The late aughts—what a time to be alive. Glenn Beck was diagramming conspiracy theories on Fox News. Thousands of seemingly normal people suddenly started wearing tricorn hats. And former Athens congressman Paul Broun was at the center of the tea party backlash that rocked American politics through Barack Obama’s presidency, providing regular fodder for snarky blogs and late-night comedians. As Broun tries to get back to Washington, here are 12 of the kookiest quotes and votes from his seven years in office.
Track 1: Broun declares Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, then then speaker of the House, a “domestic enemy” of the Constitution at a town hall meeting.
Track 2: Before President Obama even took office, Broun accuses him of wanting to establish a U.S. version of the Gestapo. “It may sound a bit crazy and off base, but the thing is, he’s the one who proposed this national security force,” he tells an Associated Press reporter. “That’s exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany, and it’s exactly what the Soviet Union did.” He later apologized, but then said he stood behind the comment.
Track 3: Obama, Pelosi and then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are a “socialistic elite” who are planning to use a disease outbreak or natural disaster as an excuse to declare martial law, Broun says at a town hall meeting. (
Track 4: At a gala held by the ultra-conservative John Birch Society, Broun tells the audience that the “New World Order” is seeking “to destroy America, to destroy our freedom.”
Track 5: Broun is one of three congressmen to vote against banning “crush videos” of people torturing and killing small animals.
Track 6: A constituent asks Broun at a town hall meeting when someone is going to shoot Obama. The question gets a laugh, and Broun doesn’t immediately condemn it.
Track 1: In a House floor speech, Broun accuses FDR of basing the New Deal on the teachings of Stalin.
Track 2: Broun predicts that a UN treaty would create an international gun registry and lead to “full-scale gun confiscation.”
Track 3: Speaking at a Hartwell church, Broun calls two widely accepted scientific theories—evolution and the Big Bang—“lies straight from the pit of Hell.” The Earth was created in six days and is 9,000 years old, he says.
Track 4: “There are more people killed with baseball bats and hammers than are killed with guns,” Broun says, a claim a fact-checking website gave a “pants on fire” rating.
Track 5: Broun’s Senate campaign raffles off a semi-automatic rifle in protest of Democrats and the liberal media “trying to take away our guns.”
Track 6: Fed policies will lead to hyperinflation and economic collapse, Broun predicts. Since then, the inflation rate has been under 1 percent each of the past three years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.