ABC News says reporter Brian Ross, while trying to question Minnesota congresswoman and GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, was pushed and shoved by members of her camp after a campaign event in Aiken, SC. Network news SVP Jeffrey Schneider said Ross was shoved 7/19 as security tried to block him from the congresswoman while he asked whether she had to miss votes because of migraines.
Schneider said Ross has been a victim of worse violence but added no reporter should be roughed up pursuing a story: “He’s there trying to do his job.”
The Daily Caller online news site claimed 7/18 that Bachmann was reportedly sidelined by severe headaches.
Bachmann Tuesday released a statement about her migraines, saying, “Let me be abundantly clear – my ability to function effectively has never been impeded by migraines and will not affect my ability to serve as Commander in Chief.”
Time Magazine’s Michael Crowley reported there were three uniformed police officers and two plainclothes bodyguards there: “Ross dashed after Bachmann, repeatedly asking whether she had ever missed a House vote due to a migraine. She ignored him. Ross pursued her into a parking area behind the stage. Her aides grew alarmed. When Ross made a beeline for the white SUV waiting to carry Bachmann away, two Bachmann men pounced on him, grabbing and pushing him multiple times with what looked to me like unusual force. In fact, I have never seen a reporter treated so roughly at a campaign event, especially not a presidential one. Ross was finally able to break away and lob his question at Bachmann one more time, but she ignored him again.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s a bit of a fine line here. Ross seemed to be quite determined in getting his question answered. Obviously a negative issue for her campaign, Bachmann decided not to address it. After multiple attempts at getting the question answered, the Bachmann team likely decided he was badgering her. Nonetheless, you don’t want to assault a member of the major news media covering your campaign—the incident ended up eclipsing news of her campaign stop.