Hours after Pennsylvania State Police arrested a 21-year-old Idaho man for allegedly firing a semi-automatic rifle at the White House, the top student official for the College Republicans at the University of Texas tweeted that the idea of assassinating President Obama was “tempting.”
At 2:29 p.m. ET, UT’s Lauren E. Pierce wrote: “Y’all as tempting as it may be, don’t shoot Obama. We need him to go down in history as the WORST president we’ve EVER had! #2012.”
Pierce, the president of the College Republicans at UT Austin, told ABC News the comment was a “joke” and that the “whole [shooting incident] was st*pid.” Giggling, she said that an attempted assassination would “only make the situation worse.”
“Insofar as she’s a representative [of the College Republicans], maybe it shouldn’t be said, but she’s made a positive statement in a way, ” said Cassie Wright, the group’s vice president.
“I don’t really see anything wrong with it,” Wright added. “It’s just a personal comment, not representative of any group. Just freedom of speech, you know?”
Public Relations Director Spencer Raley had no comment.
Earlier in the day, Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Edwin Donovan revealed that Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez had been taken into police custody after a nationwide search. The suspect was found at a Hampton Inn near Indiana, Pa.
The Secret Service told ABC News Tuesday it suspected that a bullet fired during an incident last Friday may have hit a White House window. The agency said it feared the suspect might pose a threat to President Obama.
--Gregory J. Krieg, ABC News