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. Jeauxntx

    For the benefit of your cub reporter a rifle(headline) and a shotgun(story line) are two different critters. It has to do with the design of the barrel and the type of projectile discharged. The President is using a shotgun on those helpless skeet..

    February 2, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. smithdp

    That gun lovin Obama.

    February 2, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  3. wetlettuce1966

    The fact that this is considered news at all speaks to why our national media is a complete and utter failure. Gregory Wallace, Shirley Henry, Ashley Killough and Kevin Liptak should all be ashamed of themselves. Why don't you go and cover something that actually matters, like poverty, climate change, violence against women or the huge and increasing inequality in this country?

    February 2, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. SmartMom

    What a horrible thing to show off his shooting when 20 babies were just killed by guns. I will not be voting for Obama again!

    February 2, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Alice

    I bet at the time this was taken someone said "we must never let this picture of O shooting a gun be made public"

    February 2, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. WiredweirdinSF

    Another 170,000 people joined the 8 million who have stopped looking for jobs last month. Old Hussein Obama, the most corrupt, inept, incompetent, union toady president we have ever had sure know how to make that look like economic progress to the idiots who voted for him (most of them several times during each election if they were union members).

    February 2, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. MIke

    Please. I have a picture of me in a Sprint Cup car, it doesn't make me a race car driver.

    February 2, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. No one

    Its just a gun, whats the big surprise? Its like they're trying to prove he's a woman or something.
    As far as going shooting with the president, yeah the secret service is very much down with that, especially with the nutcases we have in office.

    February 2, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Brian

    Okay so a shotgun is not a rifle.

    February 2, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Brian

    "Hey, we don't have photo's of the President going to the bathroom. That must mean he's constipated." Tea Party is just a collection of morons, a majority of them fueled by their own bigotry while sustained on fear and ignorance. You know, like Marsha Blackburn.

    February 2, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. JimmyC

    Blackburn is just the kind of person we need to retire from public service. Conservative ? Fine as long as you're intelligent. Same with liberal. I'm ok with points of view that are arrived at intelligently, as long as they are without contention towards those with different views.

    February 2, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Tracy

    try....shotgun!

    February 2, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. TickedinNY

    Ok, so they say:
    "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."

    So WHY exactly are they putting yet more useless plans into laws? Why aren't they addressing the real problem(s), with violence in our society? Politicians today are so out of touch with (reality) normal Americans, it's rediculous.

    February 2, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Farrok

    Everyone like to shoot Trap even our President............ It's fun (; Our President is a very good man and I highly respect Him.

    February 2, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. EddyL

    Now the right-wingers can shut their stupid mouths.

    February 2, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. The Elephant in the Room

    The only thing that this photo proves is that the Democrats can outflank the Teapublicans [like Marsha Blackburn] at every turn – fiscal cliff to debt ceiling to immigration.

    The President`s use of a shotgun is wholely irrelevant to his authority & moral duty to combat gun violence.

    The GOP`s stupidity in challenging Mr. Obama`s veracity is simply the next installment on the "BIRTHER" caliber diatribes that his unprincipled HATERS have embraced.

    February 2, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. SnowMom

    That's not a rifle, it's a shotgun.

    February 2, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Baby Killer!!! He needs to have his weapons removed from him to protect our children!!

    February 2, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. Aiming Too Low

    It seems for skeet shooting that he's actually aiming too low. Most that I've witnessed are shooting clay pigeons flung up higher. Anyone else having any insight?

    February 2, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Edward C

    Is he shooting skeet, or a mounted target? 90 degree angle of the barrel indicates the latter.

    February 2, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Ressurrection

    Please forgive my confusion but why to we care if he skeet shoots?

    February 2, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Joe Plumber

    So Obama is supposed to be trusted as a pro-gun guy now? Obama kisses babies, too, but the same kid kissed he'd have had aborted or stuck in the back of the head with a pair of scissors half out of its mother's womb in a partial birth abortion (because, newsflash, that's how it's done, folks).

    February 2, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. doofus

    Man, I'd love to skeet shoot with him! I'd prob get roflpwnt though considering how out of practice I am.

    February 2, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Retired Marine

    At least the President knows how to properly handle a shotgun. He didn't shoot anybody like some Rep. VP did once! So much for Repubs & NRA gun safety training...

    February 2, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. skeeter

    Bwahahahahahaha! Are you serious!? Just by the pic you can tell this person doesnt shoot on any regular basis. This is the person who claims he knows my best interest with respect to firearms!? Bwahahahahaha! Was he shooting with Piers Morgan!?

    February 2, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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