In an interview this afternoon with CBS News, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) stood solidly by the live-tweets he sent out from his office during President Obama’s State of the Union address — most notably the one that went, “Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism.”
“Absolutely. Everything he does is bigger government, more central control from Washington, D.C,” Broun said today. “That’s not what our founding fathers envisioned the government to be.”
He also added: “Mr. Obama believes in a big central government, where the federal government controls everything in our lives. That’s socialism. And so I stick by that tweet.”
The interview went on. And most notably, Broun said a lot of things that would commonly considered to be vitriolic, but all of it very calmly — without the slightest hint of rage or aggression in his voice.But, as CBS asked, does he really mean to say that the President of the United States doesn’t believe in the Constitution?
“Well he doesn’t,” said Broun. “When I was sworn into the Marine Corps in 1967, when I was sworn into Congress, I swore to uphold the Constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic.
“We have a lot of domestic enemies of the Constitution. Those who want to pervert it, those who want to change it. There’s some that are in black robes and sitting on federal benches all across this country. There are Democrats and Republicans, liberals and even conservatives that pervert the Constitution according to the original intent of our Founding Fathers.”
The conversation shifted to the mixed-seating arrangement that was taken up by many members of both parties — which Broun had vociferously opposed, as an effort to silence Republican opposition and hide how few Democrats there were left in Congress. (In any case, he didn’t actually attend the speech — he sat in his office to do the tweeting.) Broun was asked what he thought of the rationale that this was an attempt to foster civility and unity, in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).
“I think we need to be civil,” Broun said. “We can talk about issues. I think the personal attacks that a lot of people do are probably not good — good for the country.
“But the thing is, there’s a wide difference between the philosophy of the Democratic leadership up here in Washington, because they believe in top-down type of government. They believe the federal government should do everything for everybody and take care of every human endeavor, and direct everything from Washington, D.C. That’s socialism.
“Whereas Republicans by and large, and the American people overwhelmingly, believe in freedom. They believe in liberty, they believe in personal responsibility, they believe in the free enterprise system. That gulf between those two is a very wide gulf that is hard to bridge.”