A startling video posted online Thursday night shows California Rep. Brad Sherman violently grabbing his bitter rival Rep. Howard Berman during a debate.
The confrontation between the two Jewish Democrats fighting for their political lives was shot at a Thursday night debate at Pierce College, according to a report in the Los Angeles Daily News.
Sherman put his right arm around Berman and shook him slightly as the two argued over a federal immigration bill, the paper wrote. Berman looked to the audience, shocked. Sherman let go, then stuck his face in Berman’s as a sheriff’s deputy approached.
“You want to get in my face?” Sherman shouted.
The race between Berman and Sherman has grown increasingly heated in recent weeks. The two have clashed over allegations made by Berman’s camp that Sherman took money out of his campaign warn chest to repay loans with interest he had made to the campaign.
The two incumbent Democrats, forced to run against each other due to redistricting, are running neck and neck.
The video of the Thursday night incident was posted online by the Berman campaign.
“Howard’s kind of a small guy and Brad was right in his face grabbing him,” a Berman spokesman told the L.A. Daily News.
Sherman’s spokesman told the paper that it was actually Berman who started the altercation by stepping in Sherman’s direction.
When Balding Jews Attack
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.