Local politician Joshua Black's call for the hanging of President Barack Obama got him a visit from the Secret Service.
After his outrageous tweet caused a firestorm, Black came to our Political Connections studio Tuesday to explain himself. Secret Service representatives were waiting for him when he returned home to Pinellas Park.
A Republican candidate for the Florida House of Representatives District 68 seat, Black's tweeted in agreement with a supporter who suggested the president should be arrested and hanged:
The comment gained national attention after being brought to light in a Tampa Bay Times political blog.
Black said his tweet was not a threat, but rather an expression of his outrage over Obama authorizing the 2011 drone strike that killed U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, who U.S. officials say was a talent recruiter for al-Qaeda.
"I have said that the president should face the death penalty for his criminal activity for about a year ... well, since I've been on Twitter," Black said. "So I think this is really just people trying to make a bigger deal out of something than it really is."
But members of Black's own party say it was out of line.
"Calling for the execution of our president was just beyond the pale in disgusting, and it's unbecoming of somebody who wants to be an elected leader," House District 67 candidate Chris Latvala said.
Black, who makes his living driving a cab, told the Times he resigned from the Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee at the request of county chairman Michael Guju. But he is ignoring a tweet from Gov. Rick Scott calling for his immediate withdrawal from the District 68 race.
"I do not take orders from the governor," Black said.
This Sunday's Political Connections will have segments with both Black and Latvala this week. The program airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday.