Let’s just get this out of the way, shall we? Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) offered a response to the State of the Union speech to NY-1, which sounds like business as usual — except that a probe has begun into Grimm’s campaign finances, which so far is both unresolved and not directly connected to Grimm himself. Under those circumstances, though, NY-1 thought it would be a good time to not just provide Grimm with a platform for his response, but also to ask him about the investigation.
Grimm disagreed … emphatically. And in one of the biggest boneheaded moves in politics in recent memory, he disagreed emphatically by threatening the reporter with violence while the camera was still rolling:
“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.”
Needless to say, NY-1 wants an apology, but Grimm so far thinks he was entirely justified:
Grimm later issued a statement saying he was “extremely annoyed” with Scotto and doubted he was the “first member of Congress to tell off a reporter.”
NY1 political director Bob Hardt demanded a “full apology” from Grimm.
Is that how it works? You find someone “extremely annoying,” and that means you can threaten to throw them off balconies and break them in half “like a boy”? (Where did Grimm get that metric, anyway?) That might work really well in professional wrestling, where Grimm might see his career path leading after this incident, but in politics it’s usually considered bad form. And uttering these threats into a live microphone while the reporter’s camera is broadcasting back to the studio is nothing short of idiotic.
Next year, let’s just have one Republican response, please.