White House releases photo of Obama shooting shotgun
February 2nd, 2013
12:06 PM ET
2 years ago

White House releases photo of Obama shooting shotgun

(CNN) - One could say this photo shoots down any remaining skepticism.

The White House on Saturday released a photo of President Barack Obama shooting skeet last August, backing up a claim he made in a recent interview that some Republicans questioned.

"Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time," Obama said, answering a question about whether he had fired a gun before. He said that his daughters had not participated but that he has "a profound respect for the traditions of hunting that trace back in this country for generations. And I think those who dismiss that out of hand make a big mistake."

The caption accompanying the official White House photo says it was taken at Camp David - the Maryland presidential retreat - on August 4, 2012, his 51st birthday.

Obama's answer drew skeptical reviews from Republicans, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, who spoke Monday on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

"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.

Then she issued something of a challenge to the president: "I think he should invite me to Camp David, and I'll go skeet shooting with him, and I bet I'll beat him."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told CNN's Jessica Yellin at Monday's briefing for reporters that Obama goes "to Camp David with some regularity, but I'm not sure how often he's done that" sport, which involves shooting clay discs with a shotgun.

He was also asked whether there were any photos, and if one could be provided to reporters.

"There may be, but I haven't seen it," he said.

Carney added, "When he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.”

Carney said on Wednesday that he had no reaction to Blackburn's comments.

Reporters are not typically permitted to cover Obama's personal activities at the secluded retreat.

The release comes as Obama is advancing a slate of measures he says will prevent gun violence, including reinstituting an assault weapons ban, limiting the size of gun magazines, and requiring background checks on all gun sales. He also signed a series of executive actions relating to gun violence.

While the assault weapons ban has its proponents on Capitol Hill, some members of Congress are skeptical it will pass, considering Republican opposition and wary Democrats who represent conservative districts and states.

Vice President Joe Biden led Obama's gun violence task force convened after the December 14 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.

He acknowledged to reporters after a Thursday meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill that "Nothing we are going to do is fundamentally going to alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down." Obama had made similar comments earlier in the month.

The president will take his gun-related platform on the road to Minnesota on Monday.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam reacted to the photo, telling CNN, "One picture does not erase a lifetime of supporting every gun ban and every gun control scheme imaginable."

– CNN's Gregory Wallace, Shirley Henry, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. Bill from GA

    But the question is, has he ever shot,a lawyer?

    February 2, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. rick

    Republican's are saying photoshop.

    February 2, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Tony in Maine

    That will send conservatives into a total tizzy. I seem to recall that Gov Ronald Reagan of CA favored gun control when the Black Panthers armed themselves against an oppressive government.

    February 2, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  4. Susan Reaney

    Observe: The shotgun is NOT in the elevated position to shoot skeet flying through the air, it's horizontal position as if he were doing target practice; and if the POTUS shoots skeet as often as he says, even an oxymoron would know to that the shotgun should be tucked up under the shoulde;r and why does he have on dark sunglasses? No need to alter the photo, like the White House threatened against...it's quite clear to me that the President is not likely to be shooting skeet.

    February 2, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Patrick in Wisconsin

    I hope it was aimed in the direction of the nearest Fox Opinion outlet.

    February 2, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  6. bob

    wow... how petty....

    February 2, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Tom

    Thank God!!! now we can get back to more relevant things like birth certificates, Kenya, and socialism.

    February 2, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. BanThis

    "Nothing we are going to do is fundamentally going to alter or eliminate the possibility of another mass shooting or guarantee that we will bring gun deaths down."

    That says it all.

    February 2, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Joe

    Hie weapon has a problem if it has a side blast like that, Looks photoshopped to me.

    February 2, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Spencer

    Wait he's left handed.

    February 2, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Deesnutz

    The 2nd Amendment wasn't created for Hunting.

    February 2, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. BobL.

    Got to be a propaganda photo. Never has it ever been mentioned, much less shown that he ever held a gun before. Judging by how high on his shoulder he's holding this one, he was probably coached and then had his picture taken firing it. Another thing that catches my eye is the smoke, it just doesn't look right. Photo shop at work?

    February 2, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. J R Brown

    From the way he's holding it, I can't imagine he's hardly aiming at anything. It's too high on his shoulder and his line of sight is not even with the sights on the barrel.

    Chances are that this is simply a staged photo...I don't really see a person here shooting the weapon with any familitarity or expertise.

    February 2, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. yanni

    Is it really Obama’s picture? Can we set up bipartisan congressional investigating committee to verify this picture? How can we know it is him we cannot see his face? Why he is hiding his face anyway? This leads to more question than answer. He needs to work on his belly. This is me thinking and writing as a tea party .

    February 2, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Bom

    Why should this man have to offer proof to get GOP. Teabaggers and Fox to believe him? It is a shame they set out not liking him and carry it so far. HE is a good and decent man that they are trying to destroy by any stupid means possible.

    February 2, 2013 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Be careful what you wish for, Teaps. Next up will be a video showing Obama actually hitting his mark ... or in skeet speak ... the clay pigeon.

    You'd think after a while those nay sayers on the right would get a clue and just let Obama be Obama and not some Rush Limbaugh / Glenn Beck hate filled Obama remake. Our President actually is a very nice guy.

    Please proceed, Republicans......

    February 2, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. frank nettles

    hate to tell you but that's a fake picture, or his gun has a hole in the side of the barrel, look at the two puffs of smoke.

    February 2, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. Bob

    It's a shotgun, not a rifle!

    February 2, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. skylarkva

    Obama's fast out-pacing Putin for most asinine "leader" of a country. What a pathetic, narcissistic joke. And what a tragedy for America.

    February 2, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  20. Granite Sentry

    It's not just hunting that needs to be protected here; it's the right to possess and carry personal protection weapons. Don't be fooled by this crumb the Left is willing to toss out to quiet opposition to their eventual goal - no guns without strict government supervision and control.

    February 2, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  21. Josephine Huyghe

    Heck with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee wants an invitation to Camp David to skeet shoot with the President— she is an enemy. Don't trust her. Instead President Obama should invite people like me who campaigned, donated and voted for him and continue to wish him him the best in all he does.

    February 2, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Rushikey

    Republican at its worst => Rep. Marsha Blackburn. Challenging president for I'll go skeet shooting? Common your are a politician not a hunter. Beating President in skeet shooting will not make you President. Grow Up!! :)

    February 2, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  23. Name lynn

    People took picture of obama skeet shooting, wheres the other white presidents pictures where they shooting their guns or skeet shooting. Why obama people showing picture of the black president skeet shooting, an we havent seen pictures of the white presidents.

    February 2, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    I think it is a sorry day when persons refuse to believe something the President of the US says and he has to produce a photo.

    February 2, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Ron

    1. A 'rifleman' is not the same as a shotgunner 2. He must be shooting skeets on the ground (look out everyone!!) 3. He looks about as comfortable as Don Knotts shouldering that shotgun.

    February 2, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
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