Republican Sen. David Perdue of Georgia is being criticized after quoting a Bible passage that some perceive as wishing death upon President Barack Obama.
“I think we are called to pray," Perdue said during the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to the Majority conference in the District of Columbia, according to POLITICO. "We are called to pray for our country, for our leaders, and yes, even our president ... In his role as president, I think we should pray for Barack Obama."
He continued: "We should pray like Psalms 109:8 says. It says, ‘Let his days be few, and let another have his office.' In all seriousness, I believe that America is at a moment of crisis."
The crowd laughed and applauded at the remark, but the next two lines of the Bible passage, which Perdue did not say, invoked death: "Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow" and "Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places."
Perdue later said he did not regret the remark and he was only making a joke.
"It was a little humor and I said it in a way that we were talking about his days as president," Perdue said. "So I said 'May his days be few,' and that’s a direct quote from the Scripture. And I set it up by saying, in relation to his being in the office of the presidency."
But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada condemned Perdue's remarks.
“If Republicans are still wondering why Donald Trump is their nominee, look no further than today’s Faith and Freedom conference where a sitting Republican Senator left the impression he was praying for the death of President Obama and then the Republican Leader followed him on stage and did not condemn him,” Reid said, according to Bloomberg.
Perdue, who has been rumored to be a potential vice presidential pick for presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, shot back at the criticism through his spokeswoman, Megan Whittemore.
Perdue "in no way wishes harm towards our president and everyone in the room understood that,” Whittemore told POLITICO. "However, we should add the media to our prayer list because they are pushing a narrative to create controversy and that is exactly what the American people are tired of.”