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Iowa lawmaker goes viral for obscene gesture at rally in Des Moines

Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 8:02 AM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) - Hundreds gathered in the rotunda to hear former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and others speak at the convention of States Project to limit the federal government’s power and reign in spending.

However, it was words but a gesture from Republican State Representative Bobby Kaufmann that has gone viral.

“When it comes to these gun grabbing, freedom hating, over regulating civil liberty violating tyrants. Here’s my message,” Rep. Kaufmann said while holding up both of his middle fingers. “Thank you.”

Kaufmann, who represents parts of Johnson and Cedar County, said his fingers were pointed at the federal government, and he did not plan to use that gesture but felt he was channeling the feelings of his frustrated constituents.

“But the three very specifically issues that I was directing my comments and my gestures to the federal government and the party in charge out in Washington, D. C. Was 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 things that are controversial.”

Democrat leaders referred to it as an attention seeking stunt and only had this to say:

“I think Representative Kaufmann has probably already gotten the attention he wants from this, and I don’t really want to give it any more attention,” Iowa House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst said. “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 has no regrets about making the gesture, except that he didn’t do it earlier.

“My intentions were to catch people’s attention and say, hey, this is a real problem,” he said. “And I’m, what I did was simple. I channeled what many, many, many people have been thinking. I just happened to do it.”

Copyright 2022 KCCI via CNN. All rights reserved.