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Reporter caught on voicemail saying it would 'suck' if GOP candidate is elected — and pays for it

Michigan GOP U.S. Senate candidate John James (center) campaigns with the help of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (right) at Senor Lopez Restaurant on Aug. 13, 2018, in Detroit. James, a businessman who has President Donald Trump's endorsement, is running against Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow. A reporter from the Huron Daily Tribune, a Michigan newspaper in Bad Axe, was fired after she was caught on a voicemail saying it would "suck" if James was elected. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

A reporter for Michigan's Huron Daily Tribune in Bad Axe left a voicemail Monday requesting an interview with John James, the state's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, the Daily Caller reported.

It was your garden-variety voicemail message — that is until Brenda Battel apparently believed she'd hung up her phone. She didn't. And unfortunately for her, she kept talking.

“Man, if he beats her, Jesus! F***in' John James," Battel is heard saying on the voicemail. "That would suck! I don’t think it’s gonna happen though."

Check it out. (Content warning: Foul language — and stupidity — coming your way):

If Battel's prediction about James and Tuesday's election comes true, she might want to look into a job as a palm reader — because she's no longer employed at the Daily Tribune.

'Immediately terminated'

"I have listened to the voicemail left by Brenda Battel to Mr. James' campaign, and find no reason to defend this behavior," Kate Hessling, editor of the Daily Tribune, told the paper in a statement Monday evening. "Brenda Battel's employment has been immediately terminated."

Hessling added that "the Huron Daily Tribune sincerely apologizes to Mr. James and to the public. These statements do not represent the views of the Tribune as a whole, nor do they reflect the actions of a responsible journalist."

What did James' campaign have to say?

James’ campaign manager told the Daily Caller she's frustrated about the voicemail from what should be an unbiased media — and that it came when the race between James and Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow has tightened.

“It shows you that some media will do anything to keep the status quo and career politicians in power,” Tori Sachs told the outlet. “The liberal media can’t stand the idea of a job creator and combat veteran coming to Washington to shake up the system. This happened as we closed in within the margin of error.”

More from the Daily Caller:

James, who was at one point down by 20 points in multiple polls, is now only behind by 2 points, according to a Change Research poll released just less than 24 hours before the midterm elections. This comes as James has received a list of big name endorsements, such as from President Donald Trump, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., National Security Adviser John Bolton, Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio and many others.

The outlet said its attempt to reach Battel for comment was unsuccessful.

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