If you thought the campaign for 2016 was already heated, things just took a turn for the physical.
Two campaign officials are awaiting a county prosecutor’s decision. It will decide whether criminal charges will be filed following a barroom brawl when a campaign official for Sen. Marco Rubio allegedly punched a consultant for Sen. Rand Paul.
The incident took place Friday morning as the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference got underway on the island – but instead of the presidential candidates throwing verbal punches, their team members beat them to it with actual physical blows.
Grand Rapids political consultant and chief Michigan strategist for Rand Paul’s campaign took to Facebook Friday morning saying he was punched in the face by a man named Rich Beeson. He happens to be the deputy campaign manager for Marco Rubio’s campaign.
“He literally physically assaulted me by punching me in the face. The state police are looking for him. I have it on video, from multiple angles. This will play out in the national media in the next few hours” Yob told the Detroit Free Press.
Though Yob claimed he “didn’t even know who [Beeson] was,” there has been no comment by Beeson or any other claims as to why the physical altercation occurred.
In addition to security camera footage from inside the bar, including a grainy version posted by Yob on Facebook, conservative blogger Brandon Hall confirmed the punch to the face, posting an eyewitness account on his blog:
As I was sitting at the bar talking to someone at Horn’s in Mackinac Island Thursday night, I witnessed [a man] suddenly, out of nowhere, approach one of Rand Paul’s advisers, John Yob — unprovoked — and try to hit him. [He] missed a full on shot but still struck Yob’s in the face with a powerful blow near the jaw.
According to Hall, Yob was at the bar, Horn, trying to rally votes for Rubio in preparation for the straw poll being conducted this weekend at the conference in part by The Detroit News.
There has been no comment from Beeson himself or anyone in Rubio’s campaign. Politico reporter Marc Caputo though was quick to question Yob’s social media post about the run-in.
The Mackinac Island Police Department has forwarded a complaint about the alleged assault to the County Prosecutor who will determine whether criminal charges will go forth against Rubio’s guy.