President Barack Obama on Wednesday condemned Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) for joking about shooting Hillary Clinton, saying that even though Burr apologized, the comments still revealed a dangerous trend in American politics.
“Lately, he’s been mimicking Donald Trump. Last week, he actually joked about violence against Hillary. That’s not something we do,” Obama said during a rally for Clinton in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “I can tell you, if I heard a Democrat saying that, I would condemn them in a hot second. You don’t talk about violence against public officials, even in a joke.”
“I wanna acknowledge he apologized, but the problem is this is becoming normal. This is sorta the red meat they’re throwing their audiences. And it’s not normal. And it’s not who North Carolina is,” he continued.
Earlier this week, Burr, who is locked in a tight re-election race against Democrat Deborah Ross, joked about putting a bull’s-eye on Clinton.
“Nothing made me feel any better than [when] I walked into a gun shop, I think, yesterday ... and there was a copy of Rifleman on the counter,” he said. “It’s got a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it. I was a little bit shocked at that ― it didn’t have a bull’s-eye on it.” As Obama noted, Burr did apologize.
Trump has regularly incited violence at his political rallies. This summer, he suggested Clinton should be shot. Conservatives have also directed violent rhetoric toward Democrats and Obama throughout his presidency.