Rep. responds to Obama: 'You believe in socialism'
January 26th, 2011
09:13 AM ET
12 years ago

Rep. responds to Obama: 'You believe in socialism'

(CNN) – The State of Union address may have appeared to be a more civil affair to viewers at home, but at least one Republican congressman was launching some fiery rhetoric on Twitter as President Obama spoke.

Tweeting during the president's speech in the confines of his office, Georgia Rep. Paul Broun said at one point, "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."

The tweet was sent under the handle @RepPaulBrounMD, the account the congressman uses for his congressional duties. (Broun also has a separate account, @PaulBrounforGA, that he uses for political purposes.) The remark quickly circulated on Twitter, with some users comparing it to Rep. Joe Wilson's famous "You Lie" outburst two years ago.

Several of Broun's other instant responses to the president were also sharply critical:
"All children will be poor if we continue with Obama's policies #fb"

"From my seat, Obama's call for more investments sounds like more govt spending #fb #SOTU #TCOT"

If the govt would get out of the way, we could have innovation and development"

A Broun spokesperson was not immediately available for comment. But according to Roll Call, the congressman has watched the last few State of the Union Addresses from his office so he can tweet during the debate.

Broun did part on a somewhat positive note, however: "Good speech-but long on hope and short on reality."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. The unsub

    The main problem with some Republicans is that they are too busy labeling my president a Socialist instead of working together to solve problems. Who is this guy Broun?

    January 26, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. dave

    If Obama was a socialist, he would have tried to socialize medicine - instead he is giving private insurance companies 30 million new customers

    If Obama was a socialist he would have nationalizee the oil companies that are robbing us blind and killing their workers and ruining our coast line

    If Obama was a socialist he would have Wall Street bankers in jail

    January 26, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. MosesMurphy71

    Typical rightist BS. It was amazing, in fact, that to listen to BOTH Republican responses last night you'd have thought this nation was thriving when Bush left office. Neither speech was even a response to the President's SoU address, so much as setting groundwork for 2012. The nation needs BOTH sides to invest in ONE plan, not one side with altruistic ideas and the other holding on for dear life to the FREEDOM to feed their faces constantly. Broun is the stereotypical GOP punk – long on keyboard courage, short on tangible action. Stop bashing what ideas are on the table and bring your own, or shut up.

    January 26, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Asher Webb

    anyone remember mcCarthyism. People claiming Obama is a socialist are entirely wrong (ask any socialist - the people who are claiming Obama is a socialist probably have never read one book on socialism.) On top of this they are dangerous - if it were up to them we would still have child labor sweatshops and thugs opening fire on people striking for decent working conditions. My advise to the republican who tweeted this - get an education and read a few books!

    January 26, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    What a jerk and a coward! Tweeting from his office ... aren't you paid to attend these events? What a waste of space and air this guy is ...

    January 26, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. Joe

    What a self indulgent narcissistic twit. He just has to call attention to himself while the president of the united states is center stage. And to make matters worse, he has absolutely nothing to say.

    January 26, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Blake

    "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."

    I would love to hear Broun debate that point with someone who knows something about socialism and the Constitution.
    Twitter is for cowards who don't have the courage to make their comments where they will have to defend or answer for them. What Georgia Rep. Paul Broun' conclusory teeting says about him is that he is a run of the mill idiot Republican looking for some type of notoriety by displaying his ignorance.

    January 26, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. Bill

    Long on hope, short on reality. That pretty much says it all. Thanks Mr President for STILL not getting it.

    January 26, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  9. John

    Broun has made a fool of himself.

    January 26, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Shawn

    This is why the Tea Party is the bane of our country. They simply under no circumstances will work with anyone. To them there is a my side and your side way about things. It's never about the whole country. It's only about them having a fight for the sake of fighting. They don't even care if they are destroying our country. Even if Obama came up with an idea that they would have thought of and liked they will fight it to the end just because it was Obama that came up with it. It has nothing to do with whether it's good for the country or not. It's about fighting.

    Its not about attending a speech. It's about sitting in your office and insulting someone. It's disrespectful, completely unproductive and it's at the expense of hard working Americans. You are sitting in an office playing games with twitter on OUR DOLLAR. Get your butt to work and quit messing around. Grow up!!

    Middle of the road folks we need to come together in the next election and vote these idiots out. They are not representing us at all.

    January 26, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. John

    Really ashamed that this guy is from my state, and used to be my representative.

    January 26, 2011 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. jason

    Can we please get beyond this socialism non sense. If people do some research they'll find that many of Obama's stances(health care mandate,cap & trade) were Republican ideas several years ago. Let's end the rhetoric.

    January 26, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  13. Anonymous

    This man got thorugh medical school without learning anything. to claim our President is a socialist is laughable. It too bad there isn't a civics exam for anyone wanting ot put their name on a ballot.

    January 26, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. mfhpr

    I simply can't believe what I hear from these whackos. From their perspective, if you're not greedy and selfish, you're a socialist. Every time I hear Obama speak I am inspired to reach out to help others. I've paid millions in taxes and will continue to do so. I'm proud that our leader is preaching support for one another and progress for our youth. He continues to push for U.S. dominance in industry and these nuts refuse to believe and acknowledge it. How anyone can be so closed-minded and selfish is beyond me...

    January 26, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. JC

    Yeah yeah..same old story. I'm so sick of these clowns who have absolutely nothing to offer except criticism. Stick to Minneapolis airport washrooms. That's where you excel.

    January 26, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. Dave

    I live in the South, and I wish these Southern politicians would stop giving us a bad name by making ignorant statements like Broun did. I don't know how the Republican party expects to be taken seriously when they keep making crazy, alarmist claims. Anyone who thinks Obama is a "socialist" has zero understanding of socialism.

    January 26, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Russ

    And his big ideas are? What a low life. Negative, negative, negative. Sneak into your office so you can bad mouth the President. Boy that's patriotism!!! The story of the Republican/Tea Party. Why would anyone want these doomsayers in Congress.

    January 26, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Mike

    Broun is obviously a right-wing hack who massages reality to fit his own narrow-minded, twisted and negative perceptions. Saying that the dully elected president of the United States of America doesn't believe in the Constitution is akin to calling him a tratior, that is not acceptable and indicates Brouns lack of decency and morality.

    January 26, 2011 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Don

    It's all class all the time for Republicans. What a patriot.

    January 26, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. ED

    Why are you giving this fool any attention??

    January 26, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  21. TheProgram

    looks like he was tossing a few back as he tweeted. bitter little man.

    January 26, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  22. non-partisan in Georgia

    Rep. Broun, if by "socialism," do you mean the economic and political theory of socialism, or Marxism? An educated man like you should know there is a huge difference. I think you may be confused. Socialism as an economic theory is a common element in our capitalist society. Ironic, isn't it?

    For example, common ownership (e.g., of companies) is a tenant of economic socialism. Therefore, owning stocks or "stakes" in publically shared company assets is a form of economic socialism.

    The minimization of hierarchal political structures is a tenant of political socialism. Sounds a lot like the Republican calls for less government, doesn't it?

    When one looks closely at the actual definitions of these theories, it would appear that perhaps you yourself are a socialist. The only question is what sort of socialist are you?

    January 26, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. DIANA

    Before I make my comment on this, has anybody noticed that it seemed like it was past Justice Gingsberg's bedtime? Twice, she had her head down like she was asleep. Boehner looked constipated and had an expression – "I'm not going to applaude, I'm not going to applaude".

    That's the only thing Republicans seem to know how to say, socialism, socialism, socialism, with no solutions. The speech was great and inspiring. I was ready to go invent something afterwards. Broun seemed to have forgotten that homelessness peaked during Regan and Bush.

    The Republican response, on the other hand made me want to go kill myself, it was so depressing. I didn't hear any plans on how they were going to fix this mess and the seem to have a short term memory as to who got us in this mess in the first place. I wish I saw Bachman's response but I wonder who she was talking to. Maybe it was one of the voices in her head.

    January 26, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. RTrax

    Note to Republican Party: hire Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Trace Beaulieu to write snarky comments during next year's State of the Union speech. This guy bombed.

    January 26, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Peter s

    Thats another moron who can't even define whats socialism!!

    January 26, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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