Savannah, Ga. (CBS ATLANTA) — A candidate for Congress in Georgia’s first district said that he’d “rather see another terrorist attack” on the United States than have the “jack boot” Transportation Security Administration screen him at the airport.
Georgia Republican candidate and Savannah surgeon Bob Johnson made comments against the TSA at a Waycross campaign forum earlier this year that Politico recently uncovered. Although Johnson conceded that his statements were “going to sound outrageous,” Johnson did not mince his about the balance between security and liberty.
“The TSA is doing something really profound. They’re indoctrinating generations of Americans to walk through a line and be prodded and probed by uniformed personnel, agents of the government, like sheep,” Johnson says in the video revealed by Politico.
“Now this is going to sound outrageous: I’d rather see another terrorist attack — truly I would — than to give up my liberty as an American citizen. Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our Republican — or, republic.”
He continued: “People are saying, ‘Now everyone wants security before anything else. I want a perfectly safe flight.’ You’re not going to have it. We’re going to have jack-boot uniformed people in our backyards.”
In a statement he made to Politico, Johnson apologized for the statement, but held his stance against the TSA.
“In the heat of the moment, while making the point that I would much rather fight the enemy than our federal government, I said something stupid and should have chosen my words more carefully,” he said. “…As a Constitutional conservative, it angers me that we are giving up our liberty to the bureaucratic TSA and spying on our own people in the name of false security and that has to stop.”
The candidates in the May 20 First Congressional District GOP primary are looking to fill Republican Rep. Jack Kingston’s spot as he looks to make a move to the Senate.
Another candidate, St. Simons Island businessman John McCallum, jumped in to condemn Johnson’s remarks in a news release:
“There are no circumstances under which a terrorist attack on the United States is acceptable. These comments are embarrassing for the people of
Georgia’s First District and unbecoming of someone who wants to serve in the United States Congress,” said McCallum. “He was right to apologize.”