They say the culture of an organization is a reflection of its top executive and today’s deplorable behavior against Ron Paul supporter Eddie Dillard in Florida reflects very poorly on Congressman Gingrich.”
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign is requesting an apology and decisive action from Congressman Newt Gingrich and his campaign for abuse the latter organization perpetrated against a Ron Paul supporter.
The incident occurred in the Orlando suburb of Windermere, Florida and involved 29-year-old Ron Paul supporter Eddie Dillard, who was injured during an exchange with the Gingrich campaign.
Mr. Dillard arrived at his polling site, the Winderemere Baptist Church, and noticed a Gingrich supporter holding a Gingrich sign, so to reciprocate he returned to the scene with a Ron Paul sign. The area he chose was public space but it had been identified by the Gingrich campaign as the very place where Gingrich would be visiting. As the Gingrich staff moved in, members of the security detail and/or other staff warned Mr. Dillard, telling him to exit from the public space. When Mr. Dillard exercised his right of free expression by remaining there, simply holding the sign, Gingrich’s campaign team escalated the situation and, noticing Mr. Dillard was wearing flip-flops, dug their heels in his foot and reportedly directed each other to step on Mr. Dillard’s feet. Mr. Dillard, to be sure, was injured, harassed, and inconvenienced.
Reporters from Yahoo! News were on the scene and covered the story here.
In response to the incident, the Ron Paul Presidential campaign released the following statement. Below find comments from National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton:
“They say the culture of an organization is a reflection of its top executive and today’s deplorable behavior against Ron Paul supporter Eddie Dillard in Florida reflects very poorly on Congressman Gingrich.
“I call on Congressman Gingrich to publicly apologize to Mr. Dillard.
“In addition, we ask that those Gingrich campaign staff directly involved in the episode be immediately terminated.
“There is simply no excuse for the type of violent, boorish and abusive behavior demonstrated by Mr. Gingrich’s campaign. We hope Mr. Gingrich understands this and takes the actions we recommend.”