Sometimes politics gets personal, very personal. That is exactly what happened with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and his opponent Chris Fields.
Ellison and Fields traded barbs about each other’s private lives and their ex-wives. Tanscripts cannot even begin to reflect the intensity and clear dislike that these two men have to each other.
In this first audio clip, Ellison called Fields “a low-life scumbag” and “a gutter dweller.”
It got even worse later. Ellison and Fields jumped at each with Ellison saying that he was exerting “a lot of self-control.” The assumption is that without the self-control then Ellison would be throwing punches. He sure didn’t exert self-control with his words, but then Fields wasn’t much better. The animosity between the two men grew so intense that the moderator from radio station KFAI went to a break while the two were arguing. The break ended and the debate came back live and both men were still arguing.
There are issues in the campaign. Yet after listening to these two squabble, it would be hard to determine what those issues and their positions are.
Ellison did apologize for his “uncivil” behavior later. Even in that statement of apology, it is easy to see that these two should never met alone anywhere.
“Today during a radio broadcast debate, my opponent made false statements about an intensely personal family matter. My teenage daughter was present in the next room listening to the debate.
In response to my opponent’s false statement, I made an uncivil reference to him. I should not have done so. I acted beneath my personal standard as a public official, and I apologize.”
“His untrue reference to the terms of my divorce was over the line, but my comment to him was over the line too. His tactics are no excuse for my departure from civility.”
The two are supposed to debate at the Minneapolis Urban League in a few days but the moderator is trying to work out separate interviews. Either that or a cage match.