WATCH: GOP senator jokes about "bullseye" on Hillary Clinton picture

Sen. Richard Burr apologized, but not before joking about shooting the Democratic nominee

Published November 1, 2016 11:27AM (EDT)

In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. speaks during the American Legion national convention in Charlotte, N.C.  (AP)
In this Aug. 26, 2014 photo Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. speaks during the American Legion national convention in Charlotte, N.C. (AP)

Sen. Richard Burr (R - North Carolina) is apologizing for his joke at a get-out-the-vote rally on Saturday that supporters of gun-rights might want to put a "bullseye" on Hillary Clinton.

"Nothing made me feel any better than [when] I walked to a gun shop, I think, yesterday in Oxford. There was a copy of Rifleman on the counter,” he said, referring to the NRA's monthly magazine. “It’s got a picture of Hillary Clinton on the front of it. I was a little bit shocked at that — didn’t have the bullseye on it.”

The recording was first reported to CNN on Monday night, and Burr has subsequently apologized for it.

“The comment I made was inappropriate, and I apologize for it,” Burr wrote in a statement provided to The News & Observer, a North Carolina publication.

At the same rally, Burr promised supporters that his role in the Senate was to block the confirmation of any Supreme Court justice nominated by Hillary Clinton.

“If Hillary becomes president," Burr also said, "I’m going to do everything I can do to make sure that four years from now, we’re still going to have an opening on the Supreme Court."

In making this pledge, Burr continued in a disturbing pattern that started with John McCain and Ted Cruz, who vowed throughout October that they would categorically refuse to consider confirming any Supreme Court nominee appointed by Hillary Clinton if she's elected president next week. The seat, vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, has remained open, even as President Obama's choice, Merrick Garland.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Hillary Clinton Richard Burr