To stomp, or to stop, that is the question.
US Representative John F. Tierney was displeased when he spotted a video camera-wielding Republican operative at a Democratic event on Friday evening.
“Tracker?” Tierney asks as he spots a man working for the state Republican Party recording a video of him. “You got to be kidding. In here? We ought to get the troops and stomp him,” Tierney appears to say in the video.
But a Tierney spokesman, Daniel Rubin, disputed that.
“What he was saying, was not ‘stomp’ but ‘stop,’” Rubin said. “I just confirmed with all of our staff [there] that what he said was ‘stop.’”
“He was simply saying to a staff member: we need to stop this guy from filming,” Rubin said.
Rubin added that only credentialed media was allowed at that event and the tracker should not have been there.
The video, obtained by the Globe from a Republican, was taken by a MassGOP tracker, the state party’s executive director, Rob Cunningham, confirmed in an email. Cunningham said it was taken Friday night at a party for Steve Kerrigan, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party held their convention in Worcester on Friday and Saturday.
Trackers — political operatives who record videos of candidates on the trail in hopes of catching a gaffe or a flip-flop — are omnipresent in modern campaigns. For example, a tracker followed gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley along the full length of a parade route in Charlestown on Sunday, capturing video of her shaking hands and waving for hours.
Tierney is considered the most politically vulnerable member of Congress from Massachusetts. He faces primary challenges from former Marine Seth Moulton, immigration attorney Marisa DeFranco and other Democrats.
Republican Richard Tisei, who lost to him by one percentage point in the 2012, is also hoping to unseat him.