During a commercial break at Wednesday’s Republican debate, Rick Perry and Ron Paul continued their spirited exchange on stage. Suddenly, Perry grabbed Ron Paul’s forearm while aggressively pointing his index finger towards the Congressman’s face. Alerted by Perry’s menacing gestures, Ron Paul’s bodyguard (front left) rushed to the stage and put his protective hand on the podium, demonstrating that he was ready to defend the Congressman.
Update: On Thursday, a Rick Perry spokesman stated that the two contenders were having a cordial conversation about border security. Ron Paul laughed off the incident, saying that he did not particularly focus on Perry’s body language during the exchange. And Ron Paul’s campaign chairman Jesse Benton came out swinging:
“What it shows is that Rick Perry is a very aggressive, in your face person. He puts his hands on people, he tries to show that he’s the alpha dog, he tries to psychologically intimidate people and gets in people’s faces. Some people like that, but other people like someone who’s going to be a more thoughtful president, not a bully.”