Democrat Harley Rouda appeared to lose his debate with Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher in California’s 48th congressional district. Worse, he appeared to lose his composure.
Rouda’s communications director, Jack D’Annibale, complained at the debate over the fact that Rohrabacher brought notes to the debate — and the cameras were rolling. He called moderator Rick Reiff — a Pulitzer Prize winner — a “hack,” and Rouda threatened to withdraw:
The Washington Free Beacon summarized the dispute:
The communications director for a Democratic congressional candidate in California called a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist a “hack” before a televised debate Monday.
Jack D’Annibale works for Harley Rouda, who is running to unseat Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R., Calif.) in California’s 48th Congressional District. D’Annibale made the comment on the set of PBS’s “Inside OC,” which was set to host the debate between the candidates.
A video released by “Inside OC” Tuesday shows the contentious exchange, in which Rouda and his staffer protest Rohrabacher bringing notes to the debate. They ask “Inside OC” host and prize-winning journalist Rick Reiff, set to moderate the debate, to remove the notes.
“I’ve never told a guest they can’t bring notes if they want to have notes,” Reiff added. The host even offered Rouda a potential line of attack against the Republican: “You can bring this up. You can bring up that he needs notes, blah blah blah. You can do whatever you want.”
During the debate, Rohrabacher nailed Rouda on his support for Medicare for illegal aliens.
Afterwards, Democrats tried trolling Reiff on Twitter, repeating D’Annibale’s line that Reiff is a “hack.”
— Margaret Chesser (@MargaretChesse7) October 18, 2018
You’re a hack. You really are.
— Amy Lounsbury (@amylounsbury) October 18, 2018
Inside OC with Rick Reiff will air the debate Sunday at 5:00 p.m. PT on local PBS, according to Voice of OC.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.