Politics & Government

American parades 'all about' men with guns, Kobach tells Fox News after Jeep backlash

Kris Kobach rides in jeep mounted with replica gun during Old Shawnee Days Parade

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach rides in a Jeep mounted with a replica gun in the Old Shawnee Days Parade on Saturday, June 2, 2018.
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Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach rides in a Jeep mounted with a replica gun in the Old Shawnee Days Parade on Saturday, June 2, 2018.

The Jeep painted in the Stars and Stripes with a fake mounted machine gun and a Donald Trump bobble-head on the front bumper was the "perfect parade vehicle," Kris Kobach told Fox News.

The Kansas secretary of state, who is also a Republican candidate for governor, rode in the Jeep during a weekend parade in Johnson County.

"For most people, that is the perfect parade vehicle," Kobach said Tuesday on "Fox and Friends." "In fact, the audience reaction was overwhelmingly positive. I've been in dozens of parades, never had so much positive reaction from the audience."

Facebook Live video of the Shawnee parade shows a smattering of applause and cheers as a waving Kobach passes the announcer.

Ben Trillo, who was at the Old Shawnee Days parade with his family, told The Kansas City Star that Kobach's Jeep brought an awkward silence where he was in the crowd.

Kobach defended his use of the Jeep with a replica Browning .50 caliber machine gun after the city of Shawnee issued an apology for his display.

"I don't care if a few people on the fringe are offended, I'm going to stick to my guns," Kobach told the Associated Press.

In the city's video, someone can be heard comparing the Jeep to "Rat Patrol," a 1960s TV show about U.S. and British soldiers in North Africa during World War II that featured modified Jeeps armed with machine guns.

"Very patriotic-looking Jeep there, Kris, I like it," the parade announcer said in the city's video.

The parade's award for most patriotic went to the Johnson County NAACP, which had a 14-yard flag sewn by members displayed on a rolling frame.

Kobach told Fox News that some parades have color guards carrying guns as well as military vehicles, both replica and real.

"Last time I checked, just about every parade in America features men with guns — whether it's the color guard carrying guns or a replica military vehicles or real military vehicles — that's kind of what parades are all about," he said.

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