A crowd rallied in downtown Raleigh Wednesday calling for Congressman Bob Etheridge's resignation after a video appeared on YouTube earlier this week showing Etheridge in a physical confrontation with young men on a Washington D.C. Street.
Meanwhile, the identity of the men in the video remains a mystery.
Spoofing the YouTube video, a crowd outside his Raleigh office chanted “Who are you?!”
Etheridge's Republican opponent, Renee Elmers, recorded an online campaign video using footage from the YouTube video. Some Democrats online accused the men of staging the incident. But Ellmers' supporters say it doesn't matter to them who the men are and that they stand behind her campaign video.
"I don't think there's anybody out there who hasn't seen it,” protester Ellen Batten said. “And as far as her using it, I don't think that we can consider that dirt because it's not something we went out and found. Bob Etheridge gave us that."
[. . .]
North Carolina Democratic Party Executive Director Andrew Whalen issued a statement saying, “Congressman Bob Etheridge quickly took the right steps and has offered a heartfelt and sincere apology, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping Renee Ellmers and her extreme right-wing Americans for Prosperity allies from trying to take advantage of the situation
“But consider the source. Mrs. Ellmers is a member of AFP and both have long held a vendetta against Congressman Etheridge. It’s no surprise they would try to score cheap political points with this poorly attended rally even after a pledge to take the high road.”
What Whaten really meant was: "This is really, really, really bad for Bob Etheridge. The fan didn't just get hit this time, it got covered.
And how dare Renee Ellmers use this isolated event against Bob Etheridge."
North Carolina's primary was held in May so there isn't an easy way to field a new Democrat for the district. Short of having Etheridge stepping aside and the party appoint someone new to run in his place. Which may have a worse affect than letting Etheridge stay on as candidate.
This needs to hammer Etheridge, however. With his voting record of being in lockstep behind Nancy Pelosi, Renee Ellmers should be able to have a good chance at winning the seat. So naturally, Micheal Steele and the NRCC haven't picked up on her yet.
You can listen to Renee talk to Ed Morrissey of Hot Air about the issues here (She comes on at about the halfway mark).
Related enough: When Congressmen attack. Do you know how to protect yourself?
Update: Etheridge sliding in the polls and Ellmers gaining? You betcha.