If Joe Barton Knows Who Shouted "Baby Killer" Last Night, He Ain't About to Say
[Updated: Below, you'll find an update, from Taking Points Memo, in which Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Lubbock fesses up to being the shouter last night. As TPM also points out, he was also the co-sponsor of the so-called Birther Bill.]
Last night, Gawker wondered, "Who Is the American Hero Who Yelled 'Baby Killer' During the Health Care Debate?" Which, in case you missed it, happened while Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak, an abortion foe, was speaking in opposition to a Republican motion to add to the Stupak Amendment back to the health care bill that passed the House last night.
At first, word was the shouter was Rep. John Campbell, a California Republican. But he vehemently denies it. Then word started spreading that, no, it was a Texan. (But not, apparently, the sign-holding Pete Sessions.) Which is where we'll let Politico pick up the story with this morning update featuring an appearance by Ennis and Arlington's own "Smokey" Joe:
Texas Republican Rep. Joe Barton said he heard the shout but wouldn't say who was responsible.
"I can make a guess," Barton told reporters.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), who was in the chair at the time, said he saw a Republican lawmaker shout out "baby killer" -- but he wouldn't say who it was, either.
"I think members have a right to make an idiot of themselves once without being exposed," he said.
Which, incidentally, is the same rationale used by Jon Daniels and Nolan Ryan in the Ron Cocaine incident.
Update at 11:50 a.m.: Tom Benning has taken his list of members of the Texas Republican delegation and is checking it twice.
Update at 1 p.m.: Ah, so it was a Texan: Rep. Randy Neugebauer, a Republican from Lubbock, who says in a statement, "In the heat and emotion of the debate, I exclaimed the phrase 'it's a baby killer' in reference to the agreement reached by the Democratic leadership. While I remain heartbroken over the passage of this bill and the tragic consequences it will have for the unborn, I deeply regret that my actions were mistakenly interpreted as a direct reference to Congressman Stupak himself. "
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Observer's biggest stories.