June 14th, 2010
12:17 PM ET
8 years ago

Congressman involved in on-camera confrontation

 Rep. Bob Etheridge is shown in a video, posted online, getting into a physical confrontation with two young men.

Rep. Bob Etheridge is shown in a video, posted online, getting into a physical confrontation with two young men.

(CNN) – Rep. Bob Etheridge is facing questions Monday after a video was posted online showing the North Carolina Democrat getting into a physical confrontation with two young men who eventually identified themselves as students and asked the congressman whether he "fully supports the Obama agenda."

"Who are you?" a clearly frustrated Etheridge replies when the two men approached Etheridge with a camera on a Washington street. When the purported students did not answer, Etheridge is seen slapping the camera out of one of the individual's hands.

Later in the video, which has clearly been edited, Etheridge is seen grabbing the wrist of one of the men and again repeatedly asking, "Who are you?...Tell me who you are."

"We are just here for a project," one replied. "We are just students, that's all we are."

In the video, currently posted on the website of Andrew Brietbart - a conservative commentator and online news aggregator - the students faces are obscured and they never fully identify themselves or their affiliation.

"I have a right to know who you are," Etheridge responded, still firmly gripping the man's wrist. The Democrat then briefly grabbed the individual's neck before letting him go.

Etheridge has represented North Carolina's second congressional district - located in the central part of the state – since 1997. He was reelected in 2007 with 67 percent of the vote.

Update at 12:55 p.m. ET: Ethridge apologizes

Filed under: Bob Etheridge • Popular Posts
soundoff (160 Responses)
  1. Bob

    Saw the video. The congressman needs to be arrested for assault and battery charges. Also, the entire video, unedited, needs to be seen to see if the students did anything physical with the congressman first. My thoughts are not but it should be seen.

    June 14, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. Dave

    Doesn't matter who they were and it doesn't matter if you're GOP, Dem, Lib, etc; you don't go trying to smack someones personal property out of their hands. Camera or not.

    June 14, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Rickster

    more fans of the james o'keefe skool of got ya investigative journalism. they should be arrested.

    June 14, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. Richard

    There is absolutely no excuse for the Congressman's actions. The students asked a reasonable question. The congressman could have responded. He could have walked past. Instead, he chose to assault them?!? If he can't handle a simple question, it is past time for him to resign.

    June 14, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. conniesz

    If someone confronts me with a camera and does not identify themselves, the proper response is to keep walking and ignore them. Unless they block your way or physically assault you the best thing to do is look straight ahead and keep walking. If they do assault you – take out your cellphone and call 911 to report the assault. I wish our representatives would use a little common sense in these instances. I hope mine do.

    June 14, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  6. Harry Buttle

    He shouldn't have touched them, but I think we know who they are, Tea Partier's trying to create a moment.

    June 14, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Man. Seems like it's plants everywhere with these conservative types. ACORN, SC elections, now this. Just goes to show how very very desperate they really are becoming. They have NOTHING of substance to offer on the issues AND THEY KNOW IT, so they're starting to really resort to blatantly shady shenanigans. Can't wait for one of them to go too far and find themselves in the middle of a criminal suit for interfering with voters' rights and election process.

    June 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. Eric Olson

    The congressman should've gone farther.

    June 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  9. Stacie

    Hmmm, people pretending to be students and a carefully edited video. No foul play here.....

    June 14, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  10. David

    These "men" are cowards. Show your faces and state your intentions.

    June 14, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  11. rob

    Here is CNN subtly infering a motive from the young men who took the video. It doesn't matter, he assaulted the guy on camera. This Congressman is clearly unhinged, I hope they press charges against him

    June 14, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Jim Robinson

    This man should be removed from office. What a disgrace to our great state of North Carolina.

    June 14, 2010 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    When is someone going to put Brietbart in jail, or at least kick the crap out of him?

    June 14, 2010 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Russ

    This guy needs to be locked up. This was assault and battery. What does he think this is, feudal England? He is a representative of the people on a public street. Disgusting.

    June 14, 2010 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Me

    Wow, thats assault!

    June 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Angus McDugan

    I wonder how the Representative would have acted if it were someone much bigger than these kids?

    June 14, 2010 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. goblackhawks

    This is what you get when you have a socialist gov. under Comrade Obama. This congressmen should be arrested and charged. But than again when Joe the plumber asked a questions to the great one ... the media investigated Joe .... Where was the investigation into Obama's past .... Ayers is just a friend, Rev Wright (racist and Anti-American), wait until Blago's tapes go public and we see how much the Bamster had to do with it ... Where is the lame – stream media ? Your job is to ASK ??? not be the cheerleaders ... THANK YOU FOX NEWS ... were you can actually get the news

    June 14, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Art Stewart

    I love how the writer of the article points out the video "clearly has been edited", like the congressman's response might have been justified or something. What did the kids do – say something about Etheridge's momma?

    Also, why point out the vidoe is hosted by "conservative commentator" Andrew Breitbart – what difference does it make who hosts it anyway? It was on YouTube, but was yanked (perhaps under pressure by the Congressman's cronies?)

    What IS on the video by Etheridge is assault and kidnapping. It's not acceptable behavior by anyone, let alone a sitting United States Congressman.

    So, is the power of the Democratic Party going to trump justice or will this yahoo do the decent thing and resign?

    June 14, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Sword of Truth

    Shouldn't this felonious assault be front page news? If it was a Republican congressman it would be. Typical.

    June 14, 2010 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Lori in St Pete

    "Later in the video, which has clearly been edited"...

    "In the video, currently posted on the website of Andrew Brietbart"...

    'nuff said.

    June 14, 2010 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. obama victim

    democrats..always classy

    June 14, 2010 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Steve (the real one)

    A democrat exhibiting thuggisg behavior! No suprise from those who actually think! (there are bottom feeders in BOTH partys). Can't wait for the apologists and their spin!

    June 14, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    make that "Thuggish"

    June 14, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  24. Paul

    Typical Democrat strategy – try to intimidate!!! How sad

    June 14, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. shawn

    Your coverage is a joke. Two men. Confrontation. You people are spin doctors. Come on. We are on to you. You are shaming youself. This is madness. hahahha. I feel like I'm watching a cheesy movie. Gotta go get more popcorn. Keep up the comedy. It's great. It's not obviously edited. The only thing obvious is that you guys have sold out america. You are seriously underestimating the men of america. I know only grannies go to the town hall meetings but they have sons and grandsons that are in the shadows waiting for you to break the camels back. I hope you've planned for that. Have a nice day.

    June 14, 2010 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
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