Occupational Hazard? Midterm Campaigns Get Physical

For all the talk of the "gentlemen" and "gentle ladies" in Congress, that may be a distinction reserved for after the election is won. On the campaign trail, politics can be a full contact sport. Several contestants have found themselves embroiled in heated -- and up-close -- exchanges with reporters, voters and even fellow candidates. Here are a few of the startling confrontations of the 2010 midterm elections. 

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    Perlmutter vs. Frazier

    A televised debate between Democratic Rep. Ed Perlmutter and Republican Ryan Frazier in Colorado turned physical when Perlmutter slapped away his challenger's hand after he was not pleased with one of his answers. Frazier responded, "Don't hit me man, come on," after which Perlmutter immediately apologized. "Sorry. Sorry, you're right," he said.
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    Hinchey vs. Reporter

    Veteran Democratic Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York came under fire for allegedly "putting his hand on my throat." That was the claim from William Kemble, a correspondent for The Kingston Freeman. Hinchey told Kemble on camera to "shut up," after he persistently asked questions. Once the cameras were off, Hinchey allegedly made a beeline for the reporter whom a campaign spokesman said, "took an aggressive step toward him in an attempt to provoke further argument."
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    Paladino vs. The New York Post

    New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino got in an argument with The New York Post's State Editor Fred Dicker at a Lake George hotel Sept. 29. Dicker reportedly was demanding evidence to support Paladino's suggestion that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo cheated on his wife. It escalated when Paladino said, "You send another goon to my daughter's house, I'll take you out, buddy." Paladino's campaign manager intervened and told Dicker that he was out of line.
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    Reid Supporters vs. Angle Supporters

    A debate between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Nevada Republican opponent Sharron Angle ended with a fistfight in the audience on Sept. 23. Guards broke up the scuffle, apparently between an Angle supporter and two Reid supporters, after bystanders could not separate them. After the scuffle, each candidate was only allowed to invite 12 guests to the next debate. 
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    Joe Miller vs. Alaska Dispatch Editor

    Joe Miller, the Alaska Republican Senate nominee, was criticized after his security guards handcuffed the editor of "Alaska Dispatch" when he was trying to interview the candidate. Miller's campaign said that the editor, Tony Hopfinger, shoved a man, but Hopfinger said that he only pushed back the guard after he had been pushed himself.
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    Mayor Attacked at State Fair

    Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was attacked at a state fair after trying to help a woman he heard calling for help in August 2009. Barrett approached the suspect, who had been attacking the woman, and was then allegedly hit with a metal pipe by the suspect. The mayor's chief of staff said that Barrett broke his hand punching the suspect.
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    Berkowitz vs. Backhoe

    Ethan Berkowitz, Alaska's Democratic gubernatorial nominee, got a surprise while filming his recent ad featuring a backhoe pouring dirt on a TV. The bucket on the machine hit the candidate as he was talking about Gov. Sean Parnell's "wasteful spending." The Occupational Health and Safety Program for the University of Alaska Anchorage criticized the ad, saying that a person should never stand that close to a piece of construction machinery.
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