Cain Teamster Apologizes for Clothes-Lining Reporter
Three members of GOP candidate Herman Cain’s campaign team apologized Wednesday after a man who said he was there to protect Cain manhandled a reporter, reports CBS News
The incident occurred in Coral Springs, Florida when several journalists who have been regularly covering Cain tried to film the candidate returning to his campaign bus after an event.
As the journalists followed Cain, a man in plain clothes blindsided National Journal/CBS News reporter Lindsey Boerma into the side of Cain’s campaign bus. Immediately after shoving the reporter, the same man stuck his arm out and clothes-lined Boerma.
The man refused to identify himself at the time of the incident, but implied that he was a police officer when he said one of his “buddies” in uniform could give Boerma a ride in the back of a police car. When the other journalists turned their cameras on him, he pulled out his cell phone and started recording the press. “I’m an independent reporter,” he said.
Lt. Joe McHugh of the Coral Springs Police Department did in fact identify the man as one of his officers and defended his actions. “The reporter was running up along the side of the bus with no identification on, identifying herself as a reporter,” McHugh said. “So the officer stuck his arm out to prevent her from getting to Mr. Cain and at which time he was successful."
Boerma was not wearing press tags but was carrying a video camera with a CBS decal. She is a member of a team of reporters covering the presidential candidates for National Journal and CBS News.
McHugh said the officer, identified as Sgt. William Reid, suffered a hyper-extended elbow.
Campaign spokesman JD Gordon witnessed part of the manhandling. Gordon said the campaign is “reviewing our own internal security procedures and we will work closely with our state director and local hosts and security to ensure that we can protect the candidate and staff while at the same time avoiding incidents like the one today.”
Gordon said Boerma did not do anything wrong “but other reporters have in the past,” he said. “So the police just did what they had to do given the crowd size and the pace of the event so I wouldn’t fault anybody. Hopefully, we can have more clarity moving forward.”
Defense or not, this is not the first time journalists have been roughed up while covering Cain. On Tuesday, a Washington Post writer reported being shoved by Cain bodyguards.
National Journal Editor in Chief Ron Fournier said” “Lindsey and dozens of reporters from other news organizations are covering the Cain campaign thoroughly and professionally, and they deserve no less professional treatment from those involved in campaign events.”