Gabrielle Giffords' Campaign Does Not Condone Choking Out Conservatives, Despite What You May Have Heard

There's a video making the rounds in the blogosphere of a man, who is supposedly a supporter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, choking a supporter of her opponent, Republican Jesse Kelly.

Conservative bloggers are using it to discredit the Democratic congresswoman and her supporters. Check it out here.

At first glance, we concluded that either the video's bullshit and was staged by the Kelly campaign to somehow tie Giffords into the incident or the man seen choking the Kelly supporter really sucks at choking people.

After talking to the campaigns, it seems the guy just really sucks at choking people.

Have a look at the video after the jump.


Kelly campaign spokesman John Ellinwood tells New Times he hadn't even seen the video until we brought it to his attention. After watching it, he says he recognizes the producer as someone who has produced videos for the campaign but says he is not employed by the campaign.

Ellinwood says the producer is "a serious Christian" (as if that's a guarantee) and would not stage something like this.

As for the man getting choked, Ellinwood says he supported a Republican candidate other than Kelly in the GOP primary, but is now lending his support to Kelly's campaign, as well as the campaigns of several other Republican candidates.

Ellinwood's story seems legit, so it seems the incident actually took place, and the Giffords supporter just really sucks at choking people. 

If that's the case, Giffords' campaign tells New Times it doesn't support choking anyone -- even if the choking is poorly executed.

"We don't condone any acts of aggression like that," Giffords' campaign spokeswoman Anne Hilby says. "Third-party groups get involved in street theater, but this was not the time for it."

Hilby says the man choking the Kelly supporter does not work for the Giffords campaign.

The incident happened at a debate between the two candidates, and both Hilby and Ellinwood stress that there are far more important issues facing the Congressional district than a scuffle between supporters.

Agreed, but none of them is as entertaining as watching a grown man in a business suit grab somebody around the neck.

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