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. Jaws3119

    The press is still trying to make Obumer look like a "real man", good luck.

    February 2, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. X

    Who cares! He can do what he wants.

    February 2, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Gil Lopez

    Fake photo! Wrongly mounted gun, poor feet pocision, it's not even a riflle stand. It's obvious he possed for this picture, not really a shooter.

    February 2, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. plain&simple

    Here's the deal...any republican that can out shoot President Obama gets to vote no on any bill he supports for the remainder of his term.....anyone he out shoots votes yes! Any takers??? The president wins!!!!

    February 2, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. Jim Ford

    I go shooting several times a month however I would be hard pressed to find a photo of me with a gun. I did search the web for photos of Rep. Marsha Blackburn with a gun. I didn't see any. What does that mean? Nothing, and that is what we have here someone trying to make something out of nothing. I am NOT in favor of banning ARs however I think Gun show firearm sales registration is a must. Gun Magazines over 30 rounds are not for the general public they are for L.E. and Military folks. Let's be realistic on this issue.

    February 2, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. John N Florida

    I love the way the President and his advisers gleefully let the Republicans and their Fox Friends shoot their mouths off and then shove their own foot in it.
    And everyone thinks Obama doesn't know how to have fun!!

    February 2, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. DB

    At least he didn't wing anyone else while shooting!

    February 2, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Kattrinka

    It seems you believe of others what you know of yourself. Repubs lie, therefore expect others do.

    February 2, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Patines

    As a sport shooting is nice, cans, bottles, etc., but shooting people is not nice, is a crime.

    February 2, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. OneVoice

    Who cares whether the President has been skeet shooting. And literally we don't need to see photos of everything he's done in his spare time either. Next you are going to be asking what the consistency is of his bowels are every day.. Good Grief people give it a break, we have four more years with this President. He is scrutinized for every syllable, every action, and expected to show up or comment on every form of violence that happens in the USA– Seriously people? No other President had the expectations bestowed upon him– that you are commenting and scrutinizing on... so in millions of people's eyes he was bestowed another chance to improve the US– where possible... Instead of the key people working together to help improve the country–they are doing everything possible to undermine his every decision/action... if that's where the Republicans what the US to be– then so be it... The President is willing to listen, compromise and make changes where it makes sense.. Noone from Fox, CNN, Meet the Press or any other government official can convince me otherwise. There are millions of Supporters for the President otherwise he would not have been reelected.. can we move on? There are lots of people that are borderline insane with the potential for violence that are not being treated. Society needs to speak up when you hear, see or know of lunatics around you. Quit worrying about what people might think that you reported it. Profiling every single individual that's been diagnosed for any form of mental incapacity– is that really going to solve the problem? Controls will be put in place to accomplish whatever can be... Look in the mirror, what can you as a society do to help improvement of Gun Violence, Economics, or anything else that you blame one person, the President for not doing?

    February 2, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. PraiseTheLard

    So Rep. Marsha Blackburn asked "Why have we not seen photos?"... I guess she was trying to beat out Donald Trump in being first in line for this particular bit of stupidity....

    February 2, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  12. PraiseTheLard

    So Rep. Marsha Blackburn asked "Why have we not seen photos?"... I guess she was trying to beat out Donald Trump in being first in line for this particular bit of stoopidity....

    February 2, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. hawkeye

    What a redneck :)

    February 2, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. PraiseTheLard

    So Rep. Marsha Blackburn asked "Why have we not seen photos?"... I guess she was trying to beat out Donald Trump in being first in line for this....

    February 2, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. PAR

    "Rifleman Obama" in the link. Yes, President Obama shooting a $10K+ sport specific shotgun will win over the average firearm owner that owns a $500 deer rifle... Right. And he will completely forget that the Magazine an would effectively ban ~85% of handguns in use, 100% of police handguns. But thats alright, because police are statistically safer then the citizens, right? Wrong. In states like FL CCW holders are statistically less likely to be involved in crime then the Officers running around with full auto firearms and body armor.

    February 2, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  16. ncky

    So the assumption is if you have ever held or fired a gun then you automatically have to support the NRA and it is only possible that those of us you have never held or fired a gun would be for gun control. Hello America.....you can be a gun owner and be for gun control too. It's called thinking for yourself....do gun owners honestly think it's OK for the average Joe to own military style weapons with high capacity cartridges? This is not about your hand guns and shooting rifles this is about weapons that do not need to be in the general public. The 2nd amendment was created 200+ years ago in a time of hand loaded muskets not the type of weapons available now.

    February 2, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  17. peridot2

    Damn, that is S.E.X.Y.! Gobama!

    February 2, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  18. mec

    So they produce a photo WAY late into the debate... sorry, sounds like a photo taken recently and doctored to appear to be in the past.

    Had this photo been known to exist at the time when everyone was debating it, it would have been more effective. Sorry CNN, your journalism is again highly biased. "LOOK, A PHOTO WAY LATE! PROOF!"

    February 2, 2013 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  19. jboh

    If the TEA/GOP would stop their policy of President Obama hating, they may have time to do their jobs of doing the nation's business. Hating the guy for beating grumpy McCain shows how childish they are. The flooding of the Whitehouse website w/secession(and other nonsense) is something most "adults" outgrew in jr. high. They reaction to skeet shooting by Rep. Blackburn, and ilk shows them for what they are.

    February 2, 2013 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  20. Buckhippo

    Can we please move on to the REAL issues about gun violence and not if our president is a skeet shooter or not? More distractions....

    February 2, 2013 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Scratchee

    Um, regarding the headline...that's a shotgun, not a rifle.

    February 2, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  22. penny

    For all those who (again) accused the President of lying, enjoy the photo!!

    I know all those who maintain that his birth certificate was forged, will climb on that old bandwagon again and say this was photoshopped, so this pic is for the reasonably sane out there.

    February 2, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. ed

    If he's shooting skeet WHY is his gun so low. I shot skeet and this man is NOT shooting skeet.

    February 2, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. bugmetoo

    (Quick! Go take a picture) Duh see? I like my guns too yuck, yuck!

    February 2, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. brasstacs

    So what ?? this doesn't prove anything...more then likely he doesn't shoot very often and he's certainly is no expert on firearms,and the 2nd amendment isn't about hunting.

    February 2, 2013 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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