A Republican House candidate from Georgia is apologizing after being caught on camera saying that he would rather deal with a terrorist attack than the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Bob Johnson, who is running for the seat that is currently held by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), was filmed saying at a candidate forum about the TSA that he would “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,” Johnson said in the video. “Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?"
“I’m very passionate about the ideals of liberty, freedom and maintaining a strong national defense, and these conservative ideals shouldn’t be at odds with each other,” Johnson wrote in a post on his Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.
“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 added.
Johnson defended his record on national security issues as he addressed the fallout from the TSA faux paus.
"As a 26 year Army Ranger, head and neck surgeon and even a Christian medical missionary, I’ve sworn my life to defending this country and keeping people safe,” Johnson wrote. “And 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."
One of Johnson's opponents in the May 20th Georgia GOP primary jumped on his remarks about the TSA on Tuesday.
"There are no circumstances under which a terrorist attack on the United States is acceptable," Republican candidate John McCallum said in a statement released by his campaign.
"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," McCallum continued. "He was right to apologize."
Johnson and McCallum are two of six Republicans who are seeking the GOP's nomination in the race to replace Kingston. The incumbent Georgia lawmaker is giving up his seat to make a bid for the U.S. Senate this year.
The video of Johnson’s original remarks was first reported by Politico.
-This story was updated with new information at 5:58 p.m.