DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – Hundreds of people gathered in the rotunda to hear former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and others speak at the States Draft convention to limit the power of the federal government and control spending.
However, it was just words but a gesture from Republican State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann that went viral.
“When it comes to these guns, the hatred of liberty, the regulation of tyrants who violate civil liberty. Here is my message,” Rep. Kaufmann said, raising his two middle fingers. “Thank you.”
Kaufmann, who represents parts of Johnson and Cedar County, said his fingers were pointed at the federal government and he had no intention of using the gesture, but felt he channel the feelings of his frustrated constituents.
“But the three very specific issues on which I directed my comments and gestures to the federal government and the responsible party in Washington, DC were rampant crime, out-of-control inflation, and a wide-open border,” Kaufmann said. “The time for civility in terms of words is over. So it’s time to say some controversial things.
Democratic leaders referred to it as an attention-grabbing stunt and had only this to say:
“I think Rep. Kaufmann has probably already gotten the attention he wants, and I don’t really want to give him any more attention,” said Iowa Democratic leader Jennifer Konfrst. “I don’t really like to reward that kind of behavior. So probably nothing to say about his behavior in the rotunda the other day.
Rep. Kaufmann added that he doesn’t regret making the move, except he didn’t do it sooner.
“My intentions were to get people’s attention and say, hey, this is a real problem,” he said. “And I am, what I did was simple. I channeled what many, many, many people thought. I just did it.
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