Gingrich Staffers Attack Ron Paul Supporter in Florida

Yahoo News reports that Newt Gingrich staffers stomped on the flip-flop-wearing feet of a sign-toting Ron Paul supporter in Windermere, a small town outside of Orlando:

Noticing the awkward optics, Gingrich aides and security personnel swarmed Dillard, trying to intimidate him into moving. One of Gingrich's security agents stepped in front of him. When Dillard didn't budge, the agent lifted his heeled shoe over Dillard's bare foot and dug the back of it into his skin, twisting it side-to-side like he was stomping out a cigarette. Shocked, Dillard kept his ground and took a picture of the agent with his phone, which was quickly knocked out of his hand. Dillard slipped off his flip-flop to pick up the phone with his foot, and a Gingrich supporter kicked the sandal away.

"Don't kick me!" Dillard said to the man who knocked away his sandal. More members of Gingrich's security retinue approached, shoving their shoulders and chests in front of him.

"Just block him!" a Gingrich campaign aide said. "Everyone step on his toes!"

In response, Jesse Benton of the Ron Paul campaign issued the following statement:

They say the culture of an organization is a reflection of its top executive and today’s deplorable behavior against Ron Paul supporter Eddie Dillard in Florida reflects very poorly on Congressman Gingrich. 

I call on Congressman Gingrich to publicly apologize to Mr. Dillard. 

In addition, we ask that those Gingrich campaign staff directly involved in the episode be immediately terminated.

There is simply no excuse for the type of violent, boorish and abusive behavior demonstrated by Mr. Gingrich's campaign.  We hope Mr. Gingrich understands this and takesthe actions we recommend.

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  • ||

    It's despicable for Ron Paul to bring this up on the day of the Florida primary.

  • ||

    nah, its despicable that sheep would support a corrupt system pos like Gingrich in the 1st place...no time for sheep.

  • ||

    I need to dust off the sarcasm tag...

  • I Say||

    Isn't there already one too many sarcasmics here?

  • ||

    I need to dust off the sarcasm tag...

    No need, that one was its own neon sign.

  • darius404||

    Yeah, stuff like that doesn't work well through text.

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  • Libertarian2||

    Anything more despicable is unimaginable.

  • ||

    I see what you did there, Tulpa. :)

  • ||

    Nicely played.

  • Michael||

    HA! Awesome.

    winning.

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  • Zeb||

    Um, why isn't anyone calling for the thugs in question to be arrested for assault?

  • ||

    My question exactly.

  • ||

    I wonder how much evidence there is. The Yahoo news article makes it sound like reporters saw this happening (and there's a photo of him holding the sign next to Newt) so it seems like it's not just his word against theirs.

  • ||

    I find it hard to believe there isn't a cop or two loitering at every campaign stop. Should have been the easiest arrest ever.

  • Mensan||

    Actually, Florida statute requires a deputy sheriff for each polling place and each early voting site who shall be present during the time the polls or early voting sites are open and until the election is completed, who shall be subject to all lawful commands of the clerk or inspectors, and who shall maintain good order.

  • MNG||

    Listen, can I offer you some serious advice?

    I'm not banging on you, seriously.

    However, you tone becomes really confrontational and douchey when you start your discourse with "Actually" and you're not correcting anyone.

    Just saying.

  • ||

    this post is at least 5x douchier and confrontational than the post it's replying to.

  • ryan||

    It needn't be a correction for the term "actually" to be relevant. Actually, the only prerequisite for that word's relevance is that it precedes something which is 'actual'. It exists for clarification of the subsequent text.

    And actually, MNG, you're kinda dumb.

    Just saying, actually.

  • ryan||

    Actually, preceding your statement with "listen", when using text, and then asking a question, and then continuing without waiting for an answer, shows, among other things, that an individual does not understand the proper function of the language being used.

  • killazontherun||

    The goon that hired the thug to beat people up should be arrested as well. At the very least be questioned as to why the 'security agent' felt it was part of the job description of what he was paid to do.

  • Mensan||

    battery ≠ assault

    This was battery.

  • ||

    In some states it's all assault. I don't know how it works in Florida.

  • As someone who knows...||

    This is battery.

    Misdemeanor battery, but still battery.

    The interesting question though, is how do federal voter intimidation statutes apply if at all.

  • 784.03 Battery; felony batter||

    (1)(a) The offense of battery occurs when a person:

    1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or

    2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

    (b) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who commits battery commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    (2) A person who has one prior conviction for battery, aggravated battery, or felony battery and who commits any second or subsequent battery commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this subsection, “conviction” means a determination of guilt that is the result of a plea or a trial, regardless of whether adjudication is withheld or a plea of nolo contendere is entered.

  • As someone who knows...||

    Love it when I'm right.

  • 18 U.S.C. § 594||

    Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

  • As someone who knows...||

    Looks like it applies here.

  • Not someone you would call||

    I suppose someone would make a case for it; but it does not seem to me that the alleged intimidation was for the purpose of interfering with a right to vote; and this seems not to have been an election for the purpose of electing a candidate to one of the named offices.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    The model penal code eliminated battery as a separate offense in the early 70s, so any state that reorganized it's criminal code to match the MPC since then treats battery as either aggravated assault, manslaughter, or murder depending on what the outcome was.

    Consider, for example, Pennsylvania:

    http://law.onecle.com/pennsylv.....index.html

  • Mensan||

    "... any state that reorganized it's criminal code to match the MPC ..."

    New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Most states still recognize them as separate crimes.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Those are just the states that have implemented the entire MPC.

    There are also states that have partially implemented it, and use the MPC version of assault. For example, Texas:

    http://www.statutes.legis.stat......htm#22.01

    There are also states that have merged the offenses independently of the MPC, such as Virgina:

    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bi.....od+18.2-57

  • 784.011 Assault.||

    (1) An "assault" is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

    (2) Whoever commits an assault shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

  • Mensan||

    Florida Statutes:
    784.011 Assault.—
    (1) An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

    784.03 Battery; felony battery.—
    (1) The offense of battery occurs when a person:
    1. Actually and intentionally touches or strikes another person against the will of the other; or
    2. Intentionally causes bodily harm to another person.

  • As someone who knows...||

    Thanks.

    Again, I love being right.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    STOP RESISTING!

  • ||

    For those of you who were still wondering what a Gingrich presidency might be like....

  • ||

    For a moon base we can't afford; it will all be worth it.

    ....

    !!!!!!YES THIS IS SARCASM!!!!!!!!

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy.||

    ...uhm....a lot like the Bush the Lesser and Obamatron presidencies, then?

    Cerrreist! We are so living in the Crazy Times.

  • ||

    From the article:

    Gingrich supporters handed a "Newt 2012" yard sign up to the front to put in front of Dillard's Paul sign. The two signs, zipping back and forth inches from Gingrich's head, circled each other in the air like a fighter jets in a dogfight.

    When the candidate finished taking pictures with voters, furious Gingrich aides grilled Dillard.

    "If we did this to you, you guys would be furious," said an aide before stomping back toward the bus. "They have no class. No class."

    Sorry fellas, if you want to be able to exclude supporters of other candidates, you need to rent a private space. And if you did this to "us", we wouldn't care.

  • Apatheist||

    Yes, Gingrich is certainly the classy candidate.

  • MJ||

    Some Paul supporters have demonstrated a total lack of class. For instance, chnating and sticking their signs into the background of local news coverage of the area New Year's festivties, prompting the anchors to finish the broadcast inside a tent so they would not have to deal with the obnoxiousness. Sometimes Paul's supporters do nothing to dispel the conventional wisdom that Paul is nothing more than a crackpot.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So? That excuses the foot-stomping?

    You're a piece of shit, MJ.

  • ||

    This is Tyranny!

  • Rich||

    There was Gingrich, standing with his wife Callista at their first event of the day, and a giant Ron Paul sign floated inches from their crowns.

    Surely the Founders would not consider *that* to be "freedom of speech".

  • ||

    He should have asked Newt and Callista if they wanted an open primary.

  • Rich||

    8-)

    Something tells me the general is going to be a three-way election.

  • ||

    Surely the Founders would not consider *that* to be "freedom of speech".

    Of course not. That was political speech, which is clearly not protected by the 1st Amendment, and which thus needs to be tightly regulated.

  • ||

    Dillard is far more of a gentleman than I am. With an opportunity like that, I would have been holding a sign detailing Newt's infidelities in very graphic terms. I would have put particular effort into insulting a slut who carried on an affair with a married man for several years.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The staffers in question should have to publicly motorboat Nukular's titties.

  • ||

    Only if they're covered by Santorum.

  • ||

    Only if they're covered by Santorum.

    So kind of like a Cleveland Steamer, only nastier!

  • db||

    Is it possible you've invented a whole new definition for the Urban Dictionary? Now we need a word! I vote for "Newterboating."

    Nah, that's kind of lame. How about "Carpetbagger Special?"

    "despicable smear?"

  • As someone who knows...||

    Newclear Motorboat?

  • db||

    I thought I invented that one last week or so.

  • Nope||

    ctrl-f newclear motorboat 0-0

    you did not.

  • Libertarian2||

    A Gingrich presidency would be like having a flip flop on your neck. Forever.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Newt Bitchtits has Juggalos working for him. Not that Ron Paul followers are never Juggalo like.

  • Mensan||

    What are Juggalos? I don't feel like looking it up on google.

  • tarran||

    They're a group everyone can look down upon.

  • ||

    Derpy derp this is why I support Rhomney derp

  • Chatroom Crank||

    Does FL not have a law prohibiting electioneering within X' of a polling place? If so, since Newt isn't a voter in FL, shouldn't he be charged under this law?

  • ||

    Don't know about FL, but here in PA, you have to run the gauntlet of campaign douches standing at the door of the polling place. Coming from NYS where there was a large exclusion zone measured from the entryway of the polling place (rather than from the precise location of the ballot box/voting machines) that was pretty shocking.

    I was tempted to "accidentally" knock them over when they approached me, but chose to be kinder and gentler for once.

  • ||

    Sneeze, wetly, in their faces.

    Accidentally, of course.

  • ||

    nah, I think you handle them just like TSA goons: moan disturbingly when they make contact with you.

  • Libertarian2||

    I know my county does, and I assume the state (Fla). However, it's pretty darn short. I'd say the signs at my polling place were about 100' from the door.

  • ||

    Does FL not have a law prohibiting electioneering within X' of a polling place?

    I live in Florida, but I'm not entirely sure of what the law is. There are campaign signs planted in the ground just outside the polling station near me, but I can't recall whether or not I've ever seen people with signs outside a polling station.

  • Mensan||

    When I went to my polling precinct today there was a sign out by the side of the road that said No Soliciting Beyond This Point.

  • Mensan||

    Florida Statue 102.031

    (4)(a) No person, political committee, committee of continuous existence, or other group or organization may solicit voters inside the polling place or within 100 feet of the entrance to any polling place, or polling room where the polling place is also a polling room, or early voting site. Before the opening of the polling place or early voting site, the clerk or supervisor shall designate the no-solicitation zone and mark the boundaries.
  • ||

    Why didn't they go all Elin Nordegren on him and smash him upside the head with a seven iron? It is Windermere, after all, and this behavior is permissible.

  • SW_Ohio||

    What, no Hat Tip?!

    http://reason.com/blog/2012/01.....nt_2805036

    If I get a Hat Tip, I'd like it to be "that smart & studly SW_Ohio".

  • *||

    Wait a minute.

    Read that again: "Dillard slipped off his flip-flop to pick up the phone with his foot"

    We talkin' prehensile feet here? Is this a Steve Smith reference or something?

  • ||

    Nah. Hacky-sack player.

  • db||

    If you were surrounded by big security types stomping on your feet, would you bend down for any reason? I'd be fearful for my cranium.

  • Joe M||

    Gingrich supporters handed a "Newt 2012" yard sign up to the front to put in front of Dillard's Paul sign. The two signs, zipping back and forth inches from Gingrich's head, circled each other in the air like fighter jets in a dogfight.

    That is a hilarious image.

  • ||

    Sounds like Newt hired some democrats to work security

  • ||

    This is an example of what I've seen with Pig Newtons people.

  • Auntie Meme||

    Don't tase my flip-flop, bro!

  • Pac-man||

    So I take it that Newt is going to spend millions of our dollars funding the TSA? Because those "government workers" engage in the same despicable, illegal, and degrading behavior.

    That guy from the paul camp is right, Newt ought to fire these guys. They make Newt look like a fascist.

  • ||

    They make Newt look like a fascist.

    Well, there is something to be said for truth in advertising.

    -jcr

  • ||

    The guy was just had a sign up at a place Newt decided to be after he arrived. They should be arrested on assault charges and fined. Ginrich should terminate these nuts as he isn't going to last with them having these thugs on around him.

  • Michael||

    first they laugh at you then they ignore you *then they fight you* then you win - Gandhi. Tipping point reached: Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. - Jesus.

  • DK||

    They say the culture of an organization is a reflection of its top executive and today's deplorable behavior against Ron Paul supporter Eddie Dillard in Florida reflects very poorly on Congressman Gingrich.

    Oh, great, another round of NwZleTerZ!!!

  • Mensan||

    Florida Statute 102.031:

    (4)(a) No person, political committee, committee of continuous existence, or other group or organization may solicit voters inside the polling place or within 100 feet of the entrance to any polling place, or polling room where the polling place is also a polling room, or early voting site. Before the opening of the polling place or early voting site, the clerk or supervisor shall designate the no-solicitation zone and mark the boundaries.
  • cynical||

    Wasn't there a similar incident in either Ron or Rand Paul's last election? Except that the Paul supporter/worker was doing the attacking. The shoe was... ahem... on the other foot.

  • PatriotDan||

    This little anti-American punk deserved it. You go around blaming America for everything, saying we deserve 9/11 and to be nuked by Iran you're a traitor to this nation in my book.

    This traitorous scumbag got off easy.

  • WarrenT||

    Book? You do know a piece of cardboard with ignorant crayon scribblings on it does not count as a book, right?

  • tarran||

    PatriotDan,

    Good trolling has to be subtler. You have to make the lies believable instead of impossibly hyperbolic.

  • WarrenT||

    I think GiantDan can take him this Sunday.

  • PatriotDan||

    What's "lies" and "hyperbolic"? Ron Paul has repeatedly said that we deserved 9/11 and that Iran should be allowed to nuke us. And his cult like follower believe every word that pours out of his mouth. They'd be more dangerous than al Qaeda if they ever seized power in this country.

  • PatriotDan||

    It's the fact they don't support this country, instead hate it and wish to see it destroyed that makes them traitors.

  • tarran||

    It's too late dude....

    You've burned this handle. No matter how firmly you try to defend the lie as if you sincerely believe it, once you've lost people's belief in your sincerity, you have a long road to travel to recover it.

    Just start over, with an inflamatory statement that could be true.

    You must understand that Edward aka Max/Lefitie/Concerned Observer regularly posts similar hysterical rants about Christian Sharia and it has inoculated people here: they just don't care.

  • imhotep||

    PD the terrorists will never get the chance - I am pulling the Democrat lever in 2012 and encouraging everybody I know to do the same. The spending and warring will be huge and proper. The taxing will be enormous. Hasten the demise and all.

  • ||

    Ron Paul has repeatedly said that we deserved 9/11

    That's a lie for a start.

    and that Iran should be allowed to nuke us.

    And that's another one..

    if they ever seized power in this country.

    And here you're showing the full depth of your ignorance. We're not trying to "seize power", you sad little man. We're trying to end it.

    -jcr

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck you, Dan. That's why.

  • k2000k||

    Don't feed the troll
    the troll
    they post without caring
    dont feed the troll, all they do is lol
    don't feed the troll
    He just drags into the fight lolz

  • BunkerBill||

    Flip-Flops vs Jackboots. Smart Money is on the Jackboots.

  • WarrenT||

    Hello new nicknames for Romney and Gingrich.

  • ||

    "Jackboot Newt". I think it might stick.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Maybe Gingrich's campaign staffers should start wearing brown shirts and jackboots.

  • ||

    A good number of my fellow Ron Paul supporters are bikers, truckers, and combat veterans. Any staffer from a rival candidate tries this same shit on them is going to get a beating or worse.

  • WarrenT||

    They already work for Jackboots so it's hard to see what "worse" would be.

  • ||

    Apology, hell! I hope Dillard takes that son of a bitch to court and gets a judgement bigger than all the bribes Newtie ever got from Fannie Mae.

    -jcr

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Just a taste of the next several months to come. Shit's gonna get nastier the closer we get to November.

    And Obama supporters are gonna be giving it, too. Just wait.

    And I'll bet ten bucks on it. Takers?

  • tyrel jones||

    douchebag

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