June 14th, 2010
12:52 PM ET
13 years ago

Etheridge apologizes for confrontation

(CNN) - Rep. Bob Etheridge apologized Monday for his physical confrontation with two young men who identified themselves as students and asked if the North Carolina Democrat "fully supports the Obama agenda."

"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."

Earlier: Congressman involved in on-camera confrontation

Filed under: Bob Etheridge
soundoff (56 Responses)
  1. Ertdfg

    Yep, nothing like video evidence of criminal assault to encourage a weak-tea apology. I'm sure that'll be considered enough though.

    That's what happens to the rest of us, right? You get charged with assault and sentenced to a public apology.

    June 14, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Mike

    sorry he got caught thats about it. . You cant learn a lesson when you have the media blaming the victims and making excuses for the criminals and abusers bcause they have money or happen to be a certain skin colors..He should spend time in jail and learn what he did was wrong like everybody else would have to! Nobody is above the law. Not illegals and certainly not congress whos salory comes from us the taxpayers!

    June 14, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Bill Ward

    The Congressman should be ashamed of his actions. He certainly owes an apology to these young students, as well as his constituents.It's time these Congressman understand that they too are just normal Americans, not the holier than thou impersonators that some try to portray. It's time for TERM LIMITS for all who serve in Washington. November is coming, it's time to STAND UP AMERICA.

    June 14, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  4. PEC

    He apologizes that he got caught. If the average citizen did this the assault and battery charges would have already been handed out. Are politicians above the law? He was leaving a political fundraiser so no excuse of he was going to vote. This is a great chance to see what type of standard Pelosi and Obama holds to her Party. If any standard Congress should have already kicked him out.

    June 14, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. matt

    All he did was assault him. Had he made fun of his hair, he'd really be in trouble....

    June 14, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Sarah

    I hope that the people of North Carolina demand his resignation! He is obviously dangerously tired of being a Congressman.

    June 14, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. thekatz

    'Who's sorry now' song pops I my head. Why wait until youtube to push your sorry arse excuse?

    June 14, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. janie brueneman

    he would never have apoligized if the video wasn't online

    June 14, 2010 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Tom

    This guy has got to be kidding. He assaulted a well dressed student who asked him a question in a very respective manner. If this guy had done this to my kid, he would be at the dentist right now getting fitted for a new set of front teeth. This man has obviously been there too long and needs to go. He should be charged with assault and battery, and be required to take anger management classes.

    June 14, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. MIKE

    This man should be arrested and held accountable for his actions.

    June 14, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Tim

    No he didn't, he made an excuse. He said he "always" promotes civility. By definition, he's wrong, and didn't apologize.

    June 14, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. A Guy

    I've seen the video and he looked like he was either drunk, crazy, or both.

    June 14, 2010 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Liberals are scum

    Nice try CNN, burying this deep in your "ticker" because it involves a democratic congressman assaulting (w/battery) a young alternative newsman. I think this just gave his opponent the needed momentum that will turn this "leans democrat" to a "leans republican" seat. The typical tolerant left isn't so tolerant anymore when the light is shined on them.

    June 14, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. A.B.

    This incident should serve as a lesson for all professional politicians. Carry your self with decorum and maturity. Think before you act!!

    June 14, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  15. American Yes I Am

    Why is this guy not in jail? Because the Regime is in control. How DARE you ask a Congressman a question on the street.

    When CNN yells out questions to Congressmen, have you ever seen them grab Wolf Blitzer by the throat?

    "who are you?? I have a RIGHT to know!!"

    Sounds like a line from an old movie with the German SS Officer interrogating people on a bus.

    Scary what Democrats have turned into now that they have a majority in 2 of the 3 branches of government. Will be scarier when they control the 3rd branch.

    June 14, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. Simon Jester

    Sorry, not good enough. This guy should be arrested for assault.

    June 14, 2010 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Natasha

    He's sorry - sorry he got caught.

    June 14, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. Chuck

    An apology is good, but I'd like to know what set him off in the first place. People typically don't commit assault without reason.

    June 14, 2010 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "To date, the media has not been able to accurately judge WHAT it is that is causing public discontent, so I imagine the 2010 results will be very much where they are today."

    That's because the "news" media is central to the problem. Physician heal thyself? Hardly. The he-said-she-said nature of the "news" media's stillborn version of "journalism" treats idiocy such as "death panels" as though it is an accusation meriting serious debate, instead of quick, easily-assembled debunking in order to protect and disseminate the truth, inform the public, etc. By always siding with "if a politician said it, it must have SOME merit," the "news" media abolishes truth in favor of always seeking to sensationalize the next hot-button controversy in order to drum up a story they can milk for several days instead of being stuck with one short piece saying something along the lines of "ummm, no, look right here at the actual proposed legislative language and you can see that such asccusations are clearly spurious political nonsense." Research costs money...both up front AND by putting the truth out there to end "debate" that can be milked. In any event, the "news" media is as much to blame for massive public discontent as the liars whose lies they publish and ignore on a daily basis. They benefit by stirring up discontent as much as the minority party does. Ad revenue is the new arbiter of truth and justice in our society.

    June 14, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. The Slob

    Pathetic. Absolutely Pathetic. The kid simply asked you one queston. He didn't start name calling & it's not your RIGHT to know his name. A real grownup would have simply said No time to talk, No comment or just walked away. Instead this Rep. decides to engage in an argument over a question.

    I hope the kid brings you up on charges – there is NO EXCUSE FOR YOUR BEHAVIOR.

    Apology UNACCEPTED.


    June 14, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. AnProf

    How about if CNN posts the video link? It is clear from it that this U.S. Rep. should be charged with assault and battery. The college kids, in suit and tie, politely ask a simple question. He goes absolutely berserk. How dare you speak to me??!! Time to retire this guy in NC!

    June 14, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. Steve

    The only reason why this guy is apologizing is because he got caught and is was placed on the internet. He evidently thought he was above any normal standard the rest of society has to follow by crabbing this young man. If you look at how tight a hold he has on the yoing man it tell you he feels powerful and has the right to control and hold people whom he feels he can.

    June 14, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  23. Indiana Voter

    Apparently Democrats don't like being asked if they support President Obama's policies. It must be offensive to them. If they say "yes" then they are admitting how loony left they are and become targets for the American public to vote them out. How sad it is when you can't say with pride that you support your own Democrat President's policy in public. I hope the two press charges against this out of control rep. He clearly is the prime example of the Democrat party today. Angry, angry, angry.

    June 14, 2010 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. FCA1975

    Why do politicians, and other people of varying notoriety, do stupid things, and then give the "I'm sorry" excuse? I’m sure just like all other (overwhelmingly) white persons in public office or power he will get away from this with just a slap on the wrist (if that).

    June 14, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. skye

    He needs to be arrested.....just because he's a congressman does not give him the right to lay his hands on anyone!!!
    Don't let him get a way with this...what kind of example is this...

    June 14, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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