A Republican lawmaker in Athens, Ga., fielded a startling question by an audience member at a town hall Tuesday, prompting national headlines as well as a Secret Service inquiry.Source
According to the Athens Banner-Herald, which first reported the incident, an unidentified person in the audience at a town hall hosted by GOP Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia asked “Who is going to shoot Obama?” The question — which was difficult for some to hear — was greeted with laughter.
Broun did not respond directly to the question, instead changing the subject to the issue of the Obama-backed health care bill that passed last year.
“The thing is, I know there’s a lot of frustration with this president,” Broun said, per the Banner-Herald. “We’re going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we’ll elect somebody that’s going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.”
In a statement issued Friday, Broun said he "was stunned by the question and chose not to dignify it with a response."
"After the event, my office took action with the appropriate authorities," he said. "I deeply regret that this incident happened at all. Furthermore, I condemn all statements-made in sincerity or jest-that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the President of the United States or any other public official. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated."
The Washington Post reports that the Secret Service has interviewed the constituent and determined that he or she is not a threat and was merely acting “in poor taste.”
“At this point it's a closed matter,” a Secret Service spokesman told the Post.