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Watch: Mike Crane lashes out at Drew Ferguson over ‘gutter politics’

Mike Crane Carroll County GOP Breakfaast from RedKudzu on Vimeo.

The polls will close in a few hours for the runoff in an open U.S. House seat pitting state Sen. Mike Crane and former West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson, but we just got stirring video we couldn’t ignore.

Crane has drawn the ire of ire of law enforcement for comments suggesting he would shoot police who entered his home with a no-knock warrant, and Ferguson’s allies have used the comments in mail and TV ads attacking the lawmaker.

At a Carroll County GOP breakfast a few days ago, with Ferguson in the audience, Crane unloads on his opponent. Around the two-minute mark, you’ll see where the clash begins.

“Drew, I got to ask you a few questions. Did you approve that mailer? Yes or no?”

As Ferguson says something inaudible, Crane asks a new question: “Did I ever say what you print in bold? Did I ever say it, Drew.”

“Absolutely,” answers one of Ferguson’s aides, who was summoned to the front of the room. “When did I say ‘shoot police officers?’ Friends, I’ve never said that.”

It gets more awkward – and fast.

“I’ve never said, nor would I ever say, shoot police officers. I did say if you kicked down my door, I’d shoot you … Do you understand the castle doctrine? Do you?”

He went on:

“If you continue to propagate this lie, you’re putting the men and women in blue at risk. I made my comments one time. They probably never would have been heard again if not for you and Chip Flanegan, the head of the Fraternal Order of Police, spreading lies. I love police officers.”

All the while, people in the audience at the Carroll County GOP breakfast are shifting in their seats. When one woman told Crane aloud that she was uncomfortable, Crane agreed.

“I understand, yes ma’am. Why are you uncomfortable? Because this is a lie is why you’re uncomfortable. No one is uncomfortable with the truth … This is gutter politics.”

More: Catch up on the Georgia U.S. House race and other key elections here.

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.