It’s becoming an annual tradition: President Obama delivers his state of the union speech, and some Republican or other implodes on camera. Usually it occurs during the delivery of the Republican response. You know, Marco Rubio clumsily grabbing for his water bottle, or Bobby Jindal–the previous Republican wunderkind, remember?!–giving an awful speech that was painful to watch. I’m not saying that one of this year’s responders didn’t have their awkward TV moment, but there were just so many responses to keep track of this year. Who knows what happened in them, since nobody was watching.
No, I’m talking about Michael Grimm, Republican congressman from the state of New York. Following last night’s SOTU speech, Grimm went on NY1 TV for a brief interview. After eliciting a few comments about the speech–it was “divisive,” don’t you know–the reporter, Michael Scotto, had the audacity to ask the congressman about the ongoing federal investigation of his 2010 campaign fundraising. Rep. Grimm didn’t like that, not at all. His response?
“I’m not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president,” said Grimm, before walking off camera.
“So Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances,” Scotto said before tossing back to the station. But as the camera continued to roll, Grimm walked back up to Scotto and began speaking to him in a low voice.
“What?” Scotto responded. “I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”
Scotto: “Why? I just wanted to ask you…”
Grimm: “If you ever do that to me again…”
Scotto: “Why? Why? It’s a valid question.”
Grimm: “No, no, you’re not man enough, you’re not man enough. I’ll break you in half. Like a boy.”
It kinda makes you wonder if he has previously broken boys in half, doesn’t it?
After the incident–and after Grimm realized that maybe he shouldn’t be physically threatening television reporters while their cameramen are recording the threat–Grimm issued the following statement:
I was extremely annoyed because I was doing NY1 a favor by rushing to do their interview first in lieu of several other requests. The reporter knew that I was in a hurry and was only there to comment on the State of the Union, but insisted on taking a disrespectful and cheap shot at the end of the interview, because I did not have time to speak off-topic. I verbally took the reporter to task and told him off, because I expect a certain level of professionalism and respect, especially when I go out of my way to do that reporter a favor. I doubt that I am the first Member of Congress to tell off a reporter, and I am sure I won’t be the last.
Rep. Grimm expects “a certain level of professionalism and respect?” One might say the same about our congressmen.
P.S. As soon as Cluster reads this post, he’ll no doubt start scouring the Internets looking for a similar incident involving a Democrat. It could be from the twentieth century, or the nineteenth century, or colonial times. I’m sure I speak for all of us in saying that I can hardly wait to see what he comes up with.