Democratic congressman fears Guam might 'tip over'

Controversy is growing over a video of Democratic Rep. Hank Johnson (GA) wondering aloud if the island of Guam will "tip over and capsize" if too many U.S. Marines move there. Supporters say he was using dry humor and speaking metaphorically, but critics believe the congressman was serious, showing a lack of basic knowledge of earth science and physics.

In the video (featured above), Johnson is asking questions of Commander Robert Willard during a March 25, 2010 meeting of the Armed Services Committee. During a discussion of relocating 8,000 Marines and their families to the island, Johnson states "My fear is that the whole island would be so overly populated that it would tip over and capsize."

Cmdr. Willard does his best to take the statement seriously, answering "We don't anticipate that."
Johnson later tried to clarify his remark in a written statement, stating he was using a metaphor for the impact the Marines would have on the island. Upon viewing the video, it is clear this is not the case. After Johnson makes the "tip over" statement, he waits for Willard to answer without clarifying. He then says "and also, things like the environment," as he begins to discuss the ecological impact, so he clearly is speaking of two different things.

It seems controversy and illogical statements follow Hank Johnson around Washington. In 2009, he reacted to Joe Wilson's "You lie" outburst at President Obama by saying "I guess we'll probably have folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again, and riding through the countrysides intimidating people," a statement that garnered criticism from both sides of the political aisle.

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