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An Official Debate Got Physical Last Night And a Sheriff Was Forced To Step In


"Do you want to get into this?"

Image Credit: YouTube

As many Americans tuned in to the verbal slugfest called the vice presidential debate on Thursday, two candidates for California's hotly-contested congressional seat representing the 30th District nearly came to blows during their own.

For the record, the battle to represent the 30th District is being called one of the nastiest races in the country. Thanks to redistricting, Howard Berman and Brad Sherman, two sitting congressman, have to fight each other for a seat.

Last night, the contenders met at Pierce College to finish a special, two-day political event. It was billed like this:

An hour-long debate by Congressional opponents Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Brad Sherman will close the second Day of Politics at Pierce College on Oct. 11—an event designed to thoughtfully engage and inspire students and the greater community. Leading up to their debate will be pro and con discussions for each of Propositions 30, 32, 34 and 38.

What caused the debate to nearly descend into fisticuffs? The topic that preceded the nose-to-nose confrontation was immigration. Berman called Sherman "delusional" and then Rep. Sherman is seen approaching Howard Berman as he tries to continue with that point. Sherman throws an arm around Berman (in a less than friendly manner) and asks, "Do you want to get into this?"

Debate moderators tried to turn down the heat, but it required a sheriff to step in and calm things down. The debate did continue, followed by statements hoping to turn the scrap into political capital for both campaigns.

Here's the confrontation, as seen on YouTube. (Take note of the sign language interpreter in the lower left and how she transcribes the back-and-forth):

Update:   The Hill reports that Congressman Berman's campaign advisor Brandon Hall released the following statement on the incident:

“At a debate in front of local college students Congressman Brad Sherman loses his mind and acts like a bully. This speaks directly to his temperament that is totally unsuitable for anyone, especially for a member of Congress. The Valley deserved better.”


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