Washington Post Fact Checker Blog Demands Proof of Obama Skeet Shooting

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 18: Sian Bruce of Great Britain competes in the Womens skeet during day three of the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival at the Sydney International Shooting Centre on January 18, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Getty Images

Earlier this week we coined the term “skeeter” for those who have doubts about the president’s claim that he goes skeet shooting “all the time” at Camp David. CNN’s Erin Burnett has been among the most prominent critics, but now it seems she has a friend in the mainstreem media: the Washington Post.

The Post’s popular fact-check blog (which bases its determinations on “Pinocchios”) has come out with a ​very ​detailed story that raises serious doubts about Obama’s claim. Not only is the information interesting, but the fact that a major outlet like the Post is left wondering about the claim signals the White House might have a big issue.

Because of the significance of the piece, we’ve decided to include the top five points it raises:

1. The administration’s silence:

But the White House has been oddly silent about the matter.

On Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said he did know how often the president has gone skeet shooting and that he has not seen a photograph. “When he goes to Camp David, he goes to spend time with his family and friends and relax, not to produce photographs,” Carney told reporters.

[...]

We e-mailed a White House official on Tuesday and then Carney twice on Wednesday asking for the name of an Obama guest at Camp David who could confirm the president’s account. (The White House does not publicly release the names of guests.) We received no response all three times.

2. When Obama’s addressed skeet shooters in the past, he hasn’t mentioned his fondness for the sport:

We searched high and low through hundreds of news reports to see if there was ever any other mention of Obama engaged in skeet shooting. We found that Obama, in a weekly radio address in 2012, congratulated Kim Rhode on becoming “the first American to win individual medals in five straight Olympics with her gold in skeet shooting” and Army Sgt. Vincent Hancock for a second skeet gold.

But when the Olympic athletes later visited the White House, Obama did not make a reference to having attempted skeet shooting. Instead, he spoke of other sports that moved him to do better:

“But I was inspired to watch you guys even though I couldn’t do what you do.  I was inspired to run a little bit faster watching Tyson Gay, and lift a little more after watching Holley Mangold, or do a few more crunches after watching Michael Phelps and the other swimmers.  Somehow, it didn’t work quite on me.”

3. He never talked about skeet shooting before becoming president — and has even cancelled such an event in the past:

During the 2008 campaign, a group that called itself the American Hunters and Shooters Association — which some pro-gun groups attacked as a front for anti-gun forces — endorsed Obama and announced he would attend a skeet shooting event in September in Colorado. “The Obama campaign says the skeet shooting event will highlight the Democrat’s support of the Second Amendment and hunting rights,” the Associated Press reported. But Ray Schoenke, a former Washington Redskins football player who headed the organization, said in an interview Wednesday that in the end Obama did not attend the Colorado event.

Schoenke said that after Obama’s election, the organization — which he said was intended to bridge the gap between urban liberals and rural gun owners — closed down because of lack of support from the Obama administration. He said he did many events in support of the Obama campaign in 2008 but Obama never mentioned having ever handled a firearm.

During a September 2008 campaign event in Duryea, Pa.., Obama was point blank asked if he was “going to take away the guns.”  He gave a rather long answer, but he made no reference to having used a weapon himself — and this certainly would have been the perfect moment. Instead, he speaks of “your guns:”

4. The summary:

The evidence suggests that until Obama had access to a shooting range as president, he never went skeet shooting. He certainly did not speak like a politician who had once used a firearm.

5. The conclusion:

We live in suspicious times and the president lives in a media fishbowl. That’s the way it is. In the meantime, we do not have enough information to make a ruling one way or the other. We are eager to see a photograph, or hear from someone who saw him at the skeet range, to put this matter to rest.

WaPo: officially “skeeters.”

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