June 18, 2010

HE’S GOT A HISTORY: FORMER RESIDENT RECALLS RUN-IN WITH ETHERIDGE:

A video of Rep. Bob Etheridge physically confronting a college student in Washington brought back unpleasant memories for one former Moore County resident. . . .In the fall of 1996, when Leslie was a senior at Pinecrest High School, he said he met Etheridge at a Pinecrest football game. Etheridge – then the state superintendent of public instruction – was challenging incumbent Republican David Funderburk for his congressional seat. At the time, Moore County was part of the 2nd District, which Etheridge now represents.

Leslie said he introduced himself to Etheridge and asked him about his stance on a particular education program. He said Etheridge didn’t answer his question, so he pressed him two more times.

“And that’s when he grabbed me by the shoulders, he shook me, and I’ll never forget it, he said, ‘Son, you need to learn to respect your elders,'” he said by phone on Wednesday. “I was just so taken aback, I think my jaw just dropped, and he walked off.”

Leslie said he was angrier about Etheridge’s attitude and “patronizing” tone than the physical contact. . . . Leslie, a self-described Democrat who “supports the Obama agenda,” said watching the video was “almost like looking in a mirror.”

“He doesn’t like to be pressed,” he said. “He’s kind of a bully.”

It’s that arrogant sense of entitlement.

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