Scott Baio asserted during a July 2016 MSNBC appearance the President Obama once said if "bring a knife" to a fight, have to "bring a gun."

Published19 July 2016

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President Obama as soon as said the if your opponents carry a (rhetorical) knife to a fight, girlfriend should lug a gun.

You are watching: Obama if they bring a knife we bring a gun


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On 19 July 2016, actor Scott Baio (best well-known in political circles because that his portrayal that Fonzie’s cousin Chachi in the 1970s TV sitcom Happy Days) engaged in a controversial debate top top MSNBC v NBC national correspondent Tamron Hall, during which Baio asserted (in the video clip above) that President Obama had once stated “if they lug a knife come an argument, you lug a gun.”

The exchange in question developed during a debate over civility, and also Hall challenged Baio over both his very own comments and comments make by Donald Trump:

BAIO: Listen, there’s various levels to me. You desire me —

HALL: ns asking.

BAIO: You want me to be square and also nice to everybody.

HALL: No, ns don’t. I desire you to be what you say —

BAIO: Wait a minute, wait a minute. I let girlfriend talk.

HALL: Absolutely.

BAIO: allow me talk. And also you desire me to be sweet and gentle to a man, a president, who says if they carry a knife to an argument, you lug a gun. It is what chairman Obama said. Now, if you want me to go after a man like the — all bets space off at the point.

HALL: it is absolutely no true. However I’ll tell girlfriend this.

BAIO: that’s an pure fact. The is a quote.

HALL: The human being that girlfriend support, the human that you support — the human you support said, he might take a gun the end on fifth Avenue and also shoot who in the head, and you would certainly still support him. Is the true?

Hall appeared perplexed by the claim and also unaware othat president Obama had actually stated any kind of such point (for which Baio noted no context). But Baio wasn’t the an initial to ascribe the quote to the president in 2016, as displayed in one Fox organization News segment (at the finish of the video above) that featured a much longer version the the quote and also dated the as having been uttered top top 13 June 2008:

They’re walking to shot to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy.’ If they carry a knife to the fight, we lug a gun. Due to the fact that from what I recognize folks in Philly prefer a great brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.


Many social media customers were doubtful that the quote was legitimate, and also Baio’s path of describing that didn’t make it easier for viewers come pin down the situations under which chairman Obama might have stated such a thing. That was likely due in part to the i of time (more 보다 eight years had actually gone by since the day appended come the on-screen transcription), although part people argued all proof of the comment had actually been scrubbed native the Internet.

The quote itself was generally cited as having been sourced from the mob movie The Untouchables and also frequently referenced by hip-hop artists. One such instance is the track “Takeover” through Jay-Z, of whom the chairman is a provided fan.

As the turned out, the comment was undoubtedly made by then-Senator Obama at a fundraising occasion in the City the Brotherly Love, and also it was not ignored by mainstream media outlets at the time. The New York Times, reported on 14 June 2008 that:

Senator Barack Obama to be fund-raising in Philadelphia. Yet he to be talking around “the Chicago way.”

Channeling the crowd drama, “The Untouchables,” Mr. Obama stated in referral to the general election rumble v the Republicans: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”

On the very same date, Reuters published an object that stated, in part:

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, that regularly offers language to reinforce his modern-guy credentials, seems to have set that aside once he defined how he i will not ~ be cowed through Republican attacks.

“If they lug a knife come the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a fund-raiser in Philadelphia top top Friday, employing a phrase that could have to be lifted indigenous a gangster movie. “Because from what ns understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans,” he said, introduce to the city’s football team.

The Wall Street Journal provided a sliver of extr context come the statement:

Mobster wisdom speak us never to bring a knife to a total fight. But what does politics wisdom say around bringing a gun come a knife fight?

That’s precisely what Barack Obama said he would perform to respond to Republican assaults “If they bring a knife come the fight, we carry a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraise. “Because from what I know folks in Philly choose a good brawl. I’ve checked out Eagles fans.”

Obama made the comment in the paper definition of warning donors that the basic election campaign against McCain could get ugly. “They’re walking to try to scare people. They’re going to shot to say the ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’” that said. A supporter yelled the end a deep accented “Don’t provide in!”

“I won’t, yet that sounded pretty scary. She a tough guy,” Obama said.

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We to be unable to situate any video clip of president Obama’s “knife to a pistol fight” remarks, yet the comments were well documented in contemporaneous news reports.