After a rowdy town hall event descended into incivility as two participants duked it out in the aisles, tea party favorite Sharron Angle, virtually tied in her challenge to Nevada Democrat Harry Reid for his seat in the US Senate, is raising the stakes by accusing Democratic political operatives of having “staged” the whole fracas.
Video and photographs of the fisticuffs show an older man, identified only as an Angle supporter, hitting a female Reid supporter as she attempted to walk out on Angle’s closing remarks. She reportedly struck back before the audience swarmed around them to break it up.
Following the event, Angle sat for an interview with right-wing radio host Jerry Doyle, telling him that she believes Reid supporters had “staged” the brawl.
“This is a play right out of ‘Rules for Radicals’,” she said, claiming the fight was “staged” because her opponents did not want reporters to talk about the actual forum.
“There were two women that were actually lookin’ for a fight, trying to get that to be the top news story and they succeeded,” she said.
Reid’s camp was quick to bluster, claiming Angle had said the woman who was struck in the face was “asking for it.”
“In addition to the extreme offensiveness of alleging the woman victimized by this assault was essentially ‘asking for it,’ this cruel and totally unsubstantiated allegation raises serious questions about Sharron Angle’s character,” Reid spokeswoman Kelly Steele said, in a media advisory.
“Beyond her extreme and dangerous agenda for Nevada, Angle has said many things that cause reasonable people to literally question her sanity and whether or not Angle knows the difference between the pathological things that escape her mouth and objective reality – and this may take the cake.”
Angle and Reid are tied at 48 percent apiece, according to a recent poll.
This audio was broadcast by right-wing radio host Jerry Doyle on Sept. 25, 2010, as hosted by Mediaite. “Audio of the exchange was posted online by well-known Nevada political journalist Jon Ralston,” CNN noted.
This video is from NBC 3 in Nevada, broadcast Sept. 24, 2010.
Correction: Reid’s spokesperson was incorrectly identified as a spokesman in an earlier version of this article.