September 29th, 2009
08:27 PM ET
13 years ago

Franks aide clarifies 'enemy of humanity' comment

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="In a recent speech to conservative activists, Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks said President Obama was 'an enemy of humanity.'"]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A spokeswoman for a Republican congressman who called President Obama "an enemy of humanity" said Tuesday that he should have clarified that he was talking about the president's policies on abortion.

Bethany Haley, a spokeswoman for Arizona Rep. Trent Franks, told CNN on Tuesday the congressman was actually referring to "unborn humanity" - a specific reference to the president's policies on abortion.

Franks used the term in a speech to conservative activists Saturday in St. Louis, pointing to Obama's decision to aid international family planning clinics that perform abortions.

"A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity," Franks said.

Franks' speech was recorded by the liberal group People for the American Way.

In an interview with the Washington Independent after the speech, Franks also renewed a call for Obama to produce a copy of his birth certificate to end the questions by "birthers" who doubt the president's birthplace. Franks said he had once considered filing a lawsuit to get it, but did his own investigation and became convinced that the president was born in the United States.

Haley called the controversy a "silly debate" and said it is "ridiculous that the president doesn't just produce [the birth certificate] and make it go away." In the interview, Franks implied that the president might be trying to hide something else.

"Probably, Barack Obama could solve this problem and make the birthers, you know, back off, by simply showing us his long-form birth certificate," Franks said. "That'd solve the problem. There's some other issue, I don't know what it is, that he doesn't want people to see the birth certificate on."

Filed under: Abortion • Extra • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (298 Responses)
  1. Jim

    I am ashamed of the hateful rhetoric we seem to have throughout this country, especially by so-called conservatives. We have a fascist dialogue similar to what we witnessed in Mussolini's Italy and Hitler's Germany. Our rules of democracy require civilized behavior and respect for our legitimately elected leaders, regardless of one's own political views.

    September 29, 2009 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  2. Bill of Florida

    How idiotic does this representative think we are when she says that Trent Franks "should have clarified that he was talking about the president's policies on abortion." No, he said "A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity." He doesn't owe an explanation; he owes an apology to the President. Furthermore, who is he to put himself in the place of judgment over President Obama as if he were God? Better yet, who are the members of the religious right to put themselves in the placement of judgment over us as if they were God? There is only one judge over all the earth, and He is not Trent Franks, James Dobson or even the Pope. You who are calling the kettle black have no room to judge.

    September 29, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. B

    THIS IS NOT NEWS, Why does CNN report news like this? The guy is a republican and he is trashing Obama, OH NO, stop the presses. This just in, dogs don't like cats!

    September 29, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. An Ex-NC-Pub

    Bush and these religious-Republican-judgemental-righteous-bigots were in office and contraol for eight years.... what in the he%& did they do to stop abortion.

    This man is an idiot and a coward to not own up to us own stupid remark as he hides behind a spokeswoman.

    September 29, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  5. willie

    Instead of mainstream Republicans denouncing the face book poll and demanding the extreme right of their party to stop the madness. (R) Congressman Franks shouts "Obama is an enemy to humanity". the very next day. I am a independent who have supported Reagan, Bush Senior, Kerry and Obama. However, I will never be able to pull the lever again for a Republican. There were good republicans in the past, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior is proof of that. But it seems their kind is gone forever leaving hate filled bigots and violence instigators.

    September 29, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. Nari Kannan

    Repubicans will keep up the hyberbole till the last three leave and turn out the lights!

    September 29, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  7. Ash

    I'm not a Republican, but it's people like these that give the party a bad name. Only when they take God out of their platform and stop listening to that crazy section of their base will they be able to accomplish anything productive and move ahead instead of behind.

    September 29, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  8. Kaci

    Let these nuts continue. The more they put this insanity out there, the more tape we have of them saying it. With people leaving the republican party by the droves from sheer embarrassment, it appears no with with a modicum of integrity wants to stop this train. But let them keep it up. They are makins such asses of themselves and the majority of Americans are much smarter than they give them credit for. All of this will absolutely backfire in 2010 and 2012. The party of hate will not be allowed to govern again – EVER!

    September 29, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  9. once upon a horse

    either CNN gets the worst pictures or all these right wing Republicans they show here look like they're WACKO. Just looking at this guy's photo looks to me like he has a couple of dots missing on his dice.

    September 29, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  10. Albert - Canada

    Are you kinding. This guy is a total nut case. Obama has done more for humanity in the short time he has been in office than both bushes put together.

    September 29, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. B

    for those that hate all republicans in the US then you yourself are an enemy of humanity

    September 29, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Had enough of the republicans!!

    When voting in the midterm electioins, just remember who has blocked helath reform!!! Maybe some of you can afford $12,000 a year for premiums, but most people can't!!! Thank a republican when you go bankrupt from healthcare!!!

    You people will say anything to try to derail our democracy!!!

    September 29, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  13. all

    Enemy of humanity. I figure we're only a month or two away from open calls for assassination from Fox "News" and other luminaries like Michele Bachmann. Maybe even Palin will get in on it for fear of being left out.

    A lesson for Conservatives: Most people did not vote for Bush the second time around because they thought he was that good. It was because they thought Kerry was that bad (and he was).

    Keep it up guys- the more hysterical you shreiking loons get, the more likely it is that Obama will win again in 2012.

    September 29, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Hate speech by Republicans in the name of God. I'll PRAY for them, buyt never VOTE for them.

    September 29, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  15. chuma

    It's high time Americans held their leaders accountable for their utterances. Whether you are liberal or conservative, pro-life or pro-choice, the statements that have been uttered by politicians lately are deeply disturbing. First, it was "you lie," blurted right in the middle of the President's congressional address. Now, Rep Franks has taken the vitriol to a new level by calling President Obama an "enemy of humanity." Just lay aside partisan sentiments for a moment, these comments are incendiary and deeply disturbing! We mustn't wait for calamity to awaken our sensibilities. I am pleading with the media to help, too, by not attempting to understand whatever flimsy explanations these men have to offer. Let their utterances be strongly rebutted.
    If the President was made to recalibrate his comments to the Cambridge Police, I see no reason why comments like this can't be retracted and a genuine apology offered.

    September 29, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  16. spike

    Buffoonish statements like this make me ashamed to be a republican. So what does this buffoon want people to do to this "enemy" of humanity? "Enemy of humanity" sounds like a term that might apply to hitler or pol pot, but not Obama or any president of the US.

    September 29, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  17. Brad W.

    Why does god constantly come up when Republicans speak. What god... Baal, Thor, Zeuss, Yahweh, or any of the other thousand or more gods that have existed? Republicans can't help but hide behind their imaginary god concept. As for abortion... I agree it's a tricky subject, but to villify the issue like they do is just plain disgusting.

    September 29, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  18. Mitch

    Trent should resign for being an idiot, not for his remarks. Secondly, can the GOP please explain to this country....WHY....WHY...are they so bent on destroying this president that 60 million people voted for when they have NOTHING to offer. WIth as intellectually challenged GWB is, he was never treated with the contempt, hate and down right lies and garbage they throw at Obama.

    And what is waiting in the wings? A Fox Pundit with the credibility of Hitler, a former Mass Gov. who plays president with an empty resume or the brain dead barbie who's memoir is titled with the contempt remark to show people hate her.

    THe GOP is the party of treason.

    September 29, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  19. T'SAH from Virginia

    YOU LIE spokeswoman!!!!

    FRANKSfurter said what he meant and he meant what he said!!! FRANKSfurter justified that by asking for a copy of President Obama's birth certificate after the speech!!! He's part of the same HOT DOGS that attend the town hall meetings.... LET THE FUNDRAISING BEGIN!!!

    Be Careful – If you REPUBLI-CAN’Ts keep this up, your far-right donors are going broke!!!

    September 29, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  20. Zap B.

    That headline had me thinking, ah, Ahmadinejad at it again. Nope, it's another kind of enemy to America, conservative activists.

    September 29, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. paul

    Republicans and their slave folowers are the real enemy of the people of america and the humanity.

    September 29, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Paul

    Obama is not an enemy of ALL humanity – just the United States.

    September 29, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Cookie

    Really, Mr. Franks, what are you thinking? It's okay to bring children into a world of poverty and then not provide them with anything else? That's so Christian of you. Get off the birth certificate binge. We're all tired of it. And really I do believe that the majority of Americans want health care reform and they want it now. I even know small business men who want the Public Option. Imagine that!

    Such hateful language from someone who proclaims to be a Christian. What would Jesus do and really, what would Jesus think of you, Mr. Franks?

    September 29, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Tigga

    First, he is a communist, then a socialist, then a marxist and now an enemy of humanity? Wow. Is it just me or are we still talking about policy disagreements here with responsible elected officials? Or
    are we are we talking about these republicans who are frankly acting like untamed animals in a zoo?

    Shameful. I mean, one thing is to disagree with this President on policies, but to call him an enemy of humanity? Disgusting and barbaric.

    September 29, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. Chris

    Most God fearing people, both Republicans and Democrats, want to see the unborn child live. It's the far left that has the majority in office right now and Obama, like the others, believe in letting a woman 'kill' her unborn child simply by choosing to kill it. God will seek retribution won't he?

    September 29, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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