POLITICS
05/06/2014 02:17 pm ET Updated May 07, 2014

GOP Candidate Said He'd 'Rather See Another Terrorist Attack' Than Have TSA Screenings

A Republican running for Congress in Georgia is no fan of the Transportation Security Administration's airport screenings, telling an audience earlier this year that he'd "rather see another terrorist attack" than have the agency conduct security checks.

A video of a candidate forum obtained by Politico reportedly shows Johnson, a surgeon vying to represent Georgia's 1st District, accusing the TSA of "indoctrinating generations of Americans."

"Now this is going to sound outrageous, I'd rather see another terrorist attack, truly I would, than to give up my liberty as an American citizen,” he said, according to the Politico report. "Give me liberty or give me death. Isn’t that what Patrick Henry said at the founding of our republic?"

To see a video of his comments, visit the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Johnson is one of several Republicans vying to replace Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who announced last year that he would run for outgoing Sen. Saxby Chambliss' seat. Last month, Johnson was endorsed by the influential, tea party-aligned FreedomWorks PAC, as well as by Georgia Right To Life.

Johnson apologized for his remarks in a statement to Politico.

"In the heat of the moment, while making the point that I would much rather fight the enemy than our federal government, I said something stupid and should have chosen my words more carefully," he said. "As a Constitutional conservative, it angers me that we are giving up our liberty to the bureaucratic TSA and spying on our own people in the name of false security and that has to stop.

Georgia's primary will take place May 20.

This post has been updated with a link to a video of Johnson's comments.

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