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Watch: Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) Assaults Student on D.C. Sidewalk



Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) was filmed grabbing an ambush interviewer on a D.C. sidewalk last week. The video is going to raise plenty of questions, if not a police investigation.

Blog Big Government writes

"Last week, Democrat Congressman Bob Etheridge (D-NC) attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the 'Obama Agenda.' He didn’t take it well..."

Adds Mediaite

"Now, Etheridge’s actions are only partially defensible. He need not have gotten physical with the students who asked him the provocative question regarding his support of the 'Obama Agenda' (honestly, that sort of opening question is straight from the Jason Mattera school of inflammatory interview techniques.) But little is known about these 'students.' The YouTube video is published under an account titled TonyManization, and even more damning is that the faces of the individuals asking the Congressman questions are blurred out. Hmmm…nothing like the courage of the anonymous protester."

Pam Spaulding: "Etheridge needs to be arrested."

I'd be interested in seeing the full, uncut version of events.


UPDATE: Etheridge apologizes. "I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse."

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  1. I think he is Drunk. Seriously, I have had some experience with the sweet nectar and he sounds and looks a bit drunk.

    Posted by: Jason | Jun 14, 2010 10:43:46 AM

  2. Pam is right. And before any of you knee jerk defenders of anyone with a D after their name start chiming in, get the facts. Ethridge is a consistent vote against gay civil rights. He voted twice for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and voted YES on banning gay adoption in DC. He also voted to make the PATRIOT Act permanent.

    He's Just another cranky old man whose time has come. BTW, his Republican opponent is a tea party wingnut. Can we please have another alternative in district 2?

    Posted by: gaylib | Jun 14, 2010 10:48:21 AM

  3. I don't care if the students were Republicans, Democrats, Greens, Libertarians or Tea Partiers, this is completely unacceptable behavior by a sitting member of Congress. And The fact that the Congressman is a Democrat, excuse me "Democrat," makes it more unacceptable, IMO. It is assault and the Congressman was asked several times to let go.

    Even though the question was thrown out provocatively, the adult thing to have down would have been to say no comment and keep walking. If the students continued to harass, sick the police on them for stalking and harassment.

    Posted by: Craig | Jun 14, 2010 10:50:13 AM

  4. BigGovernment is a far-right neo-fascist hate-mongering website. While Etheridge is no saint, I wouldn't trust any "story" that originated on the BG site, particularly when edited video is involved.

    Posted by: Will | Jun 14, 2010 10:52:43 AM

  5. GayLib, I don't like Etheridge in general, but he's not been as bad on LGBT issues as you claim. He did vote for the Hate Crimes act in both 2007 and 2009 and for the trans exclusive ENDA bill in 2007. In both 2007 votes, he also voted against the motion to recommit on the bills, which would have effectively killed them. But he is certainly no angel. He voted against the Murphy Amendment to the DFAA this year to give the Pres, SECDEF & CJCS the power to repeal DADT. There are about two dozen Democrats in Congress worse than Etheridge on LGBT votes the last two sessions of Congress.

    Posted by: Craig | Jun 14, 2010 10:55:29 AM

  6. Dreadful North Carolina. Yet again.

    Posted by: JT | Jun 14, 2010 11:04:43 AM

  7. Ah, except that assault doesn't work the way that people think. Depending on local and state laws and precedent, the assault has to be unprovoked. There is also the issue of escalation. He will probably be censured but I doubt charges will be pressed. Who knows? Any DC lawyers here?

    Posted by: anon | Jun 14, 2010 11:14:37 AM

  8. A civil suit for battery would be an interesting way to go, although I wonder what the alleged damages would be.

    Posted by: Lawton | Jun 14, 2010 11:17:48 AM

  9. "Who are you?" Pete and Roger wold be so proud.

    I agree he was drunk. In fact I hope he was drunk, because if he did that sober he has big problems.

    I'm a DC lawyer. The local law enforcers go out of their way to make nice with people in Congress. If this is an "only incident" with the guy, it's not likely you'll ever hear about it again.

    And it happens more than you'd think.

    Posted by: JusticeontheRocks | Jun 14, 2010 11:23:58 AM

  10. Will is absolutely right. This has Breibatshitcrazy's grubby fingerprints all over. The "Tell" is that the "student's" face is blurred out on the clip.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Jun 14, 2010 11:40:10 AM

  11. Most recently, he voted against ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He is my congressman, and the reason my partner and I won't vote come November. No good choices. (He does look drunk.)

    Posted by: candideinnc | Jun 14, 2010 12:18:15 PM

  12. The arrogance of our elected officials is absolutely astounding! He seemed to be above answering questions from a voter. It is time to clean house in Washington.

    Posted by: InExile | Jun 14, 2010 12:28:56 PM

  13. p.s. I think they waited until they knew he was drunk, and filmed him, hoping he would make an ass of himself. I think it was staged in that regard, and he played right into their hands.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Jun 14, 2010 1:11:39 PM

  14. That is sooooo out of character of the Cong. Etheridge I know and campaigned for.

    Posted by: AGB | Jun 14, 2010 1:33:37 PM

  15. Anyone may ask a provoctative question. Free speech. What a person may NOT do is physically assualt someone, drunk or not. This creep not only grabbed his wrist, but held it after being asked to let go, and worse, held the guy in a sort of vice grip when he put his arm around him.

    Posted by: Greta | Jun 14, 2010 2:17:05 PM

  16. Unedited film on Glenn Greenwald. Etheridge evidently kept his hand over lens so he couldn't be filmed.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Jun 14, 2010 2:36:05 PM

  17. I don't care how obnoxious this right-wing kid was, this congressman need to be charged with assault and battery. But he was clearly drunk and I predict he will be in rehab by next week.

    Posted by: DruggyBear | Jun 14, 2010 2:48:06 PM

  18. I wonder what would have happened if the senator ACTUALLY assaulted these guys....
    Gee,,,I hope the reporter wasnt too traumatized,,,My god,,,,such brutality,,,,
    The senator should have kicked him in the balls,,,
    How much better off we were without the internet,,,,

    Posted by: Paul | Jun 14, 2010 9:36:09 PM

  19. these people in our government really think they are above everyone...we see it far to often...had it been me he would have hit the ground...the guy sounded drunk and acted so...freaks like him are running things for us????...he should have been arrested on the spot!!!!like we would have been...

    Posted by: jakearizona | Jun 14, 2010 10:31:31 PM

  20. Proper decorum on the part of the student would have been to state his name and affiliation before asking questions. Colleges and Universities teach these basic skills, so I expect Dartmouth must be quite embarrassed to be so poorly represented by these students.

    This does not excuse the behavior of the congressman, of course. I find the behavior of both quite obnoxious.

    Posted by: Observer | Jun 15, 2010 8:37:37 AM

  21. Assault is assault. Oh wait, the rules are different for politicians. I forgot.

    Posted by: Shane | Jun 15, 2010 9:34:42 AM

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