RALEIGH, N.C. — A Democratic congressman apologized Monday after video posted online showed him swatting at a video camera and demanding that two men taping him with it identify themselves.
Watch the video here
The video was shot and posted to the web by the same activist group that used video footage – now discredited – to damage the nonprofit group ACORN.
"I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved," Rep. Bob Etheridge said in a statement. "No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response."
Etheridge, a congressman since 1997, scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon, as did his Republican challenger and the state GOP chairman.
The video was posted Monday on websites owned by Andrew Breitbart, the conservative Web entrepreneur who also released video of workers for the community organizing group ACORN counseling actors posing as a pimp and prostitute.
It shows two men approaching Etheridge with a camera on a Washington street. He swats at the camera and repeatedly asks the men who they are. When they say they are students, he grabs one by the wrist and quickly by the back of the neck before pulling him against his side.
The video, which appears to be edited, is interspersed with several screens of text, including: "What happens when a US congressman meets a college kid on a street in Washington?" and a few frames later, "He goes BERSERK!"
Breitbart did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. A story accompanying the video on a Breitbart website says the video was recorded last week.