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Sherman Forcibly Grabs Berman at Debate [VIDEO]

In YouTube video posted by Berman campaign, Sherman is heard to shout "Do you want to get into this?"

The hotly contested race between Rep. Howard Berman and Rep. Brad Sherman got a little hotter Thursday night when, toward the end of their debate at Pierce College, Sherman grabbed Berman and shouted "Do you want to get into this?"

The Berman campaign soon responded with a press release, linking to YouTube videos it posted of the incident, alleging that Sherman was trying to start a fight.

In the two clips of the same incident—one 23 seconds, the other 71 seconds (see attached)—the audience is hooting and hollering as Sherman is shouting at Berman while the two men stand on stage. Sherman yells at Berman, "Don't get in my face. Stay away from me." Sherman then puts his arm around Berman's shoulders, pulls him nose-to-nose and continues shouting.

  • UPDATE 3 p.m. 10/12: The Jewish Journal, which had a staff writer at the event, reported that the altercation came after the candidates' argued over whether Berman was the original author in 2001 of the DREAM Act.

The two Democratic candidates, who are fighting for the same seat in the 30th Congressional District, briefly exchange words and then step away from each other as a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy and others step onto the stage in an apparent attempt to calm the situation.

Sherman's campaign issued a press release late Thursday saying that Berman's staff had "wildly" exaggerated and mischaracterized the incident. It also posted its own video (see attached).

"The event began when Berman began yelling that Sherman was a liar and delusional," the statement said. "Berman then went over to Sherman’s table and confronted Sherman nose to nose."

The press release also included the following statement from Sherman:

“The Pierce College debate was not conducted at the highest level. I regret my part in allowing emotions [to] distract from the exchange of views.”

Alex Daniels October 12, 2012 at 04:38 AM
two morons....god help us
Lorraine October 12, 2012 at 05:05 AM
WOW! To think all those millions of dollars being wasted by tweedledee & tweedledum as they duke it out in print, video, and now live. I'm not voting for either candidate.
Courtney October 12, 2012 at 05:25 AM
How can residents in the 30th congressional district trust Brad Sherman when he cannot control himself in a debate, surrounded by people? If he were to defeat Congressman Berman, and the Democrats were to take back the House, Brad Sherman could become the chairman of the foreign affairs committee. The person holding that position MUST be trustworthy. Brad Sherman clearly is not
george October 12, 2012 at 05:48 AM
This would never fly in a vice presidential debate, and certainly not a presidential one, and it should not be tolerated at the local level either. What was he thinking?
maizecornputer October 12, 2012 at 09:28 AM
It was a little hard to tell what was worse from watching the short videos, but it looked like choice one below: 1) The lack of professionalism from two seasoned politicians who should know better how to deport themselves in public after all these years (stupid insults, name calling, interrupting each other, lack of substance in their messages and uncalled for physical contact), 2) Or the noisy crowd that appeared to be cheering them on toward more of such recklessness. They behaved like brothers having a family spat and yet they also seemed to prove Will Rogers classic remark, "I am not a member of any organized political party. I'm a Democrat." And maybe they both needed a tranquilizer. This makes me wonder just how much it would take to have "None of the above" added as a choice on all of the ballots for political office positions to prevent the election of unacceptable politicians. Why do we continue to have to pick the least unacceptable politician to fill the job?
cat c October 12, 2012 at 11:23 AM
I love the lady having to sign language the whole thing..hahahaha
Charles Murray October 12, 2012 at 02:43 PM
If two Democrats can be that far apart, I can only imagine the scene; had there been a Republican added to the mix. I suppose there would be the risk of a real hockey game breaking out! All fun aside, I think it's a disgrace to our community and to society in general, that two officials who are trusted to represent the People, should set such an example of behavior. Charles
PB October 12, 2012 at 03:07 PM
I just changed my vote!! No bullies allowed!!
Ken October 12, 2012 at 05:10 PM
While one certainly has the choice to vote for neither, one is still going to be in office. The one who votes for neither has no legitimate grievance for poor government.
Zookeeper91326 October 12, 2012 at 05:23 PM
This will really be voting for the proverbial, "lesser of two evils."
Linda Coburn October 12, 2012 at 05:45 PM
The funny thing is they are so similar in most of their positions that it's really a coin toss for the most part. Berman is just Sherman's dad in disguise. Perhaps it was some sort of Oedipal experience.
Dave H October 12, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Wow, what great reporting! Not one thing about what started the altercation, nothing about the substance of the debate leading up to the argument. Too much of the You Tube generation looking at the fight without any understanding of the conflict. Try doing some journalism Patch, you might get more respect.
Joseph October 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
That was great
Richard Core October 12, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Hi Dave. We weren't at the event, so we were going by what the campaigns released. We found an article from a reporter who was there. There's a link to that article in the update above.
Baker Clem October 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Nothing personal, there is no reason to grab anyone. It just looks like he is a bully.
J.L. Capps October 12, 2012 at 11:05 PM
I still can't understand why Mark Reed didn't get in there, an obvious better choice than either of these career politicians!
J.L. Capps October 12, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Matter of fact I am going to write in Mark Reeds name, and I suggest everyone do the same! What went down last night was a disgrace & only focuses more attention to what is already known, our CURRENT politicians, the ones there for 20 or near 20 years care very little indeed about they're constituency, and more so about they're paychecks and the perks of the job! Do the math $7,000,000.00 spent between the 2 INCUMBENTS for a job that pays $200,000 per year! COME ON......
J.L. Capps October 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM
MARK REED FOR CA 30!
Beverly October 13, 2012 at 05:01 PM
How about some fact-checking? What role did each of these Reps have in any version of the DREAM Act or its initial California state version (whether formally acknowledged or not)? How come no one is asking these questions, especially at a COLLEGE????? Why the poor sportsmanship on Berman's part by vacating the stage before Sherman made his final remarks?
Beverly October 13, 2012 at 05:03 PM
How about some fact-checking? What role did each of these Reps have in any version of the DREAM Act or its initial California state version (whether formally acknowledged or not)? How come no one is asking these questions, especially at a COLLEGE????? Why the poor sportsmanship on Berman's part by vacating the stage before Sherman made his final remarks?
J.L. Capps October 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Beverly, between the 2 of these government employees Brad Sherman is the at the pinnacle of lazy do nothing mountain! The only thing Sherman has done is do townhall meetings ( where he has consistently asked for the EASIEST QUESTIONS PLEASE ) oh yeah and collect 1/5th of a million $'s a year! For the past 16 years! That's $3,000,000.00+ we've spent for this guy to continue to run for office on a continual cycle! Please wake up and smell the coffe! It's a new day and I pray it's without Brad Sherman as a public employee!
Carol Elliott October 14, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Writing in Mark Reed is an excellent idea for our US Representative, as I am not voting for either of these career democrate politicians. Got rid of Waxman out of my district only to be saddled with the choice of one of these two bozos..... Voting Republican down the line - Romney-Ryan 2012
Beverly October 14, 2012 at 11:56 PM
To JL: You haven't addressed the issue. 1.Were either/none/both of these Reps materially involved in the writing of the DREAM Act proposed legislation? If so, who? 2. This "debate" was held at a college, supposedly an institution of higher learning. It was supposedly moderated by a political science professor. Why was this important issue not analyzed for the FACTS? (see question 1 immediately above). 3. Why did Berman not wait out the remainder of this "debate", instead of vacating the stage like a spoiled brat who couldn't get his way? Here's an old saying for you J.L.: "don't let the facts stand in the way of the truth". Your response, if any, should include FACTUAL, not EMOTIONAL, answers to at least questions 1 and 3.
J.L. Capps October 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I never said anything about the dream act Beverly! My point is they are both party line CAREER POLITICIANS! And out of the 2 of them Brad Sherman has done absolutely nothing for 16+ years but look out for his own 200k a year position! ALL FACT!
irma glutz October 15, 2012 at 02:38 AM
I don't care for either one of them, and only met Brad Sherman at my physical therapy place 8 years ago.. I found him to be self involved and using the PT facility as his own private gym, instead of going to work...I have no respect for him and obviously, Berman should retire... and no one ever answered the question about the Dream Act.. who did actually come up with that.. Too many politicians and liars.. How 'bout just telling the facts ma'am... nothing but the facts.. and stop all these politicians from taking $ from the big guys and lobbyists.. just write the legislature for the bill without all the "add ons" and dock them when they don't show up to vote... especially on the budget,... Withhold their salaries..
J.L. Capps October 15, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Anybody upset about the dream act should be ready to walk on city hall for trying to implement a policy giving ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS charge cards....the mayor is stepping all over our sovereignty every oppurtunity he gets!

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