White House releases photo of Obama shooting shotgun
February 2nd, 2013
12:06 PM ET
10 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.

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"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. PoliceState

    LOL! Nice staged photo. Proof is he is not wearing a shell bag or a vest. The bag would have 24 more shells in it. A round of trap is 25 rounds. So he just fires one round for the camera and walks away.

    February 2, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  2. Polopoint

    This reminds me of Dukakis in a tank.

    February 2, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  3. mb2010a

    Inviting Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, to a skeet shooting event at Camp David is an excellent idea. Now, if he can just get Dick Cheney to come there on the same day; the problem with Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee may just get solved...

    February 2, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. Colin

    Stop the partisan crap. Who cares if he shot skeet, he's the elected president, he has to be held accountable but he doesn't need to pander to some congressperson. If Obama was an avid shooter and had a skeet shooting blog you Republicans would still be after him because he's attempting to take away your assault rifles.

    People may be the killers but an assault rifle makes you so much more lethal and impossible to stop, especially to armor less children. When your mass shootings outnumber your self defense shootings there is a problem.

    America should stop mistaking anger for passion and hatred for patriotism. All of you should be ashamed because you don't want solutions you want to prove that your side was right all along.

    February 2, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  5. T

    ...........Anybody seen Rush?.........................

    February 2, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. marctheduck

    LOL! Remember when he called Hillary "Annie Oakley" during the 2010 presidential primary? Now he's "The Rifleman".

    February 2, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. jdoggg81

    Sorry ReSNUBlicians gotta find something else to cry fowl on Obama about. How about the birther stuff again? I like that one. Makes me smile.

    February 2, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  8. Steven Brooks

    Ha! All you right nutters can move n to your next set of conspiratorial lies.

    February 2, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. JReeder

    You pitifully ignorant jello-brained people. Don't you have anything better to do than scrutinize a person's personal time. There are a lot of serious problems in this country so why not develop a degree of cooperation in solving them??

    February 2, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. corpsman

    Hi form actually looks OK. Not great, but OK.

    February 2, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. TheLostSurveyor

    Wow! That looks like the first time he has ever fired a weapon. I find it telling that his Secret Service contingent quite obviously gave no advice on the proper way to hold and fire a weapon. I bet that left a mark.

    February 2, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. Liz the First

    I'd love to see him take on that Blackburn woman and totally humiliate her.

    February 2, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  13. GW

    Google 'skeet shooting' images and compare. How many show smoke coming out of barrel? How many seem to be aimed horizontally?

    February 2, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  14. nancy

    I bet he doesn't tell us everytime he plays darts or goes to the bathroom either, Rep. Blackburn.

    February 2, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  15. Sterlin

    Wow you sit right on the line of calling him a liar, Again. No apology for acting that way or comment for being wrong. I would have so much more respect for the nra if they would simply state that they are protecting their incomie and way of life rather rather than spew all this other stuff that has riled people up and taken away the real focus of what gun owners can do to support helping the future be a safer envirnment. But instead lets everyone eveywhere keep fightfing and not getting much done, lets keep doing what congress has been doing divided and basically stalemated for so long since it has worked out so well. Their is going to be some kind of reform coming and those that fight it at any cost are the best example of those that should not have the given rights to those that uphold our rights and blood soaked freedom.

    February 2, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  16. Charles

    As a conservative, im getting to like Obama more and more

    February 2, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. jay

    I really wish Obama would stop playing into his critics hands. Anyone that accuses our President of lying to the public, should be tarred and feathered.

    February 2, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  18. GnatB

    You know, I'll admit I've only gone skeet shooting a few times, but every time I've done it we were shooting the clay pigeons pretty high in the air, not shooting nearly horizontally. Not sure if that indicates more skill, less skill, or he wasn't really skeet shooting.

    February 2, 2013 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  19. HowMan

    Not only can Marsha Blackburn shoot skeet, she can also shoot herself in the foot. When will the Repubs start to say something meaningful?????

    February 2, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  20. xtiannetizen

    I've seen a lot of pixels in my time and that looks 'shopped.

    February 2, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. gary

    To the NRA: This photo does speak volumes about the interity of your organization and a ceartin female Tenn Rublican. Adding to your credibility is the fact that a lot of condcealed carry holders do not obey the law when they carry their weapon onto schools, hospitals, and other public places. Does this make them criminals or just prove the mind set of a lot of people when you give them reponsability of carring a concealed weapon. They think a gun gives them all the rights in the world. Where do my rights go when I chose to go to a public place expecting a gun free zone?

    February 2, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  22. Squigman

    If this was meant to impress, it missed the mark. A brain dead moron, with an I.Q. lower than the setting of a thermostat in a room can shoot a gun. Hell, it happens all the time.

    February 2, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  23. John Galt

    This is the revised history as put forth by the politburo and our premier leader. No further questions are necessary from the proletariat.

    February 2, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Total fake!! Look at the stance.. no recoil Nice try libs but at the end of the day you are still liars. Just like him!

    February 2, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. KC Yankee

    Well, politics makes strange bedfellows doesn't? Probably the first time you ever heard of a bunch of good ole boys and girls wanting to see a black man prove he liked shooting guns, eh? Yeehaw!

    February 2, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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