Indiana Senate candidate to apologize for 'assault' on conservative blogger

Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock (R) will issue an apology for his campaign manager roughing up a conservative blogger during an interview over the weekend, according to his spokesman.

Mourdock, the state treasurer who is challenging Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.) in the GOP primary, is shown in a video speaking with a blogger from the conservative website rebelpundit.com. When the blogger, who is not shown but is heard identifying himself as Jeremy, asked Mourdock for one more question about the so-called fair tax, the Republican's campaign manager, Jim Holden, grabs the camera's lens.

"Why are you touching my camera, dude?" the blogger says after the lens is covered by Holden's hand.

Holden replies, " 'cause you're just a tracker man, get out of here."

Trackers are typically employed in campaigns to film a rival's public remarks. In the edited video, which rebelpundit.com posted online, the blogger says he was "assaulted" by Mourdock's campaign manager.

Prior to the exchange about the fair tax, the blogger is heard asking Mourdock why he doesn't want to identify himself as a "Tea Party candidate." The video was shot at a Tea Party rally on June 11 in Kokomo, Ind., according to rebelpundit.com.

A spokesman for Mourdock said he "will shortly be apologizing for his staffer's action on-air" and is trying to reach the blogger to apologize to him personally.

"This was an unfortunate incident, and Mourdock has made it clear this is unacceptable behavior," Mourdock spokesman Chris Conner said in an email to The Ballot Box. "Richard looks forward to getting the focus of this campaign back on the issues and replacing Dick Lugar in the U.S. Senate."

Mourdock has been courting grass-roots GOP support as he looks to defeat Lugar, a six-term incumbent, in the primary.