On Monday, Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) challenged President Obama to a skeet shooting contest to prove the veracity of his recent claim that not only has he fired a gun, but that "up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time." The new Presidential revelation came in an interview with the left-leaning New Republic conducted in part by a former staffer on his 2008 campaign and published on Saturday:
New Republic: Have you ever fired a gun?
President Obama: Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time.
New Republic: The whole family?
President Obama: Not the girls, but oftentimes guests of mine go up there.
Journalists, politicians, and the general public alike reacted with understandable skepticism to this politically expedient claim by the President. No one could recall ever seeing a photograph of President Obama shooting skeet, nor had he ever claimed before that he had ever participated in the sport.
At the regular White House press briefing on Monday morning, a skeptical Jessica Yellin, CNN's White House correspondent, pressed White House secretary Jay Carney on the issue. His response was less than convincing:
Yellin: On a different topic, how often does the President go skeet shooting? (Laughter.) And are there photographs of him doing so?
Carney: I would refer you simply to his comments. I don't know how often. He does go to Camp David with some regularity, but I’m not sure how often he’s done that.
Yellin: Is there a photograph of him doing it?
Carney: There may be, but I haven’t seen it.
Yellin: Why haven’t we heard about it before?
Carney: Because when he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs.
Congressman Blackburn was among those skeptical of the President's claim who remained unconvinced by Carney's explanation. Monday night on CNN she issued her skeet shooting challenge to the President:
"If he is a skeet shooter, why have we not heard of this? Why have we not seen photos? Why hasn't he referenced this at any point in time?. .. I tell you what I do think. I think he should invite me to Camp David, and I'll go skeet shooting with him and I bet I'll beat him."
My money is on Congressman Blackburn.