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. Ireadit3

    Lol ok. So now he is Mr. Firearms all of a sudden. They have no shame.

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

    NRA has minority members too. Many good citizens of all races are sportmen/women and even those who enjoy the sport and are police. The small minded and those who believe in discrimination forget this is America to all Americans not just the Republicans or Tea Party. My Dad was a police officer and we went to the shooting range to be taugt how wto use a gun responsible. Now the only excuse the NRA Chairman has for making safe laws is that criminals wont obey them well that's nothing new.

    February 2, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Ken from FL

    Not exactly the look and stance of a guy who shoots "all the time."

    February 2, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  4. BPepik

    You can tell that backlash of his anti-gun (really anti-freedom) policies is so bad – that Obama has to “prove” his love of guns.. Totally hilarious!

    February 2, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. brs

    Very good shot...... Must have got that clay discs when it was first released looking at the angle on that shot gun. Good shot that is if he did not miss it.

    February 2, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Mark

    I feel sorry for those poor skeets. Skeets are people too.

    February 2, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. sara

    Do these people really think this is about a shot gun for hunting? Get over it. We all know that the ones who are buying and advocating semi-auto weapons to use against fellow Americans are on an Ego trip. Maybe, attempting to cover up the reality that they are powerless cowards that are inept in other ways in their lives. So they pack a semi-auto....no, 'strap on" one and parade around our country seeking out other Americans to kill. Solution....Send all of them to Syria. That should fill their egos.

    February 2, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. Targar54

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

    February 2, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. oscar

    interesting, he's a cross-dominant shooter.

    February 2, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. GaryOwen27

    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!

    February 2, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Old White Consevative Male

    Has he complete a gun safty course yet? The NRA has a very good course to offer if not.

    February 2, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Geoz

    "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.

    Blackburn later apologized for her assumption laden questions? Yea......................... still waiting on that.

    February 2, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Guesteppi

    Look at that. I thought he was lying about skeet shooting to garner support for his bans on freedom (guns) but now I can clearly see that he's a terrorist Muslim training for jihad. Every time this "president" opens his mouth the truth becomes more clear.

    February 2, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  14. Truth

    I thought he didn't do photos at Camp David. I still don't buy it. You have to be an idiot to actually believe this man shoot skeet all the time. The lies roll off his tongue so easy that America has become numb to it. The evidence is how few, especially the media, don't care this man tried to cover up an act of terrorism with some stupid video story. Someone needs to create a website with a list of all his lies. Proven lies like Benghazi. And likely likes like his frequent skeet shooting.

    February 2, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  15. Jim

    Didn't know the president was left handed?
    Be kind of cool if they had a video clip of him hitting one.

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

    Wow. I'm not even a Photoshop expert and I can see the "magic". How very pathetic.

    February 2, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. BeReasonable

    I'd pay real money to see that contest with Rep. Blackburn... it'll work on so many levels.

    February 2, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Lintlicker

    I like how people find every way to attack our President ! He likes to keep things private , unlike most people who would post anything and everything about themselves.

    February 2, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Martha in CF

    Yes, and how many more times will Obama have to show proof on anything. I would tell the skeptics(redumblicans) to go take a flying leap!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 2, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. skytag

    This exemplifies the sad state of political debate in this country. Shooting skeet is a lot of fun, but I couldn't care less if Obama does it, or if there are pictures of him shooting a shotgun. Blackburn's comments were beyond childish. Why should anyone care if she's better at skeet than the president? Are we really supposed to believe important policy decisions should be influenced by who is better at skeet? I'm having a hard time remembering the last time we as a country debated a major policy issue like adults.

    February 2, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    lmao He looks so awkward shooting that shotgun. The photo must be fairly recent due to his gray hair. I bet it was a publicity stunt to show that he isn't TOTALLY against the use of firearms... lol

    February 2, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. my2sense

    Huh...It just occurred to me that that may be the first time I've seen a black person shooting a gun that wasn't a cop or a criminal in the media. Would be interested to hear any feedback/stories of black hunters/sportsman, and the extent of the tradition within the black community in this country. Could be an interesting discussion for BH month.

    February 2, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. K Long

    Lead in Headline is wrong. That is not a rifle, it is a shotgun! Big difference. If you are going to write about guns, know what you are talking about!

    February 2, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. S

    This is fine because it is a shotgun. It is not an automatic assault weapon. I am all for gun ban only on military weapons or assault weapons that are categorized as one.

    February 2, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. Kevin

    First it doesn't look like a shotgun.
    Second you don't skeet shoot with a rifle.

    February 2, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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