Republicans reacted angrily today after a video tracker was apparently pushed, threatened, and had his camera knocked down while shooting video of Democratic US Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren.
The Warren campaign said the man involved was a private cabdriver, unaffiliated with the campaign.
The hand-held video, shot by a Republican campaign tracker on Sunday on Martha’s Vineyard, shows Warren getting into a car. The car’s driver then tells the tracker, “Get out of my face or I’m going to call the police.”
The photographer protests, saying several times that it is a “public event,” as the driver shouts back, “Get out of my face.”
At one point, the camera appears to fall to the ground and the photographer appears to get shoved. “You’re messing with the wrong people,” the driver says at the end.
Trackers attend, and record, campaign events held by the opposing candidate, hoping to capture some insight — or tidbit — that media coverage would not provide.
Nate Little, executive director of the Massachusetts Republican Party called the driver “a campaign aide” in a statement calling for an apology from Warren.
“In addition to knocking the camera from the employee’s hand, the individual also threw a punch,” the statement said. “This type of behavior is completely unacceptable and has no place in our public discourse. Despite witnessing this assault first-hand, Professor Warren took no action and allowed it to continue.”
The video, however, does not make clear that Warren, who was in the car during the confrontation, was aware of it.
The Warren campaign, which is challenging Republican US Senator Scott Brown, responded with a statement from spokeswoman Julie Edwards.
“The person featured in the video was not a member of the Elizabeth Warren for Massachusetts staff,” she said. “He is a cab driver. Elizabeth did not see what happened. The photographer has a right to film in public locations, and the campaign had allowed him to film the entirety of Elizabeth’s event. The confrontation was wrong.”
The state Democratic Party also released a video from a March event at a VFW in Revere in which one of their trackers was forcibly removed.