Ron Paul And Rick Perry’s Off-Camera Confrontation At Reagan Library Debate

A photographer caught an interesting moment between Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas Congressman Ron Paul last night during a commercial break from the Reagan Library Debate:

During the Sept. 7 Republican debate, Ron Paul clashed with fellow Texan Rick Perry once again.

This time, things got physical.

During a commercial break, Perry walked up to Paul’s podium, physically grabbed Paul’s wrist, and pointed at Paul’s face with his other hand

The confrontation took place shortly after this portion of the debate, where things got testy between Paul and Perry:

As Tommy Christopher notes at Mediaite, the Ron Paul fans are already alleging the Perry “assaulted” Paul”

During a commercial break at Wednesday’s Republican debate, Rick Perry and Ron Paul continued their spirited exchange on stage. Suddenly, Perry grabbed Ron Paul’s forearm while aggressively pointing his index finger towards the Congressman’s face. Alerted by Perry’s menacing gestures, Ron Paul’s bodyguard (front left) was standing by, ready to protect the Congressman.

As Christopher notes, we really don’t know what Perry was saying to Paul, although I doubt that he was asking him for barbeque tips. Whatever happened, though, there were a few other photos taken during the confrontation, including this one that makes it seem like Jon Huntsman was trying to play peacemaker:

Well, Huntsman does have diplomatic experience, perhaps he thought he could help.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Polaris says:

    Ron Paul and Rick Perry hate each other and have for years. I can tell you this living in Texas and thus being all too familiar with both. For many, many years, Ron Paul and the Texas GOP had a longstanding ‘non-agression pact’ since Ron Paul tried and failed to run as a libertarian for Potus. Ron Paul would not oppose the Texas GOP in Texas and the Texas GOP would support, defend, and fund Ron Paul as one of their own.

    Ron Paul broke this pact when he used is state organization to back Medina (a truther) over Perry in the last race for governor, and then tried to it was ‘coincidental’ and he had nothing to do with it. No one believed that least of all Perry who promptly got Ron Paul’s seat redistricted out from under him in the latest redistricting map of Texas.

    That’s the real reason Ron Paul is retiring from congress while running for Potus. He knows that if he runs again, he loses because is long standing protected district is g-o-n-e.

    -Polaris

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Ron Paul??

  3. nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan says:

    more pictures are available

    Neocon Rick Perry
    Heart of Darkness

  4. Bla says:

    I’m just waiting for the video and I KNOWWWWW it’s out there. 🙂

    Here’s a tasty morsel while we wait. It shows how unelectable Paul really is.

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/09/07/7658608-who-do-you-think-won-the-republican-debate-at-the-reagan-library?pc=20&sp=840#discussion_nav

  5. MarkedMan says:

    Doesn’t anyone else think this is disturbing? The Republican front runner for POTUS, loses his cool, grabs an old man’s arm and starts wagging his finger in the codger’s face? I wouldn’t call it assault but it seems a bit out of control to me. Why isn’t this bigger news?

    And believe me, if it Kerry or Gore or Obama had done it to Dennis Kucinich I would be saying the exact same thing.

  6. Ben Wolf says:

    So we have a low-IQ religious lunatic and bigot grabbing a 70 year-old man’s arm like a schoolyard bully. Just brilliant, Texas. You have such class.

  7. Ben Wolf says:

    As Christopher notes, we really don’t know what Perry was saying to Paul, although I doubt that he was asking him for barbeque tips.

    This had me laughing, nice prose Doug.

  8. DANNY YELTON says:

    Perry=World War III

  9. Franklin says:

    Don’t mess with Texas.
    Hey I’m from Texas.
    No I am!
    This state ain’t big enough for the two of us!

    /yawn … boy do they sure like pretend tough guys down there

  10. kevinbsnyder says:

    I don’t like what Rick Perry does here at all. Emotions run high and that’s fine but you don’t just grab someone like that at a debate of all places. I know some people have said Perry did a good job but I guess I was watching a different debate I thought Perry look awful. He looked like a deer in the headlights at times.

  11. Tlaloc says:

    Doesn’t anyone else think this is disturbing? The Republican front runner for POTUS, loses his cool, grabs an old man’s arm and starts wagging his finger in the codger’s face? I wouldn’t call it assault but it seems a bit out of control to me. Why isn’t this bigger news?

    What’s one more insane thing by the GOP field?

  12. M. Bouffant says:

    @Ben Wolf:
    To be fair, the 70-yr.old is a low-IQ religious lunatic and bigot as well.

  13. Loose Era says:

    Lots of thought bubble fun to be had here.
    Huntsman: “They call THIS GUY governor “good Hair”?” or “Oh my God, I am in the wrong friggin party.”

    Perry: “If you tell anyone about me and Rand I’ll execute yer ass without any struggle.

    Paul: “I should call the cops but I am a Libertarian and don’t believe in cops or government or rules, really. Gosh, this Mormon’s got better hair than Perry.”

  14. AR says:

    @Polaris: @Polaris: Did you notice the majority RP got last time? Even If he has only part of his old district he would still win. I believe he had something like 80% of the vote?

  15. JohnLHooker says:

    Ron Paul is not exteme in his views at all unless you wish to call our founders exteme. You have just grown so accustomed to Govt. holding your hand through every phase of your life is the problem. You can either be independent without a Constitution (because this Govt. can’t last while paying everyone’s bills) or you can have liberty with a Constitution by electing Ron Paul. Wake up America.

  16. jukeboxgrad says:

    It’s borderline, but apparently in certain jurisdictions or according to some case law, any unwanted touching can be considered assault.

    In 2006 a man touched Cheney on the arm, and the Secret Service arrested him. They “said that Howards’ contact with Cheney constituted assault.” Link, link.

    Anyway, it shows a pretty stunning lack of self-control and judgment to commit an act that can even remotely be construed as assault, while in a room full of cameras and reporters.

    Then again, Perry’s persona is about being a tough guy, so for his fans this sort of thing is probably more of a feature than a bug.

  17. Polaris says:

    @AR:

    Did you notice the majority RP got last time? Even If he has only part of his old district he would still win. I believe he had something like 80% of the vote?

    He got 80% against a sacrificial dem with a GOP party that was still backing him at the time. In fact for safe congressional districts, it was probably a bit low considering all those factors.

    No, if RP ran again he’s be primaried and in a more traditional GOP type district, Gov Perry made sure of that, and likely lose.

    -Polaris

  18. Polaris says:

    @JohnLHooker:

    Ron Paul is not exteme in his views at all unless you wish to call our founders exteme.

    I think trying to run our global economy using bear skins and stone knives for commodity trading (OK rather using banking and commodity regulations from the 1800s) is pretty damned extreme, and IMHO tells me (given that it’s clearly impossible and Dr Paul knows that perfectly well) that RP simply wants to watch the modern global economy burn. My take anyway.

    -Polaris

  19. I agree that the photo make Perry look like a jerk (more the finger in the face than the hand on the arm, IMHO).

    In fairness, however, a photo doesn’t always convey reality as much as we think it does. We don’t know what Perry was saying, what the tone was or really much of anything. I say this as an amateur photographer who takes hundreds (heck, thousands) of photos a year. I often get shots that appear to capture X, but because I know what was going on when I took the shot I know that really Y was going on.

    A recent example come to mind: I took a series of photos of my son’s soccer team post-game last Saturday and my son and one of his teammates were goofing off. One of the photos could be interpreted as my son shoving his teammate in anger, but I know that they were both laughing at the time. However, the split second of a given moment often does not convey the reality of the situation.

    This is not to say that a confrontation was not taking place, but it is to say that one photo really can’t tell us all that much.

  20. terrymac says:

    Well, this I have to see – an actual youtube video of Ron Paul advocating using bear skins and stone knives for international trade. Otherwise, Steven, I think you should do the gentlemanly thing and apologize for setting fire to your own straw man.

    As for that alleged “non-aggression pact”, I’ve heard many stories of how the GOP leadership has tried to oust Ron Paul. It comes as no surprise that the Establishment fears anybody who speaks of “a government small enough to fit inside the Constitution.”

    Gee, heaven forbid that we should expect agents of government follow the Constitution, which is nothing less than their employment contract. How extreme is that?

  21. @terrymac:

    Otherwise, Steven, I think you should do the gentlemanly thing and apologize for setting fire to your own straw man.

    What straw man? Where? What do you even think I am arguing here? The only thing I mentioned was interpreting photographs.

  22. Polaris says:

    terrymac,

    You are referring to me (bearskins and stone knives for international trade), and I’ve already admitted it was hyperbole, but it was hyperbole to make a point. The point is that Dr Paul wants us to use 19th century banking and commodities exchanges and rules to handle a 21st century economy. He has to know better. He does know better, hence it’s my contention that RP just wants to watch the modern global economy burn.

    -Polaris

  23. terrymac says:

    @Polaris: Dr. Ron Paul knows far more than you about the question of money and banking. Instead of prattling about 19th century rules, about which you appear to know next to nothing, go home and study the materials at mises.org until you can formulate an actual criticism, instead of these snarky drive-by comments.

    You’ll find a great deal of information, pro and con.

    While you study that, ask yourself why the dollar has lost over 98% of its value in the last 100 years, and if this is truly a blessing? Consider the destructive impact upon savings and investment. Once you grok that, consider the Austrian Business Cycle Theory critique of artificial manipulation of interest rates upon the distribution of capital – that is, malinvestments – and the link between such artificial booms and the necessary booms which follow.

    I await an actual, articulate reply – if you have one.

  24. terrymac says:

    @terrymac: Typo: “booms which follow” should have been “busts which follow.”

  25. terrymac says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: My mistake – I took aim at Polaris, and hit you. Apologies.

  26. Polaris says:

    The economists of the Austrian School have as much as stated that they want the global economy to burn.

    -Polaris

    Edit PS: As for the rest, I see little point debating the fringe follower, of a fringe politician with ideas so radically outside the mainstream that they aren’t worth discussing. I think we’re done.

  27. Jermaine says:

    Ron Paul is in the top 2% IQ in this country. Do some research before you mouth off like you know what your talking about.

  28. Polaris says:

    @Jermaine: What does that have to do with anything? Just because a person has a high IQ doesn’t mean they have any sense. Both Heisenberg and Einstein were perfect examples.

    -Polaris