Update 11:40 am EST: Below is a purported video of the incident:
And here’s alleged video of the punch, via @ZekeJMiller: pic.twitter.com/mWFCaSMknm
— Elena Schneider (@ec_schneider) September 18, 2015
A top political aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is accusing a campaign official working for rival presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) of punching him in the face during an altercation at a Michigan bar Thursday night.
John Yob, the national political director for Paul’s campaign, says Richard Beeson, the deputy campaign manager for Rubio, “literally physically assaulted me” while the two were at Horn’s Bar on Mackinac Island.
Here’s how Yob described the encounter in a Facebook post:
Last night I went to a bar on Mackinac Island for the GOP Mackinac Conference. I ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who frankly I didn’t even know who it was at first because he isn’t relevant in our political world…He literally physically assaulted me by punching me in the face. The state police are looking for him. I have it on video, from multiple angles. This will play out in the national media in the next few hours.
On Twitter, Yob called for Rubio to fire Beeson.
Rich Beeson, the CM for Rubio, punched me in the face tonight on Mackinac Island. The Michigan State Police are looking for him. #MIGOP
— John Yob (@strategic) September 18, 2015
Brandon Hall, a Michigan politics blogger, writes that he saw the altercation take place:
As I was sitting at the bar talking to someone at Horn’s in Mackinac Island Thursday night, I witnessed Beeson suddenly, out of nowhere, approach one of Rand Paul’s advisers, John Yob-unprovoked-and try to hit him. Beeson missed a full on shot but still struck Yob’s in the face with a powerful blow near the jaw.
Hall says that Beeson was trying to gin up votes for Rubio at the upcoming Makcinac Island straw poll. Hall also claims to have video of the scuffle.
A spokesman for the Paul campaign declined to comment. Rubio’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.