At least five times on the campaign trail reporters have had physical confrontations with members of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s staff, Politico reports.
The story calls the instances “unusually hostile encounters with the traveling media marked by pushing, shoving and, in one instance, the allegation of a threat of violence to a reporter.”
There’s often no love lost between reporters and campaign staffers, the story says, but “the number and intensity of incidents is unusual, particularly in Iowa, where reporters and the public are accustomed to almost unlimited access as an early state presidential ritual.”
Campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart said:
“The No. 1 priority for us every single day we step out on the campaign trail is the safety and security of Michele Bachmann.”
And she said the most aggressive Bachmann security staffer is a retired Secret Service agent who has protected presidents.
The story contrasts Bachmann’s tight security with that of other candidates:
[Sarah] Palin wandered the fairgrounds freely with her husband, an advance man, and, at a remove, a handful of Iowa State Police. Rick Perry was guarded by watchful Texas Rangers who gave the press and fair-goers broad latitude to talk and walk next to the governor. Bachmann, in contrast, raced through the fair in a golf cart; in a similar cart in Ames on Saturday, her bodyguard could be seen pushing away the hands of autograph-seeking supporters.