UPDATE (by David): Kudos to Rep. Capuano, who has apologized for his comments.
“I strongly believe in standing up for worker rights and my passion for preserving those rights may have gotten the best of me yesterday in an unscripted speech,” the Somerville Democrat said in a statement released this afternoon. “I wish I had used different language to express my passion and I regret my choice of words.”
That’s how you make an issue like this go away. Well done.
Matt Murphy, reporting for the State House News Service via the Dorchester Reporter (hat tip, Red Mass Group):
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, FEB. 22, 2011…..As throngs of union members and their supporters crushed onto Beacon Street for a late afternoon rally in support of Wisconsin workers, the three members of the state’s Congressional delegation seen as most likely to challenge U.S. Sen. Scott Brown next year were front and center. …
“This is going to be a struggle at least for the next two years. Let’s be serious about this. They’re not going to back down and we’re not going to back down. This is a struggle for the hearts and minds of America,” Capuano said, referring to the Tea Party counter-protestors as a “couple of nuts in the background.”
“I’m proud to be here with people who understand that it’s more than just sending an email to get you going. Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” he continued.
Poor rhetoric, and poor politics. Hardly necessary to use language like this to fire up a crowd of passionate supporters, and hardly the way to position oneself for a state-wide challenge to Scott Brown in a commonwealth with a huge block of independent voters. I wonder if there will be a clarification from the representative’s office. Perhaps he meant “muddy” (it is wet and snowy in Wisconsin), or “ruddy” (protesting in chilly air can give one a healthy flush), or “buddy” (strength in numbers). Can you think of other words representative Capuano might have used instead?
Representative’s Capuano’s post yesterday here on BMG outlining his thinking on the Wisconsin crisis, which Charley had the honor to promote to our front page, made his case in a far more convincing fashion.