While Kathy Griffin and NYC’s Public Theater have been called out for imagining violent attacks on Donald Trump, conservative pundits and others made similar statements about Barack Obama and other Democrats during his presidency.
In a 2009 Fox News broadcast, the conservative pundit joked about poisoning then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. During the bizarre skit, one of Beck’s helpers attempted to sip a glass of red wine while wearing a mask of Pelosi’s face. Beck then informs “Pelosi” that he slipped poison into her drink.
Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater
Minnesota’s famed Guthrie Theater “assassinated” an Obama-like figure in its 2012 production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” Unlike the NYC Public Theater’s Trump-themed assassination in 2017, this production saw no backlash or loss of corporate sponsorship.
Actress Shannon Richardson, who has appeared in “The Vampire Diaries” and “The Walking Dead,” was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2014 for attempting to poison Barack Obama. According to CNN, Richardson mailed ricin-laced letters to Obama and several other politicians, because she was displeased with their stances on gun control.
The lead singer of Creed got himself in trouble in 2014 months after his release from a mental facility. According to 911 tapes obtained by TMZ, Stapp’s then-wife told police that the rocker was in the middle of a psychotic episode and had threatened to kill President Obama. “He thinks they’re trying to kill him, and he has a bunch of paperwork in his backpack that he’s a CIA agent and he’s supposed to assassinate Obama,” she said. Stapp’s episode later prompted a Secret Service investigation.
To encourage a group of NRA convention attendees to vote for 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Nugent instructed them to “ride onto that battlefield and chop their heads off in November,” the heads in question belonging to Democratic voters. At a 2007 concert, Nugent said Obama could “suck on [his] machine gun.”
The former Illinois Congressman believed Barack Obama was responsible for the July 2016 shooting deaths of several Dallas police officers. He took to Twitter with a veiled threat on the then-president: “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”
At a North Carolina rally in August 2016, Trump suggested that his gun-toting supporters could prevent Hillary Clinton from taking office if they exercised their 2nd Amendment rights. He said, “[If Hillary Clinton] gets to pick…her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.”