Political debates can get heated as we draw closer to Election Day, and though that sentiment has proven true in the presidential debates thus far, the local debates are feeling the heat as well.
A debate between two Democratic congressional rivals contesting a redrawn California district nearly turned a heated debate into an all-out physical brawl on Thursday, reports MSN. Representatives Brad Sherman and Howard Berman were arguing about a federal immigration bill when out of the blue, Sherman grabbed Berman and forcefully asked: “Do you want to get into this?”
The already-rowdy crowd started cheering and shouting as a sheriff’s deputy and a debate organizer pushed the two apart to prevent a pugilistic match from breaking our, and Berman’s campaign responded by posting a 22-second clip on YouTube showing the almost-altercation accompanied by a press release that read “Brad Sherman attempts to start fight at college debate.”
“There was not a question in my mind, he was challenging him to a fight,” said Berman campaign manager Brandon Hall in a phone interview via Mercury News. “Howard’s kind of a small guy and Brad was right in his face grabbing him,” he said, continuing, “(Berman) was taken back for sure, but he handled it very coolly,” furthermore, “He tried to calm the crowd, he tried to back away from Brad and joke about it, but yes he was shaken by this.”
Sherman campaign consultant Parke Skelton downplayed the incident, saying that while Sherman regrets grabbing his opponent, he wasn’t going to start a physical fight:
“Brad regrets his role in the process by which the whole thing got too heated,” Skelton said. “Brad regrets that for sure. But again I think it was a mutual losing of cool there, and it’s one of those things that happens in a campaign sometimes.”
Imagine if all politicians settled their differences with a good-old-fashioned bare-knuckle boxing match. I can picture President Obama and Mitt Romney’s gentlemanly melee now. Something tells me that both of them can scrap.
Here’s the long video of the debate between California Democratic rivals Brad Sherman and Howard Berman, followed by the clip of the altercation itself if you want to skip to the good stuff: