“Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezBiden's inauguration marked by conflict of hope and fear The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic primary fight shifts to South Carolina, Nevada Democrats rally behind incumbents as Lipinski takes liberal fire MORE introduced the bill. You didn’t. And the official records of Congress will prove you wrong,” Sherman shouted at one point.
However, Berman introduced the bill in the current Congress, which Sherman, Gutierrez and 114 other members cosponsored. In the Republican-controlled House, the bill hasn’t made it out of committee.
Gutierrez clarified that he had introduced the initial version of the DREAM Act years ago, but the one that passed the House in 2010 and the one introduced in the 112th Congress belongs to Berman.
“I was the first to introduce a bill that legalized undocumented students many years ago, but the DREAM Act that passed the House and the DREAM Act that the House has considered for more than a decade is Berman and [Sen. Dick] Durbin's [D-Ill.] bill,” he said.
The Sherman campaign sent The Hill a partial transcript of the debate showing the two arguing about the initial bill.
“When the DREAM ACT was first introduced in Congress, it didn’t have [Howard’s] name on it,” Sherman said during the debate according to the transcript.
“Here’s the story. A lie unanswered is wrong. When I introduced the bill, and I was the first person to introduce the bill... We called it the Student Adjustment Act. He wants you to think that I’m making this up. He’s either delusional or a liar,” Berman said according to the transcript.
Berman and Sherman are locked in a member vs. member race that has been marked by its nastiness.
It got physical Thursday at a debate when a shouting match in which Sherman put his arm around his opponent asking, “You want to get into this?” The situation was quickly diffused by a sheriff’s officer.
Previously in the exchange, Berman had called his opponent “delusional.”
“Luis Gutierrez introduced the bill. You didn’t. And the official records of Congress will prove you wrong, “ Sherman shouted at one point.
Berman can be heard saying, “Wrong. Wrong.”
Standing opposite one another, Berman walked towards Sherman.
“Don’t you dare stand up here ... [in the] ... San Fernando Valley and get in my face,” Sherman shouts.
That is when Sherman grabs Berman around the shoulder and asks, “Do you want to get into this?”
The Berman campaign quickly posted two press releases on its website, one titled “Has Brad Sherman lost his mind?” and said the events prove Sherman is unsuitable to hold public office.
Sherman’s campaign shot back that his opponent had wildly exaggerated the incident and that Berman initiated it by calling him a “liar and delusional.”
Berman holds an impressive amount of endorsements from lawmakers in the Democratic race, including Gutierrez. But a poll released by a local TV station, KABC, last month showed Sherman with a 13-point lead.
Updated at 1:24 p.m.