There may not have been any outbursts on the floor during Tuesday’s State of the Union address, but one Republican Member didn’t waste any time accusing President Barack Obama of being a Constitution-hating socialist.
Rep. Paul Broun live-tweeted during Obama’s hourlong speech but left a string of largely unremarkable comments. Toward the close of the address, however, the Georgia Republican fired off a tweet that didn’t really line up with the evening’s bipartisan spirit.
“Mr. President, you don’t believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism,” Broun wrote under his handle, @RepPaulBrounMD.
Broun spokeswoman Debbee Keller told Roll Call that her boss tweets about the address every year from the confines of his office, instead of attending the event in the House chamber. “Out of respect, he watches the president’s speech from his office and uses his desktop computer.”
Broun’s other tweets focused on areas of disagreement in Obama’s speech. They included:
“Democrats’ policies have hurt the economy-not helped it #fb #tcot”
“All children will be poor if we continue with Obama’s policies #fb”
“From my seat, Obama’s call for more investments sounds like more govt spending #fb #SOTU #TCOT”
“Freezing spending at record high levels is not making tough decisions”
While other Republicans have dropped references to “job-killing” legislation in the wake of the Tucson, Ariz., shootings, Broun did not back off.
“Obama’s policies kill free-enterprise,” he wrote.
He also complained about Obama’s reference to immigration, saying the president was “calling for amnesty” and adding: “Illegal aliens are criminals. They must go home.”
Earlier this month, Broun told a radio host he did not agree with bipartisan seating plans for the speech.
“I already believe very firmly that it is a trap and a ruse that Democrats are proposing,” Broun said on “The Scott Hennen Show” on Thursday. He said the Democrats want “silence” from the GOP.
“The sitting together being kissy-kissy is just another way to try to silence Republicans, and also to show — to keep the American people from seeing how few of them there are in the U.S. House now,” Broun said. “Then when people stand up — what the Democrats are going to be doing when Barack Obama spews out all his venom, then, um, if they’re scattered throughout all the Republicans, then it won’t be as noticeable as if we’re sitting apart.”
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Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.