Saturday, May 14, 2011

When Tea Partiers Attack -- Each Other: New York Candidates Beat Each Other Up Claiming The Mantle

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

It's always kind of amusing watching Republicans fight over that cherished Tea Party endorsement the way dogs fight over a bone. As they apparently are in upstate New York's congressional District 26 -- the district where Christopher Lee most recently posed as a Republican congressman -- where there's now a disgruntled ex-Republican candidate named Jack Davis running as a third-party Tea Party candidate against a Republican who likewise claims various Tea Party endorsements.

Seems things have gotten down to the usual thuggishness and pettiness:
A 15-second video shows a tea party congressional candidate in New York scuffling with a Republican Party volunteer who questioned his absence from a debate.

The video posted on YouTube shows candidate Jack Davis asking the volunteer Wednesday whether he wants to “punch it out” after a campaign event in Greece, outside Rochester.

Davis was responding to the man’s repeated calls for him to explain why he backed out of a debate held Thursday in Buffalo.

Davis announced Wednesday he’d changed his mind about participating in the debate with the two major party candidates in the May 24 special election for the 26th District seat. Instead, he said he’d speak to voters directly via an electronic town hall meeting May 21.

In the video, the 78-year-old candidate steps toward the volunteer, who was holding a camera and asking, “Why did you back out of the debate? Why did you back out of the debate?”

“Do you want to punch it out?” Davis asks before swiping at the camera with his right hand.

Davis then laughs as he walks to his car while a man who appears to be a Davis campaign aide approaches the cameraman. As the camera shakes, the cameraman groans out of view as if he has been struck and then resumes asking Davis, “Why did you back out of the debate?”
It turns out that the videographer is in fact the chief of staff for the Republican front-runner.

Of course, the national Tea Party organizations are disowning Davis and claiming he's a Democrat in disguise. Even though he in fact ran as a Republican candidate and earned the endorsement of the western New York Tea Partiers.

This should be entertaining to watch, if nothing else.

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