Did Senate Obstructionist Bunning Flip Reporters The Bird This Afternoon? (VIDEO)


Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) doesn’t want to answer any questions about his continuing obstruction of legislation to extend unemployment and COBRA benefits to out of work Americans, and keep Medicare doctors fees from dropping significantly. But according to a producer for ABC News, he’s so mad he’s giving reporters the middle finger–literally.

Here’s the video of the exchange that supposedly included the…unfriendly…gesture.

The middle finger isn’t evident in the footage, but Byron Wolf insists it happened. Bunning is famous for being cranky with reporters, but doesn’t typically flip them the bird when they pursue him anyhow.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan comments.

“Jim Bunning and Republicans have it backward,” Sevugan said.

What Republicans don’t understand is that they shouldn’t be angry with the American people for questioning their obstructionist tactics, it’s the American people who are angry with them for employing those tactics. And they have the right to be because they are paying the price for Republican obstructionism. After saying ‘no’ to a Recovery Act that independent observers say created millions of jobs, just today Republican obstruction went a step further and actually forced thousands of Americans out of their jobs. Adding insult to injury, Republican obstruction cut the safety net out from under Americans who lost their jobs, took away their health care and denied struggling small businesses who could create new jobs the loans to do so. Republicans would be better served if they were less interested in defending a Senators’ only elevator and more interested in defending American jobs. Perhaps today’s outburst is because Republicans are frustrated that at a time when the American people want their leaders to get things done the most, their strategy is to repeatedly demonstrate that’s what they are interested in the least.


Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com