Did Rep. George Ross flip off the audience at a debate??

State Rep. George Ross (R-Attleboro) was clearly very unhappy about the reaction to some of his comments during a debate with Democratic challenger Paul Heroux last week (they are running in the 2nd Bristol district which is most of Attleboro).  What’s not entirely clear is whether he actually flipped off the audience – that’s right, gave them “the finger” – in response to being booed.

I watched the video a few times.  It does look to me as though the gesture is one that most people would recognize as obscene, but it happens fast, so it’s difficult to be certain.  You be the judge.  (Ross, of course, denies having done anything of the kind.)

You can click the screenshot to the right for a larger image.  You can also watch the video.  Here’s a version helpfully assembled by a YouTuber called elparker2 that shows Ross’s gesture as it happened, and then slows it down:

And here, for context, is the entire debate. The relevant sequence of events begins at about 35:00.


9 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. They're both wrong about public transportation

    Yes, Mr. Ross definitely flipped off the audience — no question about it.

    Meanwhile, in their earlier exchange about public transportation, both candidates were wrong. Mr. Heroux repeats the canard that our public transportation needs can be met without new taxes by somehow magically eliminating waste. Horse feathers.

    It’s time our politicians — and especially our Democrats — level with the voters about the price we all must pay to live in a civilized society. These lies about taxes hurt everybody and they should stop.

  2. Looks like an aborted flip

    As though his impulses went first, then his higher brain functions kicked in and realized that flipping off the audience isn’t the best idea ever.

  3. Ross is the guy who whined that

    The legislature “lost” his bath salts ban amendment, implying democrats did something unnatural with it. Now George goes to the state house with his bills pinned to his jacket.

  4. Definitely looks like an impulse pulled back

    I might be over-analyzing it here, but it appears to be a real reaction followed by a quick realization that it’s totally a bad idea. I’ve been known to use the bird, and so I have upon occasion done this very same thing – pulling back on the gesture sheepishly realizing, say, my nieces are in the car. But I’m not running for anything, up in front of an audience. If that’s his first instinct in such a circumstance, that tells you a lot.

    There’s a tiny chance it’s a gesture just made like us French people, or those of Italian descent (as in, our hands don’t sit still while we’re talking) but given the timing of it and the fact it’s a reaction to the crowd’s understandable reaction of being called, essentially, unAmerican…

    MORE disturbing IMHO are the words prior to it – he obviously has withering contempt for ANYone who dares to disagree with him.

  5. It was sort of Pavlovian

    his mouth kept saying “flippant” and, with the boos, his hand had simply no choice in the matter. Perhaps it was God’s plan.

  6. I rest my case...

    …your dis… honor

  7. Ross goes down to defeat

    58%-42%, almost a 3,000 vote margin out of under 17,000 cast.

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Tue 28 Mar 7:31 PM