When ABC News investigative reporter Brian Ross approached Michele Bachmann with a question about her headaches, Bachmann's bodyguards decided he needed to be shoved around a bit, Mafia-style.
At a campaign event last night in South Carolina, Ross tried to ask Bachmann about the widely circulated report that she suffers from debilitating migraines, which are said to have put her in the hospital on multiple occasions and require that she take regular medication for treatment and prevention.
Bachmann read -- or at least tried to read, flubbing one of her lines in the process -- a statement admitting she had a migraine problem, but brushing it off as an issue voters shouldn't worry about. This wasn't good enough for Ross, who tried to ask Bachmann if she'd ever missed a vote due to a migraine. Ross, a slight, sleepy-eyed journalist, was apparently so threatening to Bachmann her bodyguards thought he needed to be pushed away from Bachmann.
After speaking to a small crowd in Aiken, S.C., Bachmann read a statement prepared by spokeswoman Alice Stewart. Either the text itself or Bachmann's reading of it included one glorious bit of misspeaking:
"I'd like to be abundantly clear: My ability to function effectively will not affect my ability to serve as commander in chief."Read closely, it seems Bachmann is subconsciously implying that "functioning effectively," by her standards, would actually hurt her as a commander in chief. You can draw your own conclusions from that.
After Ross was physically restrained from getting to Bachmann, Time Magazine's Michael Crowley asked Ross if he'd ever been treated like that on the job.
"A few times," Ross told Crowley. "Mostly by Mafia people."
Crowley wrote that he'd seen the same bodyguard sizing up journalists like enemies at another event in Columbia, S.C.
Ross sat down with the ladies of "The View," this morning, and said the term "roughed up" is too extreme for what happened to him.
"The staff came up and pushed me away," he said. "They didn't want me--" he said, before four different hosts of "The View" interrupted him.
The liberal group American Bridge 21st, which tails conservative candidates and records their every move, caught something of the incident on tape. In their video, Ross can be heard asking Bachmann, "Congresswoman, have you ever had to skip votes?"
The tape missed any physical altercation that took place. But when Ross is seen standing, calmly asking Bachmann the question a second time as she enters her car, he doesn't exactly look dangerous.