Rep. Brad Sherman is expressing regret over a much-discussed incident in which he grabbed his opponent Rep. Howard Berman during a heated moment in a debate.
“I touched him, I put my arm around his shoulder, I should not have done that,” the California Democrat, who is locked in a redistricting-induced battle, told the Associated Press.
Berman’s campaign manager has said that voters should be aware of the incident and left open the possibility of highlighting it in ads.
Things got heated in the debate after Sherman denied that Berman, a fellow California Democrat, was the author of the DREAM Act, insisting that was wrongly taking credit from Rep. Luis Gutierrez for the bill to grant legal residency to many illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.
But Gutierrez has Berman’s back in the dispute.
“When I am in Los Angeles next week campaigning for Howard Berman’s reelection, I will tell everyone that I support Howard Berman because of his authorship of the DREAM Act and the crucial, leadership role Howard Berman has played in every major piece of immigration legislation under consideration in the House. Howard is our champion,” Gutierrez said in a statement last week.
Gutierrez had authored an earlier version of the legislation, but Berman authored the version of the DREAM Act that passed the House in 2010.
Other supporters of the DREAM Act also have rallied around Berman.