Admiral Willard replied that the military did not expect the island to tip over.
"We don't anticipate that. The Guam population is currently about 175,000 and, again, with 8,000 Marines and their families, that is an addition of about 25,000 more into the population," Willard deadpanned.
After video of the exchange went viral on the Web, the two-term Democrat released a statement Thursday explaining that he was "obviously" joking.
"The subtle humor of this obviously metaphorical reference to a ship capsizing illustrated my concern about the impact of the planned military buildup on this small tropical island," Johnson said in the statement.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last year that Johnson has battled Hepatitis C for more than a decade, an ailment that causes him to get "lost in thought in the middle of a discussion."
There's no way that the halfwit on display in the video composed that explanatory statement.
He didn't lose his thoughts in the middle of the discussion. They weren't there to begin with.
If the media has to denote that this man was joking when he quipped about an island capsizing due to over-population, then society has truly lost it's ability to 1) reason, and 2) to sense humor. Who in their right mind would have taken this comment seriously, or taken offense to it?
He didn't laugh. The Admiral didn't laugh. Know why? It wasn't a joke!
Another highly intelligent liberal democrat. The kind of leader the dope smokers will keep electing.
I clearly understand what he meant and I agree. Look at the history of America.
He was not joking, and it's obvious in the video. Yes, he's got a disease and needs help, but he was not joking.
I'm watching you, CNN...
The video speaks for itself. This was no attempt at deadpan humor although I am surprised the Admiral did not fall out of his chair laughing. The question was entirely serious. Just watch the video clip there is no way to spin it. Hank is under the delusional belief that Guam is a floating island. Hank's aides are always having to cover up and spin his gaffes but you can only hide it for so long.
Time to term-limit this incompetent career politician and give someone else a chance.
It was not a joke. Just watch the video. The way it was stated, and the reactions from the audience and officer make that obvious. "Clarifying his remarks". Bah. As a Democrat, I beg the DNC: ditch this guy next go round.
And liberals call Palin stupid?
Hey, I have an idea…let put these guys in charge of our medical system. Man O Man, poor Thomas Jefferson must be doing back flips in his grave based on what we have in office today
Perhaps the good Congressman should consider changing his name to Peter Principle?
Classic liberal idiot and one of Pelosi's YES votes for Obozocare!
Off CNN can't tell this idiot ment what he said I question their ability to do their job!
This has got to be the stupidest story I have read in a long while and I just had to comment. What is wrong with you!? CNN, thanks for wasting my time... again.
Hey, folks, a joke is a joke. The better ones are subtle.
Maybe he thinks Altanta will sink into the mud if everyone started jumping up and down, Goes to show you, intelligence is not required to be a member of Congress.
I am a Republican, and I think this is a stupid story. Seriously, making a mountain our of nothing. I don't know why the representative from Georgia would care about Guam at all. Other than that, this is a non-story.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last year that Johnson has battled Hepatitis C for more than a decade, an ailment that causes him to get "LOST IN THOUGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF A DISCUSSION........."
......Might wanna have Pelosi, Reid and Especially Biden checked out for this as well.
If CNN can't tell this guy is a complete moron. I question their ability to do there job! Please don't give this idiot a "Pass" on this!
Nice try at an excuse, but I'm not buying it.
The so-called joke didn't exhibit hatred, and that's the only type of humor liberals understand.
As Joe Wilson once rightly said, you lie!
CNN are you kidding? I watched the whole thing. Congressman Johnson was not joking at all. And it was very obvious by the look on the faces of all in the hearing that he was not joking either.
Look at his track record of "bizarre" statements like this.
How did this guy get into office! Are we Americans THAT stupid,
The joke was obvious to anyone with a sense of humor. Guess that lets CNN out.
The joke was obvious to anyone with a sense of humor. Guess that explains why CNN didn't get it.