Conspiracy-theorist Republican congressman blames Obama after siblings film ad for his opponent

Birther Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) says the former president made his family be mean to him.

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), in April 2018.
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), in April 2018. CREDIT: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Last week, a Democratic candidate in Arizona running for Congress released a unique campaign ad that quickly went viral.

In it, a group of citizens explain why they are backing Democratic David Brill in the November midterms over incumbent Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ). At the end of the ad, it is revealed that they are all Gosar’s brothers and sisters.

On Monday, the Tea Party congressman pinned the blame for his siblings’ decision to speak out on former President Barack Obama.

After initially dismissing his family members as “leftists” in the mold of “Lenin, Mao, and Kim Jung Un [sic],” Gosar took a new tack on Monday. In a radio interview, he complained about the ad, telling host Mike Broomhead, “You know, this actually details exactly what the left, what Barack Obama actually asked progressives to do, is to get into family and friends, in their face, and not let up.”


Gosar was apparently referencing the seemingly innocuous comments that Obama made earlier this month, encouraging college students in Illinois to “get involved, and you get engaged, and you knock on some doors, and you talk with your friends, and you argue with your family members, and you change some minds, and you vote, something powerful happens.”

On his campaign site, Gosar notably calls himself “a devout family man” who “cherishes Arizona’s culture of family values.”

This is not the first time Gosar has embraced conspiracy theories to blame others for things he doesn’t like. One of the reasons his brother David gave the Washington Post for his decision to appear in the ad was Rep. Gosar’s embrace of the racist “birther” theory that Obama was not born in the United States. Last year, the Republican congressman blamed George Soros and an “Obama backer” for the white nationalist violence and unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia. He claimed in 2011 that Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder might be an accessory to murder because of the so-called “Fast and Furious” operation. And the same year, Gosar blamed “extreme environmental groups” for wildfires in his state.

Earlier this year, Gosar demanded that undocumented immigrants who were brought as guests to the State of the Union address be “arrested and deported” on the spot.