Rep. John Sullivan (R-OK) sent TPM a public apology Thursday after we obtained audio of the five-term Republican telling constituents at a town hall this week that he’d have to personally shoot members of the U.S. Senate to get a budget passed through the chamber.
Sullivan, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma’s First District, was at a town hall meeting in Bixby, Okla., Wednesday when he lamented that the Paul Ryan Budget which the House passed in 2011 had no chance of passage in the Senate:
Like I said, after this last election, the first order of business is pass a budget. Now, I believe that. I supported the Paul Ryan budget and sent it over to the Senate. Now I live with some Senators, I yell at them all the time, I grabbed one of them the other day and shook him and I’d love to get them to vote for it — boy I’d love that. You know but other than me going over there with a gun and holding it to their head and maybe killing a couple of them, I don’t think they’re going to listen unless they get beat.
Here’s the audio:
After TPM inquired about Sullivan’s remarks, his spokesperson apologized:
“The Congressman offers his sincere apologies to anyone he offended and for using a poor choice of words to make his point — which was that Senate Democrats are refusing to pass a budget or even vote on the 28 House passed jobs bills,” Vaughn Jennings told TPM. “Millions of Americans are hurting — the Congressman feels their pain, and does not want his comments to deflect attention away the serious issues our country faces today, and he certainly does not condone any form of violence as a means to fix what is broken in Washington.”
Update: KOKI-TV in Tulsa broadcast video of the Sullivan quote after TPM broke the story Thursday. The clip shows Sullivan making a gun gesture with his hands while talking about shooting senators.