At a campaign stop on Thursday night, Texas Congressman and GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul took a moment to discuss allegations that he’d been “assaulted” by Governor Rick Perry during a break in the GOP debate on Wednesday.

The flap stemmed from a photo taken of the two men in which Perry seems to be gripping Paul’s arm and pointing directly into his face. Rep. Paul states that it was the first time that he and fellow Texan Perry had actually met, and that despite what looks like fairly forbidding body language, the exchange was a casual one.

Mediaite‘s Colby Hall describes Paul’s explanation of the moment captured in the photo as “charmingly doddering” in that the Congressman seems unable to recall at exactly what was going on when the photo was taken. If history is any guide, this will set Hall up for a deluge of protest from Rep. Paul’s passionate — and, some would say, perpetually aggrieved — supporters, who are eager to avenge any perceived slight against their candidate.

For instance, a post at Gawker features quotes of Paul supporters taking umbrage at Perry’s “assault” on Dr. Paul. One Paul fan says, “I’m actually getting scared for Ron’s safety. I rarely believe conspiracy theories, but like Ron I have to remind us of some tonight. Perry is an establishment Bilderberg puppet and may very well have been chosen to be our next president. Ron is becoming VERY threatening to the status quo as of late and if they can’t silence him with the media, they may try a bullet. God I need to sleep…”.

Another warns, “Perry would do well to keep his hands off Dr. Paul in the future. We do have some less stable members of this movement that may take things like that against Dr. Paul personally. You are not untouchable Rick.”

Watch the video of Rep. Paul’s dismissal of the fracas, embedded via Mediaite, below: