Paul Broun

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Paul Broun, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 10th district
Assumed office
July 17, 2007
Preceded byCharlie Norwood
Personal details
Born(1946-05-14) May 14, 1946 (age 66)
Atlanta, Georgia
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Niki Broun
ResidenceAthens, Georgia
Alma materUniversity of Georgia
ReligionSouthern Baptist [1]
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps Reserve
Years of service1964–1967
  (Redirected from Paul C. Broun)
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Paul Broun, Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 10th district
Assumed office
July 17, 2007
Preceded byCharlie Norwood
Personal details
Born(1946-05-14) May 14, 1946 (age 66)
Atlanta, Georgia
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Niki Broun
ResidenceAthens, Georgia
Alma materUniversity of Georgia
ReligionSouthern Baptist [1]
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Marine Corps Reserve
Years of service1964–1967

Paul Collins Broun, Jr. (born May 14, 1946)[2] is the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 10th congressional district, serving since 2007. He is a member of the Republican Party and the Tea Party Caucus.


Early life, education, and medical career

Broun was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Democratic Georgia state senator Paul Broun, Sr. (1916–2005), who represented Athens and the surrounding area from 1963 to 2001. The younger Broun is a graduate of the University of Georgia at Athens and earned his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.[3] He is known for maintaining a medical practice based solely on house calls. Broun grew up as a Democrat, but became a Republican sometime in the 1980s.

Early campaigns


Broun first decided to run for public office in 1990, challenging Democrat U.S. Congressman Richard Ray, of Georgia's 3rd congressional district. Ray defeated him 63%-37%.[4]


He ran again in 1992, but lost in the Republican primary to State Senator Mac Collins, 55%-45%. Broun won just five of the district's seventeen counties.[5] Collins went on to defeat Ray, 55%-44%, mostly because of how he won the five counties in the Northern part of the district.[6]


In 1996, Democrat U.S. Senator Sam Nunn decided to retire. Broun was one of six Republicans who decided to run. Broun lost, ranking fourth with just 3% of the vote. Guy Millner, a pastor, ranked first with 42% of the vote, falling short of the 50% threshold. State Representative Johnny Isakson also qualified for the run-off election, earning 35% of the vote.[7][8] Millner went on to win the run-off[9], while losing the general election to Max Cleland by just one point.[10]

U.S. House of Representatives



In February 2007, Republican U.S. Congressman Charlie Norwood, of Georgia's 10th congressional district, died of cancer. There was a special election open primary in June 2007, where all candidates of all parties participate in the primary. A candidate needed 50% to win outright, and there would be a run-off if no candidate earned it the first time. Ten candidates filed. Six of them were Republican. Three were Democrats. One was a Libertarian (Jim Sendelbach). State Senator Jim Whitehead was the only elected politician to run, and was the front-runner. He won the endorsements of U.S. Congressman Saxby Chambliss. Whitehead ranked first with 44% of the vote. Broun qualified for the run-off, ranking second with 21% of the vote, but only only 198 votes over third-place finisher James Marlow, a Democrat. Broun won a plurality of just four counties: Oconee (47%), Jackson (42%), Oglethorpe (37%), and Morgan (31%).[11][12]

In the runoff campaign, Whitehead angered some voters by failing to appear at a debate held in Athens and then by referring to his alma mater, the University of Georgia, as a "liberal bastion" that should be eliminated, save for the football team.[13] In the July 17, 2007 election, Broun upset Whitehead by a margin of just 0.8%, a difference of just 394 votes. After the votes were certified, Whitehead declined to ask for a recount despite the narrow margin.[13] Broun won the counties in the Northern part of the district, while Whitehead won the counties in the southern part. Broun's best two performing counties were Clarke (90%) and Oconee (88%).[14]


He was challenged by State Representative and House Majority Leader Barry Fleming, who endorsed Whitehead in the 2007 election. Broun defeated Fleming in the July 2008 primary, 71%-29%. He won every county in the state. However, his weakest performance was in the Southeastern part of the district. He won counties like Richmond with just 52% and Columbia with just 58%.[15] He won the general election with 61% of the vote.[16]


Broun won re-election to a second term with 67% of the vote.[17][18]


Mac Collins, who represented much of Middle Georgia about a decade ago, is reportedly considering another run for Congress, challenging Broun, a fellow Republican, in the newly redrawn 10th district, after redistricting (according to Athens Banner-Herald). [19] In May 2012, Collins decided he would not challenge Broun.[20]


On July 25, 2007, Broun was sworn in by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.[21]

Social issues

Broun is a political conservative; his fundamentalist religious views inform his politics. In May 2009, Broun proposed failed legislation that would have proclaimed 2010 "The Year Of The Bible".[22] He also introduced a bill to ban the sale or rental of sexually explicit materials on U.S military installations.[23]

In 2008, Broun and 91 co-sponsors introduced H.J.Res.89, a proposition for the Federal Marriage Amendment. The proposed amendment to the United States Constitution would define marriage as "as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman."[24] Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) and eight other senators introduced a proposition for the amendment with S.J.Res.43 on June 25.[25]

Fiscal issues

Broun is also a climate change skeptic. He called the entire concept of man-made global warming a conspiracy perpetuated by certain members of the scientific community when he explained his reasons for voting against climate change legislation in June 2010.[26]

Broun in September 2008 voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 which created the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or "TARP".[27]

On Fox News in May 2011, Paul Broun said regarding political correctness, "Well, Shannon, what happened at the airport is, uh, an elderly lady walked -- ah, followed me behind in the [TSA] screening process, and she was patted down. A little kid was patted down. And this guy in Arabian attire just walks right through." He argued that lives and money could be saved by "intelligence" and less "political correctness".[28]

2012 Feud with U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR)

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives were debating a motion, sponsored by Broun, to instruct a cap on federal highway spending of $37.5 billion for 2013. At the end of the debate, and with his time expired, U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio asked "Why do you hate this country so much?" Broun responded "I was just charged by this gentleman for hating America, and I challenge those words, and I ask that his words be taken down."[29]

Controversial criticism over Obama

On November 10, 2008, one week after the 2008 presidential election, Broun drew national attention[30] when he criticized President-elect Barack Obama's call for a civilian national service corps, suggesting that Obama might use it to establish a Marxist dictatorship.[31]

In an interview with the Associated Press, Broun said, "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did. When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist." Broun later clarified his statement by saying, "We can't be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential of going down that road."[31]

Broun cited a July 2008 speech by Obama in which the then-Democratic presidential candidate had said, "We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded." A spokesman for Obama indicated that he had been referring to a civilian reserve corps intended to handle postwar reconstruction efforts in foreign locations, such as rebuilding infrastructure. The Bush administration had endorsed that idea,[31] and a Civilian Response Corps, described as similar to the one proposed by Obama,[32] was formed in 2006 by the Bush Administration after a bipartisan Congressional vote.

The following day, November 11, Broun seemingly backed away from his statements, saying on WGAC radio, "I regret putting it that way," and "I apologize to anyone who has taken offense at that."[30][33] Broun nevertheless asserted that Obama "is extremely liberal" and "has promoted a lot of socialistic ideas, and it just makes me concerned."[34]

His remarks in the radio interview were at first interpreted in the press as an apology.[35] However, Broun's office later said he was "not taking back anything he said" and a spokeswoman said, "We have not issued any official apology” for the remarks.[32][36] The spokeswoman said Broun stood by a written statement he had issued in which he criticized Obama for having "socialist views" and raised what the Atlanta Journal Constitution described as "ominous concerns" about the civilian force.[32] The news release read in part, "I firmly believe that we must not fall victim to the 'it can't happen here' mentality. I adhere to the adage 'eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.'" Broun also said that his comments had been sensationalized by the media.[37]

Some of Broun's fellow lawmakers criticized his remarks. Republican U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss both expressed disagreement with his comments, while state Democratic Party spokesman Martin Matheny accused Broun of "playing to the extremes" at a time “when Americans are coming together to celebrate history and renew America's promise." and that "Broun's neo-McCarthyism has no place in today's political environment."[30]

In an interview with Sirius XM radio host Pete Dominick, Broun said "I don't know" when asked if President Obama was a US citizen or a Christian. He also said that he did know Obama was a socialist, and said “America has to stand up and decide if we want to be a socialist nation or if we’re going to be a free nation."[38] During President Obama's 2011 State of the Union address, Broun tweeted that "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."[39]

In a town hall meeting on 22 February 2011, Broun was asked by an unidentified elderly man, "Who is going to shoot Obama?"[40] The question was apparently met with laughter.[41] Broun did not directly address the question, but instead responded with, "The thing is, I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president ... who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare."[42]

Broun, who later that week condemned the question,[43] contested the quoted response originally reported by the Athens Banner-Herald. According to his press secretary, Broun immediately moved on to the next question.[44]

The incident prompted a brief investigation by the Secret Service, who days later confirmed that the constituent did not pose a threat and had "acted in poor taste," concluding that the incident was a "closed matter."[41][45]

Accusations against CAIR

On October 14, 2009, Broun joined with three fellow Representatives in calling for the investigation of CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations) over allegations of trying to plant "spies," based on a CAIR memo indicating that they "will develop national initiatives such as Lobby Day, and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices." Broun further implied CAIR had involvement with terrorism, stating, "If an organization that is connected to or supports terrorists is running influence operations or planting spies in key national security-related congressional offices, I think this needs to be made known." [46] The request came in the wake of the publication of a book, Muslim Mafia, the foreword of which had been penned by Congresswoman Sue Myrick, that portrayed CAIR as a subversive organization allied with international terrorists.[47]

CAIR has countered that accusations against them are "unfounded" and that such initiatives are extensively used by all advocacy groups. A CAIR representative has accused Broun and his colleagues of being "hate-filled" and of seeking to intimidate American Muslims who "take part in the political process and exercise their rights."[48]

Committee assignments

Personal life

Broun has a son with his fourth wife Nikki and two daughters from previous marriages.[49]


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  2. ^ Congressman Paul Broun – Georgia's 10th Congressional District
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  8. ^ "1996 U.S. Senate Results". Federal Elections Commission. Retrieved July 18, 2007. 
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  13. ^ a b Kapochunas, Rachel (July 24, 2007). "Georgia Conservative Broun Fulfills House Dreams With Special Win". Congressional Quarterly (The New York Times). Retrieved July 25, 2007. 
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  18. ^ "House Results Map". The New York Times. 
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  21. ^ "Broun sworn in",, July 26, 2007
  22. ^ "The Bible Bill?". Politico. May 22, 2009. 
  23. ^ "H.R. 5821, Military Honor and Decency Bill", THOMAS.
  24. ^ "H.J.Res.89: Marriage Protection Amendment". 2008-05-22. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  25. ^ "S. J. RES. 43". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-07-07. 
  26. ^ Krugman, Paul (June 29, 2009). "Betraying the Planet". New York Times. 
  27. ^ FINAL VOTE RESULTS FOR ROLL CALL 674, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, September 29, 2008.
  28. ^ . 
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  30. ^ a b c Malone, Julia (November 11, 2008). "Rep. Broun regrets linking Obama, Hitler". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  31. ^ a b c Evans, Ben (November 10, 2008). "Georgia congressman warns of Obama dictatorship". Fox News. Associated Press.,4675,CongressmanObamaMarxist,00.html. Retrieved November 11, 2008. 
  32. ^ a b c Malone, Julia (November 13, 2008). "Broun says no apology for Obama label". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  33. ^ "Paul Broun expresses 'regret' for calling Obama a Marxist". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. November 11, 2009. 
  34. ^ "Does Chaos on Wall Street Mean an End to Their Big Bonuses?". Fox News. November 13, 2008.,2933,451805,00.html. 
  35. ^ Mooney, Alexander. "Congressman sorry for likening Obama to Hitler", CNN, November 12, 2008.
  36. ^ Malone, Julia (November 13, 2008). "Rep. Broun stands by Marxist remarks about Obama". Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved November 13, 2008. 
  37. ^ "Broun defends remarks". Augusta Chronicle. November 12, 2008. 
  38. ^ "Rep. Paul Broun not sure if Obama is citizen". Retrieved March 5, 2010. 
  39. ^ Montopoli, Brian (January 25, 2011). "GOP Rep. Paul Broun on Speech: Obama "Believes in Socialism"". CBS News. Retrieved January 26, 2011. 
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  41. ^ a b
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  43. ^ Goldberg, Adam (February 25, 2011). "Rep. Paul Broun Asked At Town Hall: 'Who Is Going To Shoot Obama?'". Huffington Post. 
  44. ^ Alfano, Sean (February 25, 2011). "Black Friday deals for Target, H&M, Forever21, Old Navy, Radio Shack and more". Daily News (New York). 
  45. ^ "Secret Service interviews Georgia constituent who asked who will 'shoot' Obama; case is 'closed matter'". The Washington Post. 
  46. ^ Glenn Greenwald (October 15, 2009). "GOP House members call for investigation of Muslim political activity". 
  47. ^ Doyle, Michael, "Judge: Controversial 'Muslim Mafia' used stolen papers", Charlotte Observer, November 10, 2009, accessed November 17, 2009
  48. ^ Jordy Yager (October 14, 2009). "House Republicans accuse Muslim group of trying to plant spies". Capitol Hill Publishing Corp.. 
  49. ^

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Charlie Norwood
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 10th congressional district

July 25, 2007 – present
United States order of precedence
Preceded by
John Yarmuth
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Laura Richardson