Massachusetts Democratic Senatorial candidate Martha Coakley was in Washington raising money last night. The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack had a good question for Coakley and caught up with her after the event to ask it:
Massachusetts Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley attended a fundraiser at the Capitol Hill restaurant Sonoma tonight. After the event concluded, Coakley took two questions from the media but declined to say whether or not she stands by her statement at last night’s debate that there aren’t any terrorists in Afghanistan (and that they’ve all gone to Pakistan or Yemen).
After taking a question from a CNN reporter on the street outside the restaurant, I asked her:
TWS: Attorney General Coakley, you said last night that there are no terrorists in Afghanistan–that they’re all in Yemen and Pakistan. Do you stand by that remark?
COAKLEY: I’m sorry, did someone else have a question?
GRIFF JENKINS, Fox News: I did. Why are you in Washington tonight?
COAKLEY: We planned an event after the primary that would be a unity event in Washington. We’re also in the middle of a very intense campaign […]
After Coakley finished her answer, she began walking away from the restaurant, and I walked behind her asking why health care industry lobbyists were supporting her at the fundraiser. She didn’t reply.
As I walked down the street, a man who appeared to be associated with the Coakley campaign pushed me into a freestanding metal railing. I ended up on the sidewalk. I was fine. He helped me up from the ground, but kept pushing up against me, blocking my path toward Coakley down the street.
He asked if I was with the media, and I told him I work for THE WEEKLY STANDARD. When I asked him who he worked for he replied, “I work for me.” He demanded to see my credentials, and even though it was a public street, I showed them to him.
I eventually got around him and met up with the attorney general halfway down the block.
“Attorney General, could I ask you a question please?” I said. “We’re done, thanks,” Coakley replied. She walked back toward the restaurant, apparently searching for her car. She remained silent as I (politely) repeated my question.
Coakley staffers told me they didn’t know who the man was who pushed me, though by every indication he was somehow connected to the campaign.
McCormack has posted a video of his close encounter with the thug. He has also tentatively identified his assailant as a Blue Line Strategic Communications principal consulting with the DSCC on media for Coakley by the name of Michael Meehan.
Last night on Special Report with Bret Baier, columnist Charles Krauthammer gave Coakley the benefit of the doubt regarding the construction of her comments regarding the terrorists having departed from Afghanistan. Her refusal to answer McCormack’s question last night suggests that Krauthammer’s magnanimity may have been misplaced and that Coakley should not be given the benefit of the doubt.
Now we have one more question for Coakley. Who was the thug kicking McCormack to the curb?
UPDATE: William Jacobson argues that “this photo may change the election.” Then again, it may not. But it should. And Michael Graham tentatively concurs with Jacobson.
MORE: The Boston Herald is on the story.
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