GOP candidate tweet alludes to shooting a congressman
Frankfort, Ky. – A former Secret Service agent who says he is a Republican candidate for secretary of state in Kentucky has apologized for a tweet about U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth that alluded to him shooting the congressman.
Yarmuth, a Democrat from Louisville, posted a photo Tuesday on Twitter of him wearing the letter “F’’ as a lapel pin to boast about his failing grade from the NRA. Carl B. Nett retweeted that post, with the comment: “Move it over just a bit. I was trained center mass.”
State Republican officials condemned the tweet, and Nett has since deleted it. Nett later tweeted an apology to Yarmuth and his family and asked for their forgiveness.
“Friends, I protected Barack Obama, John Kerry, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton. I voted for none of them. I would have DIED for any of them. My oath is to the Constitution. ALL politicians should keep that oath, first and foremost,” the tweet said. “I recognize that my attempt to be clever was far from clever.”
The tweet comes after two high-profile attacks against members of Congress. Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise was shot while practicing for the congressional baseball game last summer. And Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was tackled in his yard by a neighbor in November, resulting in multiple broken ribs.
Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Tres Watson said the tweet was inappropriate and condemned “any suggestion of acts of violence against public servants, even if in jest.” Acting Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne said he “wholeheartedly” condemned the tweet.
“It is long past time for members of both parties to come together in a civil manner, and do the people’s work without name calling or threatening violence,” Osborne said.
Nett announced his candidacy for secretary of state in February. The election is not until 2019 and the filing period for that race has not yet opened.
Nett unsuccessfully ran for the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2014. His father, Carl A. Nett, was in the House of Representatives for 20 years.