A Florida Republican candidate for Congress became the target of outrage Friday after it was revealed that at a local shooting range he opened fire on a target bearing the initials of his Democratic opponent, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
During a recent Broward County GOP meeting, Robert Lowry, a real estate CEO who is running against Wasserman Schultz, joined in the armed festivities. Though he initially said firing slugs at a silhouette with "DWS" inscribed to the side of its head was merely a "joke," Lowry "minutes later called it a mistake," noted CBS4 in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
"On what planet, exactly, is it considered a joke to shoot at a target representing a sitting US Congresswoman who happens to be a mother of three and a breast cancer survivor?" asked Kyle Munzenrieder with the Miami New Times. "To what audience is that a knee slapper? Really?"
Another target at the shooting range was a stereotypical depiction of a Muslim male as an RPG-wielding terrorist.
"The aims, said club president Ed Napolitano, were to have fun, educate club members who were new to shooting — and send a political message," reported the Sun-Sentinel.
"The congresswoman declined to comment," the Associated Press reported. "A spokesman, Jonathan Beeton, said 'We didn't feel that behavior dignified a response.'"
Thomas Francis with the Broward Palm Beach New Times commented: "This same week, Wasserman Schultz has been testifying on Capitol Hill about a breast cancer bill. You know, since it's National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and she's a breast cancer survivor. She's also the mother of three elementary school children. And you're blasting a gun into a target that bears her initials? As a joke?
"Here's a joke: Gosh, with the embarrassment that this incident caused, Lowry may have cost himself a chance to beat Wasserman Schultz in the election."
"It's exactly this extremist and sexist behavior from the Republican Party of No that has redefined what it means to be outdated and out-of-touch," DSCC spokesman Ryan Rudominer told Politico's Glenn Thrush.
This video was posted by the Orland Sun-Sentinel on Oct. 8, 2009.