A Republican running for New Jersey state Senate denied Thursday that he told a group of gun rights activists to arm themselves if his Democratic opponent came knocking on their doors — but a video of his comments tells a different story.
TPM reported earlier in the day that a video showed the candidate, Atlantic County, N.J. Sheriff Frank Balles, had told a group of Second Amendment activists during a speech on Oct. 7 to “get your gun” if incumbent state Sen. Jim Whelan (D) came to their doors.
But in an interview late Thursday with The Press of Atlantic City, Balles denied having ever made the comment. He said he told the audience to just close the door when Whelan came to them.
“Whatever else was said, was said by the audience,” Balles told the paper. “I can’t control the audience.”
A 9-minute video of Balles’ speech was originally posted on YouTube by the pro-gun group Bold Departure. But by Friday, the group had removed the video from public view.
TPM managed to get a copy of the video before it was pulled down, and the key excerpt from Balles’ speech has been posted below.
“When someone’s been elected for 30 years and he comes knocking on your door and tells you, ‘Listen, this is what I want to do to help you,’ quickly close your door, go inside,” Balles said in the speech.
An audience member quickly interjected, “And get your gun!”
Balles responded, “And get your gun, exactly!”
Balles did not respond to requests for comment by TPM.
Watch the video: