Photo: James Holmes-Obama billboard's message defended by conservative group

james holmes obama billboard.jpg
In the immediate aftermath of the Aurora theater shooting, President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney backed off politics for a few days. But the pair are back to going after each other hammer and tongs, as are their supporters -- like a group in Idaho that programmed a billboard in Idaho to equate Obama with accused murderer James Holmes.

To clarify the words seen in the screen capture above, the ones over the Holmes image read, "Kills 12 in movie theater with assault rifle, everyone freaks out," while those on the Obama image announce, "Kills thousands with his foreign policy, wins Nobel Peace Prize."

maurice clements.jpg
Maurice Clements.
The Idaho Statesman reported about the electronic billboard, on Franklin Road in the community of Caldwell, late last week, and over the past few days, it's gone viral, with the majority of commentators (like this one) excoriating it.

Yesterday, however, Maurice Clements, a former Idaho senatorial candidate and member of the Ralph Smeed Foundation, a conservative organization that financed the billboard, defended the message yesterday in an interview with the Idaho Press-Tribune -- although he did cop to a little clumsiness when it came to the phrasing.

"We could have said it differently and maybe avoided a little bit of fire by the ones who are calling us," Clements told the paper. "What we were trying to do is explain our puzzlement over the lack of outrage over all of the people that are dying in the Middle East over our foreign policy. I'm talking about our troops and civilians over there."

His solution would have been to change "everyone freaks out" on the Holmes photo to "the nation mourns."

The Press-Tribune also quotes a Denver man, George Pramenko, who called the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce to complain: "I've never seen anything that's this insensitive and this mean," he said. But many of those who continue to comment on the original Statesman article defend the billboard, including 2shinyshoes, the most recent, who writes, "I think this falls under Free Speech. Even IF it disagrees with other people's opinion. I cherish Freedom, more than anything."

As the proliferation of James Holmes Facebook tribute pages proves, the First Amendment has been getting a real workout lately.

More from our Aurora Theater Shooting archive: "James Holmes Facebook tribute pages: Most notorious one down, plenty remain."


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31 comments
TheBrat
TheBrat

Bigoted morons like this always prompt me to opposite action to counter their perversity. For example, when Westboro Baptist Church does something stupid in my town, I send a check in their name to GLAAD. And when a jerk does something like this, I send a check to Obama's campaign that I otherwise would not have sent..... 

Santy777
Santy777

Ignorence I CANT believe the person who made that billboard !!!!! How about when white man Bush Starter a war that still going on Killing our Sons, Fathers and daughters EVERYDAY !!!!!! How about that ONE???

TITAN
TITAN

HOLMES YOU ARE  A SUPER  HERO  MAN

Brad Aerts
Brad Aerts

avoiding the obvious when should be speaking the truth.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

.

At least these loons weren't so crazy as to use Pat Robertson to promote their billboard.

 

{{{ rimshot }}}

gjbroyles
gjbroyles

The senseless acts of Holmes were the deranged acts of a single man, taking innocent lives.  While those who have died as as result of US foreign policy may be no less innocent, our foreign policy is not the 'act' of a single man -- this is not a dictatorship where Obama speaks and armies are mobilized.  As a nation we elect our president and our congressmen often based on their foreigh policy postures.  As a nation we are collectively responsible for those who did as a result of our national foreign policy.  That said we are also collectively responsible for the acts of Holmes as we continue to allow men such as him to buy assault rifles and 6000 rounds of ammo all because we what to protect our homes in case someone wants to  sell our stereo.

Stephanie Fast
Stephanie Fast

This billboard is just plain dumb. Even the wording is dumb.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Invade Idaho!  Clements' head should be placed on a spike and adorn the State Capitol.

rvs44
rvs44

The first Amendment is a good thing... Nobody censors speech they agree with...

Mannick D Pres-Saint
Mannick D Pres-Saint

@ Kyle Meyer. It is because of the rampant tribalism in this country. Collectively, Americans view poor olive-skinned folks halfway around the world as "beneath them" so they shed any and all empathy. Coupled this with a fervent admiration for the military and you wind up with unequivocal support for Endless War in the Muslim world.

Kyle Meyer
Kyle Meyer

It's a little soon but completely true. The U.S. military has killed over 115,000 innocent civilians since 2003. However since James Holmes murdered 12 on US soil it seems to affect more of us deeply.

Kim Claeys
Kim Claeys

For the most transparent administration they sure are opaque

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

Ask yourself what Barry is hiding by claiming "executive privilege" to hide Fast and Furious documents. Sorry you consider the truth to be "over the line".

Aaron Wall
Aaron Wall

But yeah, Westword. I love you guys, but there has to be some other news out there too.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Name a single U$ President in the last 100 years that hasn't killed 1000s implementing U$ Foreign Policy.

 

U$ Foreign Policy is based upon and dependent upon the use of Military and Economic Violence to force smaller, weaker and poorer sovereign nations into submission of the U$A's insatiable greed.

 

And now a word from our sponsors ...

 

.

Aaron Wall
Aaron Wall

The conservatives always compare people they don't like to Hitler. We shouldn't be surprised that they'll exploit a new tragedy in the same way.

Matt Leising
Matt Leising

Waaaay over the line. Clearly a desperate move from desperate people...

Aaron Robert Matteson
Aaron Robert Matteson

it's a message to the obamabots - those obama sheep are dumb. More troops have died in Afghanistan under Obamas watch than Bushler, and Obama implements the same policies as Bush did. NO OBOMNEY. Ron Paul 2012

DeeJay Wiid
DeeJay Wiid

Very poor taste on part of the Grand Old Party.

Diana Jade
Diana Jade

As with all right-wing vitriol, this is not factual. It boils down to one thing. The President is Black. Some people will never get over that.

Matt Baca
Matt Baca

How are the NRA or weapons manufactures benefiting from this tragedy? If anything they're in duck and cover mode while people overreact about gun control laws.

иathan Alarid
иathan Alarid

I agree with Brian. At the same token, I'm sure the NRA, and weapons manufacturers are loving this publicity.

Terin Blake
Terin Blake

It's true, but inappropriate and a low blow.

Brian Quintana
Brian Quintana

For all your James Holmes as a celebrity news, look no further than Westword Denver. Jesus...give it a rest and stop posting every piece of trash you pick up on this murderer. Let's not attract more wackos to the flame.

Santy777
Santy777

 @TITAN whoever you , you crazy praising that man who im not going to even write his name !!!!!

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

 @gjbroyles Thanks for the post, gjbroyles. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Congrats.

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