Oklahoma Woman's Statement On Obama To Bridenstine: Threat Or Free Speech
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma Democratic Party is calling on Tulsa Congressman Jim Bridenstine to apologize for not rebuking one of his supporters who called for the execution of President Obama at one of Bridenstein's recent town hall meetings.
Politics is full of passion, but sometimes, inflamed language could land you in prison.
Congressman Bridenstine has quickly made a name for himself in Congress as a champion of conservative values and an outspoken critic of President Obama.
"Mister Speaker, the President's dishonesty, incompetence, vengefulness and lack of moral compass lead many to believe he is not fit to lead," Bridenstine said in one video.
But the Oklahoma Democratic Party said Bridenstine went too far, allowing a woman to call for Obama's execution at a town hall meeting.
"Obama shouldn't be president if you ask me. He should be executed for being an enemy combatant," the woman said.
Bridenstine allowed the woman to continue her question before offering his response.
"Look, everyone knows the lawlessness of this President. He picks and chooses which laws he's going to enforce or not enforce," Bridenstine said.
In a statement, the chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party said, "As an Oklahoman I am appalled that someone would threaten the Commander-in-Chief, Republican or Democrat. Congressman Bridenstine owes the President an apology, the country an apology and the people of Oklahoma an apology."
The question for many: was the woman's statement truly a threat? Or was it free speech?
First amendment attorney Mark Hammons watched the video. He said, without a direct threat of harm, it's free speech.
"Comes close to that, but probably doesn't cross the line because she's expressing an opinion," Hammons said.
On the other hand, 18-year-old Hunter Hines of Claremore was just indicted by federal grand jury this week for making actual threats against the President.
Officials said it was a death threat, sent directly to the President from the Rogers County jail, where Hines was being held for rape and harboring a 12-year-old runaway.
In a case like that, making direct threats against the President could get Hines five years in prison.
In a response Thursday, Congressman Bridenstine pointed his finger at the Democratic Party saying, "A public figure cannot control what people say in open meetings. I obviously did not condone and I do not approve of grossly inappropriate language. It is outrageous that irresponsible parties would attribute another person's reckless remarks to me."