Sen. Jim Bunning gives reporter the finger

Senator loses temper when questioned on decision to block bill to help unemployed

By Alex Koppelman
March 2, 2010 1:14AM (UTC)
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Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., has never been known for being a reasonable, laid-back kind of guy. And the scrutiny he's been under since last week, when he worked to block a bill that would extend unemployment benefits, seems to have exacerbated some of his less pleasant tendencies.

On Monday, Bunning got in a little confrontation with reporters who were asking him about his decision to block that legislation. He reportedly gave the middle finger to one producer from ABC News, and then he headed to an elevator generally reserved for senators, where he got into an on-camera argument with reporters. Video of that is below. (If you notice, Bunning refers to it as a senators-only elevator, which it is, technically, but reporters and others can always be invited on by a senator, and often are.)


This year will be Bunning's last in the Senate. Fed up with him, and worried that he put what should be a safe seat at risk, Republican leaders -- especially Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell -- put a lot of pressure on him not to run this year.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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