Rep. Louie Gohmert Would Like to Clarify Some of the Weird Stuff He Said About the Aurora Shooting
Friday morning's horrific shooting in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater moved a number of Texas politicians to tweet, Facebook and press-release their condolences. 1st District U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert got some extra attention -- and is now claiming his remarks were taken "grossly out of context" -- when he appeared on the program Istook Live! and ended up pontificating that the shootings were a result of " the ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs."
"You know, when people say, where was God in all of this?" Gohmert told the host. (A full transcript of his remarks can be found on his website.)
"Well, you know, we don't let ... in fact we've threatened high school graduation participants that if they use God's name that they're going to be jailed, we had a principal of a school, and a superintendent or a coach down in Florida that were threatened with jail because they said the blessing at a voluntary off-campus dinner. I mean, that kind of stuff. ... Where is God? Where, where? What have we done with God? We told him that we don't want him around. I kind of like his protective hand being present."
Gohmert also asked, "With all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying? That could have stopped this guy more quickly?"
Those remarks were widely reported and widely pissed everybody off. An editorial in The New York Times published the day of the shooting called Gohmert's remarks "heedless rhetoric" and "bizarre." (Or, in the words of one of his Facebook fans, "You're a total scumbag, Gohmert.")
The congressman posted a statement to his website over the weekend apologizing for the remarks. After saying they were taken out of context, he added, "When I learned of the tragedy I was heartbroken. Such devastation fills our hearts with sympathy making us want to hug our family and that should have been the extent of my comments.
"The killings were a senseless, outrageous act," he added. "Our thoughts and prayers continue for all those so tragically affected, and I am very sorry if my comments caused heartache to anyone in Colorado."
The same day the shooting occurred, Gohmert was also moved to angrily clarify that he often hugs friendly Muslims. Not a great week in talking for the congressman.
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.