A clip of U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez, in which he apparently flares up at a constituent questioning him on health care, is making the rounds in the conservative blogosphere.
The 44-second-long video appears on the site of right-wing media mogul Andrew Breitbart and purportedly shows the San Antonio Democrat at a “recent” — the post does not give the date or the origins of the video — town hall meeting taking questions from constituents on healthcare. Urged by a woman to “tell the truth,” a visibly flustered Rodriguez slams a newspaper on a nearby table, and says, “Ma’am, don’t accuse me of not saying the truth.”
Rodriguez's Republican opponent in CD-23, San Antonio businessman and lawyer Francisco "Quico" Canseco, tweeted the snippet this morning, noting: “Ciro Rodriguez has a history of cursing and yelling at people who disagree with him.” The Drudge Report has also picked it up, linking to the clip with the headline “Another Dem Congressman Loses Temper on Camera …”
Update: Rodriguez's office has issued a statement calling the clip a result of "cynical tactics by political operatives" who attempted to "hijack" the event "merely to engage in uncivil, cynical videotape baiting tactics."
Here's the full text:
As the Representative for the 23rd Congressional District, I believe it's critical to be available and accessible to the people of Southwest Texas. That's why I've held 181 public events over the year and a half. With that comes a healthy debate about issues people care passionately about. Unfortunately political operatives associated with my opponent's campaign tried to turn it into something else — attempting to hijack a "Congress on your corner" event merely to engage in uncivil, cynical videotape baiting tactics. The people of Southwest Texas deserve better than that. That said, I apologize for losing my temper at an event that always be a civil and respectful exchange of ideas. I look forward to continuing to listen to folks all across Southwest Texas, as we work together to create jobs and get this economy back on track.