NC2 Watch: Bob Etheridge apologizes; GOP opponent Renee Ellmers responds

Real Clear Politics has the video of the Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC2) presser where he apologized for manhandling two young men who approached him with questions after a fundraiser headlined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week.

Here’s his official statement:

“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.”

The Raleigh News and Observer reports that WH spoxdude Robert Fibbs weighed in and had nothing but praise for Etheridge who he used to work for:

Gibbs’ e-mailed response: “I’ve known Bob Etheridge for more than a thirteen years and I am proud to have worked for him. He is one of the most honorable people I know. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m proud of Bob for taking responsibility and apologizing for his.”

Wow, Fibbsie’s endorsement is not exactly one I would want to have in the current anti-Obama climate. Maybe Renee Ellmers, Etheridge’s GOP opponent in the NC-02 race this fall, will use it as a fundraising tool ;) Here’s what she had to say about the altercation:

If a teacher or principal treated a student this way – it would raise serious questions and he would be suspended. This kind of behavior is equally unacceptable in a Congressman. Bob Etheridge needs to make a full, complete and candid public explanation for this behavior. His describing his behavior as “a poor response” is not adequate. Most important of all, Congressman Etheridge should apologize – in person – to the two students.

She had more to say on the incident during an interview she did with Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, which you can listen to here. She also did an interview with Stage Right, which you can listen to here.

The whole incident was just bizarre. Don’t know who the guys were, and I don’t think it really matters. After watching both videos (and the raw, unedited footage here), it’s clear that Etheridge was way out of line, and for what reason? Someone asking him if he supported the Obama agenda? It just doesn’t make sense, and BE is right – having a “long day” doesn’t excuse the behavior.

Maybe having to make excuses for, well, supporting the Obama agenda has just become too much for the Congressman?

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