Rex Rammell, an Idaho Republican gubernatorial hopeful says he was "only joking" when he said he'd buy a license to "hunt" President Barack Obama.
Rammell made the controversial comment at a Republican rally last week in Twin Falls, Idaho. The topic turned to Idaho's wolf hunt, and the sale of $11.50 tags. Apparently, someone in the audience shouted out, "Obama tags!" - reports say Rammell responded by saying, "The Obama tags? We'd buy some of those."
Rammell told The Associated Press last week he sees no reason to apologize for the comment because it was just a joke:
"What I would say to all my Democrat Idahoans: Take a deep breath and relax. We're not going to go out and hunt Obama." - Rex Rammell
He also commented on his twitter account:
@rammellrex: "Obama hunting tags was just a joke! Everyone knows Idaho has no jurisdiction to issue tags in Washington D.C."
U.S. Rep. Walt Minnick, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, Senators Jim Risch and Mike Crapo, and Govornor Otter are all upset about Rammell's comments. The story has made national news headlines, and some worry it gives Idaho a bad name.
Today, Rammell held a news conference in Boise to address the comments. He said he doesn't and wouldn't advocate taking a life, or harming the President.
He said he's not sorry for the comment, but he is sorry about the way people took it. He says it was simply a joke. He also criticized Idaho's Congressional Delegation, and the Governor for "attacking" him for what he said.
Rammell says his comments were taken out of context, he says he wasn't serious, and he was simply responding to a woman with a comment in the audience. Rammell says he didn't do anything wrong... and that in his opinion - it was an insignificant comment.
He says he won't apologize because of the "condemnation" he's received from our Idaho GOP leaders. He says they are just worried that "Rex Rammell will become the Governor" - and are trying to ruin his chances of winning.