Congressional race gets physical during immigration debate
Streetgangs.com Staff Writer
October 12, 2012 | 11:40 a.m. PST
Reps. Brad Sherman, 57, and Howard Berman, 71 at a debate Thursday at Pierce College got heated after discussing federal immigration bill between the to men. Sherman got up close to Berman’s face, threw his arm roughly around his shoulders and challenged “You want to get into this?” While Berman seemed surprised, he didn’t back down to Sherman. Instead, Berman responded and said “Get out of my face.”
The rowdy crowd started cheering and shouting at the men as to trying to rev up the men in a fight. The two men were interrupted by a sheriff’s deputy and a debate organizer, who stepped in between them to prevent an escalation.
The veteran lawmakers were pulled into the same district after a voter-approved independent panel redrew California’s political boundaries. They were the top vote-getters in the June primary and went on to the general election because of California’s new primary system, which sends the top two finishers to the runoff regardless of party affiliation.
Sherman said in a statement that the debate “was not conducted in the highest level. I regret my part in allowing myemotions to distract from the exchange of views.”
Berman’s campaign immediately seized on the incident, sending out a 22-second YouTube snippet and a press release headlined “Brad Sherman attempts to start fight at college debate.”