U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, Democrat from Lithonia, freshly worried that it might be, according to a videotaped conference hearing the is gaining plenty of play online and also over the airwaves.

You are watching: Guam will tip over and capsize

Johnson"s comments came during a House equipped Services Committee conference as he wondered about Adm. Robert Willard, command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, about the impact of U.S. Troops on the little island.

"My are afraid is that the entirety island will end up being so overly occupied that that will reminder over and also capsize," Johnson said, straight-faced and seemingly serious.

The admiral seemed to take it the inquiry seriously, too. "We don"t suspect that," that said, proceeding to explain the population on Guam.

The derision online easily gained inert Thursday.

A note from a reader to a blog at nationwide Review online said, "My kid is stationed top top Guam. I simply sent him the video and told him to run to the other side of the island. That said one of his shipmates showed up to job-related with a life vest on!"

On YouTube, around 75,000 visitors had viewed the video clip exchange with Thursday afternoon.

"Please Georgia, you offered us Cynthia McKinney, now Hank Johnson?" one commenter wrote.

Johnson issued a written statement Thursday together the josh mounted.

"I wasn"t saying that the island of Guam would certainly literally reminder over," that said. . Johnson said he was "using a metaphor" to explain how adding much more military personnel to the tiny island "could it is in a tipping suggest which might adversely affect the island’s breakable ecosystem and also could overburden its emphasize infrastructure."

"Metaphors work due to the fact that there"s a slim line between what is literal and also what is not," stated University that Maryland professor James Klumpp, who specializes in politics speech and communication. "When politicians get on the wrong side of that line, that"s as soon as they gain into trouble."

Of course Johnson is fixed the only Peach State politician whose convoluted commentary has actually caused confusion.

A couple of of the much more memorable miscues:

In 1996, previous U.S. Residence Speaker Newt Gingrich of Atlanta, a Republican, make an unusual up-in-the-air link in between beach volleyball and also freedom. "A only 40 years ago, beach volleyball was simply beginning. No bureaucrat would have actually invented it, and that"s what flexibility is every about," Gingrich stated at the Republican nationwide Convention.In 1976, autonomous presidential candidate Jimmy Carter reply a question around public real estate by saying civilization should be able to maintain the "ethnic purity" of your neighborhoods. Some witnessed Carter"s remarks as a suggestion of segregation. The later described he to be referring to how people of details nationalities periodically like come live in concentrated areas.More recently, in September 2008, Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland that Coweta County described then-presidential candidate Barack Obama and wife Michelle as "uppity" -- a pejorative historically used by white Southerners to explain well-to-do African-Americans. Georgia-born Westmoreland later said he never ever heard the term supplied in a racially derogatory sense.

Klumpp, the speech and communications professor, mentioned that the verbal gaffes that can beguile any politician can also influence anybody else.

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“If you’re a user the language, at some allude you’re going come feel choose an idiot,” that said.