Heard on the Hill

Come to Obama Picnic, Leave Bible Verse Behind

GOP Sen. Perdue quipped about praying for President's days to 'be few'

Sen. David Perdue raised eyebrows with the scripture verse he recited about President Obama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

White House says a GOP senator can still come to a picnic next week — even though he recited a Bible verse on Friday when talking about President Barack Obama that could be interpreted as wishing for his death.

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., raised eyebrows when he urged a Faith & Freedom Coalition conference to pray for the country and “even our president.” He then told attendees one should be “specific” when they pray.

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And he had one specific piece of scripture in mind for the president.

"We should pray like Psalms 109:8 says. It says, ‘Let his days be few, and let another have his office,'" Perdue said, according to reports, which also said attendees laughed.

That Psalm continues with lines Perdue left out, but which plenty others looked up: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow" and "Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places."

Perdue’s office said the senator was merely making a joke, and focusing on the part of the Psalm that applies to Obama leaving office in a few months. An aide also took umbrage with a statement about the remark blasted out earlier Friday by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s office.

“If Republicans are still wondering why Donald Trump is their nominee, look no further than today’s Faith and Freedom conference where a sitting Republican Senator left the impression he was praying for the death of President Obama and then the Republican Leader followed him on stage and did not condemn him,” said Kristen Orthman, a Reid spokeswoman.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, when asked about the comments, said it should be up to Perdue if he feels an apology is needed. But he also added there are “a number of other scriptures he might consult.”

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Later, Earnest reminded reporters about the White House’s congressional picnic on Tuesday.

“Sen. Perdue’s attendance is still TBD,” Earnest said, adding despite citing that Psalm, he is still welcome.

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