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. Anonymous

    there is more importend things to talk about then President Obama shooting -practicion at Camp-David...oh well there is always sombody out there that has somten to say..so wy not let's do somten about it America!

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

    Staged photo, obiously not skeet shooting, and if you have to ask how you can tell, then you don't know skeet shooting...

    February 2, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Donald Trump

    Next thing you know, they will want to see his birth certificate!

    February 2, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Beezz123456789

    What does this have to do with anything that matters. Morons! Write news, not your dam opinion. I don't care if the President goes giggin for frogs... Who cares that he knows what end of the rifle to hold. THIS IS NOT IMPORTANT. Leave him alone! He is obliviously busy! He can't make things right in this world, because of all the dam red stinkin tape he has to go through each time he says a word. Really, CNN? Come on!

    February 2, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. iamgrunge

    Don't need a 30-round AR-15 to enjoy sport shooting.

    February 2, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  6. Angry_Wiseman

    The shooting of skeet, being necessary to the entertainment of elitist politicians, the right of the people to bear shotguns selected from a pre-approved list shall not be infringed.

    February 2, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  7. Just Me

    I reach for the 12Ga. pump first then the 9mm and then the ar-15 with a 42 round mag. And if I have time I dial 911. And wait for them. :-)

    February 2, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  8. Miles Kansas

    It won't be good enough. He'll be accused of staging the photo, or doctoring it in some way. It's birthirism all over again. It's a shame that this president has to continually verify things about himself. A disturbing pattern has developed.

    February 2, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. here come the teabags

    Here come the teabags.. They should worried about one of own down in bama who kidnapped a child.

    But yeah I know thats his liberty.

    February 2, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. ps

    c an you say photo op

    February 2, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. Tammy Lozano

    Hunting animals for sport? Sports are suppose to be thrilling, If someone finds it thrilling to kill a young deer or mom bear caring for its cubs then thats just gross, besides some hunters are bad shots or drunk, usually just leaving the animal in pain to go off and bleed out somewhere. I guess thats why they want semi automatics...so that cant miss.

    February 2, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. Gary

    Why does the link on the main page say "Rifleman Obama revealed in photo"?

    February 2, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. AstoriaJerry

    Why does this gun have an orange muzzle tip and CO2 coming out of the vented barrel? Where is the flame? And why no kick? That gun is either really huge or Obama is not 6' tall. Google "Airsoft Guns" Oh yeah, unless you are really good at skeet shooting, they should launch the clay pigeons in the air higher. that's where the birds fly and is safer for everyone around. Especially if your are going to shoot next to a road.

    February 2, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Ron B

    the President needs to take McCaim to Camp David and shoot some with him, but not at him

    February 2, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  15. R3v0lutionBorg

    Whether or not Obama shoots a shotgun at clay targets or not has no relevance to what is happening to the United States of America. The gun-grabbers are trying to disarm the citizens, and Obama seems to be going along with their plans. Otherwise, he would have shut them down a long time ago. If you facilitate evil, you are just as responsible. The globalist elite NWO criminals who rule the world have Obama in their back pockets. That much is clear. And he will continue to support their agenda, while the citizens are thrown under the bus. Look at all the new taxes Obamacare is going to dump on the people. If Obamacare really "cared" about anyone, it sure wouldn't put more financial strain on people who are already scraping by!

    February 2, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. Jack

    Shuck and jive Mr. President. Shuck and jive.

    February 2, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Next, of course, the Republicans will claim the photo is phony. They should know all about phony....they live, eat, drink, and preach phoniness.

    February 2, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Jbo

    Typical of uneducated media, headline on main page declares Obama as a rifleman, they obviously do not understand that their is a difference between a rifle and a shotgun. Just another small reminder that the media is uneducated when it comes to firearms and gun control and are leading the sheeple into thinking they are a bad thing. I don't have much respect for Obama, but seeing him with a gun in his hands for recreation should make all the "gunbanners" heads spin at their "glorious and perfect" leader, win for me!

    February 2, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Mudkips

    Obama is firing a shotgun, not a rifle. Shows how well the media knows firearms.

    February 2, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  20. skeptic

    Ummm why's the rifle parallel to the ground if he's shooting skeet? Looks like he's standing at the side of a road shooting into a field. Seems contrived to me, and this photo being released now is quite coincidental with the gun legislation.

    February 2, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  21. Tim

    First, it is a shotgun, not a rifle. Secondly, hunting and/or skeet shooting has nothing to do with assault rifles. People need to realize that people can be "gun people" but also want to eliminate assault weapons and extended clips. Wake up people.

    February 2, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  22. Patrish

    Whining Republicans never happy.

    February 2, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  23. Harald

    "One could say this photo shoots down any remaining skepticism"
    I'm not sure about that........Tomorrow Donald Trump will tweet that this pic is fake.

    February 2, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  24. Dark Space

    I really could care less if he shoots skeet or not, it really doesn't have anything to do with the second amendment which makes no mention of hunting or sport, but is very clear that the people have a right to bear arms. A debate on this subject is fine, and additional training and regulation required for all participants in shooting guns (and cars) is a good thing in my opinion. However, I will call b.s. on the statement below:
    {Carney added, "When he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.”}

    Although he may be shooting a low house clay from station 8, his angle of attack still seems a little too low. Maybe he's just a bad shot and shoots low and misses all the clays. If you're not a skeet shooter, Google "skeet shooting" and note how the gun is typically at an upward angle when firing (because the clays are being flung through the air). Posing for photographs is fine too, but just don't deny it.

    February 2, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. jOE

    Show his birth certificate !

    February 2, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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