One week ago a YouTube user named William Martin uploaded four minutes of video from a town hall held by Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine. It took a few days for the media to find a lede: An angry (and blurrily seen) woman told the freshman that President Obama “should be executed as an enemy combant,” and Bridenstine didn’t tell her that, no, this was probably a bad idea.
Bridenstine apologized after the video blew up, saying he “obviously did not condone and I do not approve of grossly inappropriate language,” chastising anyone who attributed the remarks to him. Here comes the #slatepitch: I don’t think Bridenstine’s failure to reject the “execute” remark is his worst moment. His actual answer is chock-full of paranoid theories about the Obama administration’s “lawless” behavior.
- He claims that Colorado “is now the prime location in the world for organized crime, where they are distributing all kinds of drugs,” in the wake of marijuana legalization.
- He characterizes the background checks included in the failed Toomey-Manchin gun bill as “national gun registration.” The bill prohibited that, as does current federal law.
- He claims that the Obama administration ended up getting a form of gun control by endorsing the Small Arms Treaty in the UN—an “international secretariat” that overrides American law. “The Second Amendment of U.S. is not open for debate by foreign governments,” he says.
The effect of Bridenstine’s rant: He wins back the crowd. They burst into applause at his defense of the Second Amendment from a threat that is not actually real.
Bridenstine is considering a run for Oklahoma’s open U.S. Senate seat.