January 28th, 2013
09:15 PM ET
1 year ago

Skeptical congresswoman challenges Obama to skeet shooting match

(CNN) - It's about time for some bipartisan...skeet shooting?

Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, joined a chorus of skeptics who questioned President Barack Obama's recent comments about his hobby of skeet shooting, a sport where participants fire shotguns to break airborne clay disks.

"If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos? Why hasn't he referenced this at any point in time?" Blackburn said Monday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

"I tell you what I do think," she later added. "I think he should invite me to Camp David, and I'll go skeet shooting with him and I bet I'll beat him."

Obama said in an interview published Sunday by The New Republic that he won't ignore the concerns of hunters and sportsmen as his administration pushes for tighter gun laws. To illustrate his point, he added an anecdote about his previously unknown penchant for shooting.

"Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," he said, responding to a question about whether he had ever fired a gun. He also added he has included guests on his skeet shooting outings.

Some found the comments puzzling and wondered why he hadn't mentioned his gun experience in the high-profile firearm debate over the past six weeks. The remarks especially fired up some conservative blogs and news outlets.

"We had this debate that is ongoing," Blackburn said. "You would have thought it would have been a point of reference."

When asked by Jessica Yellin, CNN's chief White House correspondent, how often the president goes skeet shooting, White House press secretary Jay Carney said earlier Monday that he doesn't know.

"He does go to Camp David with some regularity, but I'm not sure how often he's done that," Carney said during the daily press briefing.

Pressed further if there was a photograph of the president taking part in the sport, Carney said "There may be, but I haven't seen it."

"Why haven't we heard about it before?" Yellin continued.

"Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs," Carney said.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Gun control • Marsha Blackburn • President Obama
soundoff (613 Responses)
  1. bill

    That's cool, I doubt that mitt romney paid his U.S. taxes, get the GOP to produce the tax returns for their presidential candidate and then we can talk about skeet shooting all you want.

    January 29, 2013 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. chupacabra

    In Brazil there was a big fire in a nightclub that killed a bunch of people...don't you think they need to outlaw matches?

    January 29, 2013 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. bill

    Oh boy here the republicans go again with their birth certificate part II controversy. The GOP will do absolutely anything to get out of work and to abstain from representing the American people in Congress.

    January 29, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. dannyC

    The poor GOP doesn't even realize how many more Republican voters Obama is going to peel off by raising this issue that the NRA and far right supporters are going to co-op. Obama is arguing people shouldn't have assault type weapons and 30 round magazines, and the media features the NRA and Rambo Wanna-be's tearing their hair out and screaming "Out of my cold dead hands". How many INDEPENDENTS do you think are saying "Those 2nd Admendment people are right. Keeping you from being able to buy an item anymore, like lead painted toys, is exactly the same as coming and taking away all the lead painted toys people already own".
    The GOP needs to be put on suicide watch. And the NRA needs to stop offering the GOP guns they can borrow.

    January 29, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. DinGA

    @ShoeIdiot:

    "Yep and turned out to be the guy to make war on Libya and murder Americans via drone strikes. Those Nobel guys are wise prophets! It is amusing and disheartening how the supposed "party that cares" falls for his lies and begs for more. Killing white kids in Connecticut bad, killing brown kids in Yemen good. Got it."

    Why do you people insist on having it both ways? You complain that he interfered in Libya, and in the next breath, whine and moan that he's not doing enough in Syria or Iran. You demonize him for drone strikes, but had he done nothing, you'd demonize him for that.

    I don't know if it's the low education, or the reality-distortion advice, but the hypocrisy has gotten neck-deep on the right.

    January 29, 2013 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Laverne

    He certainly has proved he knows how to whup the republicans butts, so as far as I am concerned he has proven all he needs to prove. The hate for Obama lives on obviously!

    January 29, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  7. Miguel

    I'd be surprised if Obama has ever gone shooting. He knows the press won't call him on anything.

    January 29, 2013 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. Rudy NYC

    Wilson wrote:

    I too am a moderate, though a little more conservative in nature than strictly centrist. I agree with you about the far right, but I also think the same about the far left, even the center looks like the extreme right to them.
    ---------------------
    Here's how I identity the DNA of what pases for the extreme right lately. Anyone who uses words like: Kenyan, communist, Marxist, college transcript demanding, dictator, murderer, gangster, welfare president, many others but most especially divisive. That last is pure projection. Although I am certain that the far right is deeply diviided, but choose to ignore and deny the fact that the divisiveness only exists within their own ranks.

    January 29, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. ToldUso

    After skeet, then he can school her on the basketball court, too. Sharpen up those elbows, Obama.

    January 29, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  10. BSH

    Nowhere does the President actually say he has fired a gun himself. "Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time." That could be a friendly contest between idle Secret Service agents. Pictures, or it didn't happen! If he has fired a gun once, just to say he has, it's still a sure bet that this Congresswoman would beat him handily at skeet. It would be fun to watch.

    January 29, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  11. Carol

    Doesn't Blackburn have more important things to worry about???

    January 29, 2013 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. amontagno

    We've all seen his golf outing pictures, and the basketball shoot arounds too. But pictures of him skeet shooting? Please stop with the BS, this guy has never went skeet shooting.

    January 29, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Kyle

    "Miguel: I'd be surprised if Obama has ever gone shooting. He knows the press won't call him on anything."

    ...Says the person reading an article on CNN in which a CNN White House correspondent is quoted asking at least three questions about the claimed shooting activities. Some of you really need to think before you type.

    January 29, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. Stu in Iowa

    Is this what these people are being paid for? To question whether our President has fired a shotgun during a round of skeet? I suppose they question what he had for lunch as well. I guess small issues for small minds.

    January 29, 2013 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. Observer

    Presidential qualifications: skeet shooting at least 2 times a week. As proposed by Rep. Repub Blackthorn in her proposal for the 29th "Demandment" [sic lol]. Photographic documentation or video proof must be authenticated by US Supreme Court. Retrospectively the Demandment also lists 'brush clearing' and bicycling (with or without accidents) as future presidential qualifications.
    The proposed 29th Demandment also requires that vice presidents show shooting proficiency with at least one kill or face shot on record.
    Thus former President George W. Bush and vice president Cheney fulfilled all requirements for high office. (photographic evidence is on record for both former office holders).

    That puts the pressure on President Obama and Vice President Joe Warrior Biden to satisfy all requirements for the current positions they hold.

    In other news: Great White Shark threatens school safety of elementary school children in Hawaii. Immediate security measures to eradicate all Great White Sharks are in process.

    January 29, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. George

    Is the Representitive from Tennessee really that childish? Poor Tennessee.

    January 29, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. Sniffit

    "In Brazil there was a big fire in a nightclub that killed a bunch of people...don't you think they need to outlaw matches?"

    Clearly, fire codes don't work, since criminals will just ignore them or light stuff on fire anyway...and hey, if something is already burning then there's no point in putting it out...so let's get rid of fire codes and fire departments.

    January 29, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. ShoeIdiot

    DinGA:
    Why do you people insist on having it both ways? You complain that he interfered in Libya, and in the next breath, whine and moan that he's not doing enough in Syria or Iran. You demonize him for drone strikes, but had he done nothing, you'd demonize him for that.

    -–
    You people? I happen to think we should stay away from Syria. Using drones in a war zone is fine for killing the enemy. Did is miss the declaration of against Yemen?

    Let's be clear. Is okay to unilaterally kill Americans without due process?

    January 29, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. v_mag

    Personally, I don't care if the President has ever shot skeet. I'm having a ball watching the Repugnant Party shoot itself in the foot, over and over again, as it slowly dwindles down to a burnt out cinder. We're seeing the last gasp of the GOP, and it's wonderful to behold!

    January 29, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  20. cog in the wheel

    Why would it matter if Obama likes to skeet shoot or not? The point is that he–and nearly everyone else–recognizes that it's perfectly fine for law-abiding citizens to own guns and enjoy various gun-related hobbies.

    He proposes to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines because they are only used for killing human beings. Obama is clearly NOT "anti-gun." His proposals to strengthen background check and mental health screening procedures will have more impact in preventing the kinds of massacres we've experienced.

    We've also banned shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft weapons, though I suppose some gun enthusiasts would like to use those for skeet shooting, too :-) We don't need private armies in every neighborhood.

    January 29, 2013 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  21. Facts don't Lie

    "In Brazil there was a big fire in a nightclub that killed a bunch of people...don't you think they need to outlaw matches?"

    You can always tell when a person has never lost a loved one due to a tragic shooting. But empathy has never been a strong Republican point anyway. Besides matches don't kill people, people WITH matches do.

    January 29, 2013 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Obama's not the one questioning whether or not someone shoots skeet or not. Some people may have forgotten this, but 20 dead elementary school kids and their teachers is what sparked this conversation. Apparently the NRA feels that you can't understand firearms unless you own one: he does. So, in the Rightie world, he is not to be believed. As far as pitting people against each other in this country, I recall a failed governor and VP candidate for the GOP talking about areas of the country being more American than others: how much more divisive can you get than that? The GOP has pitted people against each other, until all they are left with is old angry white guys and a few tokens. Blackburn is not interested in a solution to anything unless it benefits her: she recently introduced legistlation punishing companies that take government money and give intelelctual property to companies overseas: thats all well and good, but where has she been while GOP policies sent jobs and livelihoods overseas? Cheering, most likely. I doubt she cares about anthing unless it gets her in front of a camera to soft-pedal the Tea Party line to gullible, desperate people eagerly looking for someone to blame. They should be blaming people like Balckburn, since they are at fault.

    January 29, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Somehow, I don't think the Secret Service would trust Pres. Obama being around an angry neo-conservative with a loaded gun in their hand. I think she should have to submit to a trans-cranial probe just for issuing such a challenge.

    January 29, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Oneslydragon

    "Why haven't we heard about it before?" Yellin continued.

    1. You were not listeneing, by choice.
    2. It never came up.
    3. It could be the political BS EVERY politician sells by the train load, especially you.

    January 29, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  25. mphx

    Will these people (incliding those commenting) ever stop their crying? Obama is our President, period.
    Move on already, the majority of Americans are sick of you GOP/Teabaggers and have spoken loud and clear.
    Now, either get to work or get to your basement and assume the fetal position with gun and bible in hand.

    January 29, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
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