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. OhComeOn

    Oh come on now, Next we will HAVE to see him smokin a fatty or sukn a di ck because he supports weed reform or gays? Everyone sayin without pics it didnt happen can now shut it but I guess it wont happen. I will say that I personally think this is a staged photo because of the debate about gun control measures. So when the debate about finalizing gay rights make head lines again I will fully expect to see that di ck sukn photo...you know cause he does suk!

    February 2, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Blue

    Eat Crow Marsha! You are such an air-head and she is from my home state. Sorry!

    February 2, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. James

    I am not sure that this actually "proves" anything, but I do think it was taken before winter (based on color of foliage in background).

    February 2, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. le

    man i remember the days hangin with obongo he loved the blunts and getting drunk high and shooting some skeet

    February 2, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  5. Rob

    :)

    February 2, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  6. Jessica

    The NRA, Faux Fringe News and their Warmongering Repubitard can find something else to bash Obama.

    February 2, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. Sarah/Dumfries,VA

    I knew the president was telling the truth,Republicans are bunch of racist liars & evil so they think everyone is like them

    February 2, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  8. Mr. N.

    Um, that is a double barreled shotgun. It has smoothbore barrels which means it has no rifling.

    "Rifleman Obama," indeed. Do they take a poll on CNN whereby whoever knows the least about firearms gets to right about them?

    February 2, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  9. Brian in DC

    Pretty comical in that is the skeet running? Also, why no cap, ammo jacket, etc? Why is the gas release 90 degrees from the muzzle? He shoots so darn often it took the WH a week to find a photo.

    February 2, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. glorydays

    Aren't people silly?

    February 2, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  11. Dane

    LMAO at them releasing this photo. Who are they trying to kid?

    February 2, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. Brian in DC

    Looks like the first and last time he ever shot a shotgun.

    February 2, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  13. alex

    God bless you President Obama – America is with you! Yes we can ban WMDs!!!

    February 2, 2013 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Rick Springfield

    Skeet shooting is a noble sport so he would naturally be drawn to it. Oh my god, I almost gagged saying that. I'm sure he did it because it has been the sport of gentlemen and women through the recent ages. But I have a lot of trouble seeing anything but the smidge of hypocrisy in the photo. Even Biden says get a security shotgun like an 18" 870 for your home. I totally agree. I fire off my .357 mag in my home one night thinking it was an intruder (I live alone). It went through 3 walls. Thankfully it was in a high crime area and nobody even called the police. A shotgun is much better for home defense.

    February 2, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. 75Ranger

    Why does that O/U only have an extended choke in the top tube? This picture is meaningless – apparently according to USMC sources, the only time Obama shoots clays is at the President's Cup – a skeet tournament for the USMC guard force; and that Obama shows up for an obligatory few shots, thanks the Marines and leaves. I believe "awkward" was the description.

    February 2, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Jerry

    Shotguns are good for skeet...but I have never been robbed or assaulted by a skeet. And what do you do if a mob of skeet come at you during a skeet riot?

    February 2, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Alex

    Rep. Marsha Blackburn calling the President of the United States a liar. Disrespectful. If she doesn't apologize in the wake of being proven wrong, then she's has no class either.

    February 2, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. Yvonne Edelman

    If Rep. Blackburn has any more snarky remarks about Obama and photos of him shooting a gun – Let us counter with asking her to produce photos of the Al Queda training camps outside the US-Mexico border fence as she has said are there – We need many less like her in our government

    February 2, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. Mike Turner

    What a crock of crap. If there has ever been a staged photo, this is it!

    February 2, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  20. chuckf

    I have never seen him shoot a gun or are there pictures of him???? why must every person challenge or even act like this? every one in our government is a joke. i think i see better behavior and better results from my daughters kindergarden class..
    we see the dumb games and the stupid comments back and forth. it is time to clean house. put in some term limits.

    February 2, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Mike Turner

    For a "skeet shooter", his stance is crap and I seriously doubt he would know the make and model of weapon he is holding nor what round he was using.

    February 2, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. chuckf

    marsha, marsha, marsha, now i think you need to man up and say you were wrong? or i guess your words were twisted?

    February 2, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. Veteran in VA

    Sure is a great thing that all those noble folks up on Capitol Hill are so deeply involved in worrying over whether or not the President has actually shot skeet.

    Hey, how's that budget coming along, folks?

    February 2, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Targar54

    Republicans think they are doings themvels good by saying these stupit nonsense about the president. Good luck in 2016

    February 2, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. b-john

    A) It's not a rifle as the headline implies. B) He doesn't shoot shotguns regularly or he'd be using earplugs rather than muffs. Muffs get in the way when trying to shoulder the gun. Nice try, but epic fail if he's trying to spin himself into a pro-gun light.

    February 2, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
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