A high-ranking staffer for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's presidential campaign called for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's camp to fire an aide Friday after an alleged bar fight. Paul's national political director, John Yob, accused Rubio's deputy campaign manager, Rich Beeson, of punching him in the face before the biennial Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference in Michigan.
The two men were at Horn's Bar on Mackinac Island Thursday night when the purported incident occurred, the Detroit Free Press reported. The local police department declined to confirm, deny or comment on the fight to the newspaper. But Yob posted his account to Facebook.
"I ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who frankly I didn't even know who it was at first because he isn't relevant in our political world," Yob wrote. "He literally physically assaulted me by punching me in the face. The state police are looking for him. I have it on video, from multiple angles. This will play out in the national media in the next few hours."
He followed up the post with another status: "I am hereby calling on Marco Rubio to fire Rich Beeson effective immediately."
— Talking Points Memo (@TPM) September 18, 2015
Beeson previously worked on Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign before joining Rubio in March. Political consultant Yob, who helped Rick Santorum in 2012, was hired by Paul last July. The two staffers were in northern Michigan to attend the Mackinac conference, where Paul, but not Rubio, will appear before about 2,200 people, the Detroit News reported.
A Michigan political blogger named Brandon Hall published a post Friday in which he claimed to have seen the Horn's Bar incident. "I witnessed Beeson suddenly, out of nowhere, approach one of Rand Paul’s advisers, John Yob -- unprovoked -- and try to hit him," Hall wrote. "Beeson missed a full-on shot but still struck Yob’s in the face with a powerful blow near the jaw."
But another, anonymous source told MLive that the two men had "exchanged words" before the blow.