Republican Bob Johnson, a doctor campaigning to represent Georgia's 1st District in the House, said earlier this year he would rather "see another terrorist attack" than lose his rights as an American citizen. His criticism was directed at airport screenings performed by the TSA.
Politico obtained a copy of the video
which shows Johnson making the remark during a candidate forum in February.
"Now this is going to sound outrageous, I'd rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen," Johnson said, according to Politico. "Give me liberty or give me death. Isn't that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?"
Johnson criticized the TSA for "indoctrinating generations of Americans to walk through a line and be prodded and probed by uniform personnel, agents of the government, like sheep."
Johnson provided a statement to Politico in response to the video. He backed away from his comment about a terror attack but not his feelings about the TSA.
"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 said. "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."
The race features several candidates trying to represent the Republican party in the November election. Jack Kingston, also a Republican, is giving up his seat in the House because he is running for the Senate.
The Republican nominee will be decided in a May 20 primary. But if no one earns at least 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters will have a runoff election.
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