On a conference call following the swearing in of President Barack Obama for his second term, Rep. John Yarmuth told LEO Weekly that he was “incredulous” at the email sent out last night by the campaign of Sen. Mitch McConnell, which warned readers that Obama was about to confiscate their guns.
Yarmuth’s comments are below:
“I didn’t think it was possible for Sen. McConnell to set a lower bar on honesty, but he did it with that email. He’s stoking totally irrational and unjustifiable fear, clearly for political purposes.
He’s misleading the people he sends that to, because what he’s saying is absolutely dishonest. And it can also be dangerous, because people get that email who may not have been following the debate, and they all of a sudden get anxious and who knows what can happen from that kind of provocation.
One of the things that’s fascinating to me is he talked about the executive actions and invoked Rand Paul’s line about a “King.” The gun lobby themselves, their lawyers have looked at those executive actions and said “we tried to find one that we could challenge, but every one of them is clearly in the president’s law enforcement authority.” And that’s coming from the gun lobby. So for him to mention that is just outrageous and potentially dangerous.”
On Saturday in Frankfort, around 400 people showed up at a “gun appreciation day” rally, where speakers voiced conspiracy theories about Obama ordering law enforcement to raid homes and businesses to confiscate their weapons, forthcoming Martial law and the United Nations, adding a liberal amount of comparisons of Obama to Hitler, Stalin and genocidal dictators.
Yarmuth says that McConnell’s words only fan the flames of such paranoid delusions:
Absolutely. This to me is pretty much as low as you can go in terms of being irresponsible as a public official. He knows that’s not true, he’s making it up, and he’s using it for his own political benefit. And then in the same letter he actually accuses the administration of exploiting something for political purposes. What does he think he’s doing with that email? I was incredulous when I saw it.
Yarmuth added in response to an earlier question that McConnell did not appear to be a happy camper at the inauguration ceremony.
“I had a direct view of Mitch and he did not appear to be enjoying himself,” said Yarmuth. “I don’t think I saw him applaud one time.”