Local Politics

Etheridge confrontation revived in political ad

Posted September 28, 2010 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2010 7:01 p.m. EDT

— Five weeks before the general election, the conservative group Americans for Job Security is rolling out a television ad that revives an embarrassing video of Second District Congressman Bob Etheridge confronting a man.

The online video showed the Democratic congressman in a physical confrontation with a man on a Washington, D.C., sidewalk. He grabbed the arm and then the neck of the man, who refused Etheridge's repeated demands to identify himself as he and another man videotaped Etheridge and asked if he supported "the Obama agenda."

Etheridge apologized for the encounter in June, but now it's the subject of a campaign ad that attacks his voting record.

Americans for Job Security recently pledged to spend $800,000 in ads against Etheridge before the Nov. 2 election.

Republican candidate Renee Ellmers isn't mentioned in the ad. By law, her campaign couldn't be directly involved in the ad, but her campaign spokesman said Tuesday that he thought the spot was well done.

Etheridge campaign spokesman Mike Davis said the congressman has taken responsibility for the incident and regrets his actions.

"Renee Ellmers said she would not exploit the incident for political gain, yet apparently she is perfectly content letting secretive Washington special interests do her attacking for her,” Davis said in a statement.