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Today’s campaign ‘fightin’ words’ : Choke vs. Strangle

You didn’t really think the rhetoric would calm down in these waning days of political campaigns, did you?

At the start of  the “Heartland Values” tour of 1st District congressional candidate Randy Demmer on Thursday in Kasson, one of the Republican’s supporters, Terry Jorgenson, got all in a lather about incumbent Rep. Tim Walz’s campaign commercials.

Speaking to a small gathering, Jorgenson said he gets so angry when he hears Walz’s commercials that “I want to come through and choke the man because they’re blatant, flagrant lies, and I know that. But they get away with it.’’

The DFL leaped to the defense of their man — maybe, just maybe — over-reacting a bit.

“For Randy Demmer to introduce such vitriol and violence into this race is inappropriate and shameful,’’ the party’s state chairman, Brian Melendez, said in a statement. “This same kind of violent rhetoric is being used by extremist Republicans around the country and on Fox News — and now we’re hearing it from Republican Party officials in our own state. Randy Demmer had the opportunity to set the record straight and denounce the hateful language, but he chose to stay silent.’’

Jorgenson, it should be noted, is a “Republican Party official’’ — he’s the vice chairman of the Dodge County Republicans.

In response to  DFL outrage, though, Mark Drake, communications director for the state Republican Party, wondered why Melendez didn’t fire off any angry statement when Vice President Joe Biden suggested similarly that he wanted to “strangle’’ Republicans on his recent visit to Minnesota.

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