White House releases photo of Obama shooting shotgun
February 2nd, 2013
12:06 PM ET
1 year 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. Chris

    They don't believe in the moon landing, they'll never believe this. It must be photoshopped!

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

    Marsha Blackburn = moron

    February 2, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Daryl

    One photo puts this to rest? How is it that CNN practically laps up anything Obama says but tenaciously tries to refute every tidbit of news that makes Obama look bad? The fact is, Obama almost certainly exaggerated when he made the claim about shooting "all the time". He probably posed for that photo and probably hated every minute of it.

    February 2, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. nymets71087

    Wow, first comment. Nice to read an article without scrolling down to find empty, one-sided arguments between people who can't even see each other. Within an hour, this comment page will be dominated by lunatics from both ends of the spectrum.

    February 2, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. spenteco

    When is that bastion of teabag, gun-toton' mama, Blackburn gonna release photos of her award winning rootin', tootin',Annie Oakley marksmanship? I would be interested if she is capable of putting her money where big mouth is? Aren't both her and her husband combat vets? Sure they are, it's a family tradition.

    February 2, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. George

    I think he should invite Dick Cheny over for a little skeet stooting

    February 2, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. BR

    I rode a horse twice but that doesn't make me a cowboy.

    February 2, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  8. kay peterson

    can't wait to read all of the comments about how this is a doctored photo or using a stunt double! I actually wish they had not acknowledged the call for proof that he every fired a weapon it will just excite the deniers of truth.

    February 2, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. emdub

    OMG a black man with a gun the NRA will not support this

    February 2, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Rosslaw

    Does this mean that Obama won't be impeached now for having the nerve to say to shot skeet?

    February 2, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. jj

    For those whose said he was lying. Here's the evidence...

    February 2, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Grizzly Bear

    Obama shoots his gun, Republicans shoot their mouths.

    February 2, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. BravoShocker

    Don't mess with Obama!

    February 2, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. RunForTheHills

    Obama's problem is that he thinks the solution to criminals getting guns is to prevent law abiding citizens getting guns.

    February 2, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. MosesHorwitz

    Rep Blackburn:
    Good luck getting the necessary clearance to fire a weapon near the President. Somehow, I doubt that's going to happen for you.

    February 2, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  16. MrManhattan

    OK, we've seen Obama with a gun. Now how about we get to see a Republican with a brain?

    February 2, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Well of course they release it now. Gotta give the sheep some ammo to fight against republicans claiming he lied. O wait they don't believe in guns. Better give them a butter knife.

    February 2, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. JoeThePimpernel

    He's obviously not shooting skeet. He is aiming at a stationary target at shoulder-level.

    He's not wearing a shooting vest and is carrying no extra ammo.

    This photo was taken for no other purpose than covering for the lie Obama told when he said he shoots skeet.

    February 2, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Fred Nesbitt

    RE: Rifleman Obama – Brilliant headline, it's a shotgun you dolts, not a rifle. If your going to report on guns, please use the correct terminology. Your ruining your credibility.

    February 2, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. billmelater1

    I find it interesting that there is no kickback. Could he be firing blank?

    February 2, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Independentthoughts

    Well of course they release it now. Gotta give the sheep ammo to use against the republicans saying he lied. O wait they don't believe in guns. Better give them a butter knife.

    February 2, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Dave Harris

    This is the rifle he'll be carrying when he shows up in a black helicopter to take away Republicans' guns. Well, that's what they think.

    February 2, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Martin

    Whatever. This hardly shoots down any remaining skepticism." Unless of course you're an easily fooled idiot. This will play only to the dolts that support his antigun agenda.

    February 2, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Marion

    Ok, I am waiting for the first comment that this photograph was "photoshopped", or it is a fake in some way.

    February 2, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. i4tw

    Interesting...

    The caption says, "Rifleman Obama revealed in photo." And, of course, he's firing a shotgun. Do any of you know anything about anything?

    February 2, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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