This week’s phone call between Republican Congressional candidate and ex-Secret Service agent Dan Bongino and Politico reporter Marc Caputo is a classic example of why most political hopefuls need to surround themselves with capable communications pros.
Bongino, who was recently excoriated on live TV by CNN’s Don Lemon for making excuses for Trump’s “Second Amendment people” remarks, caused himself a huge self-forced error by needlessly picking fights with the media. Apparently, Bongino, who is running for Congress in Florida’s District 19 after losing previous races in Maryland, disliked a story in the Naples Daily News highlighting that most of his campaign contributions come from outside the district. He called it propagandist, leading Caputo to ask him what was incorrect about the article.
This led to a phone call between the two, a call that Caputo told Bongino would be recorded. For the next 17+ minutes, Caputo was treated with pretty much every imaginable expletive known to man, all while Bongino continuously threatened him.
Now, make no mistake, throughout the call Caputo constantly baited the multi-time losing candidate. But, to be fair, Bongino refused to answer the initial question regarding the local piece. As Caputo kept pressing him for an actual answer, Bongino became more and more enraged. By the middle of the call, Bongino began personally insulting the Politico writer, calling him a hack who probably got beat up a lot in high school. (Yes, he seriously went that route.)
Eventually, after Bongino kept attacking him and the media but wouldn’t answer his questions, Caputo switched tactics and asked him how many times he lost in Maryland. (At this point, Bongino kept calling him a loser.) The reporter noted that he lost multiple times in Maryland and thus looked for a race he could possibly win in Florida, settling on a district he doesn’t live or work in nor is a registered voter. Well, as you could imagine, an already incensed Bongino went completely off the rails when this was brought up.
For the last portion of the phone call, he called Caputo a “motherfucker” and a “piece of shit” while telling him to go fuck himself. Meanwhile, a bemused Caputo sarcastically expressed concern for Bongino’s mental well-being, saying perhaps he should seek help. The wannabe Rep told Caputo he was going to destroy him and that he would “rue the day” he messed with Bongino.
After Politico Florida published the call — Caputo DID tell Bongino it would be recorded — other reporters provided their reactions on Twitter:
Voters are imperfect, but you have to respect them for constantly rejecting Dan Bongino. https://t.co/M4TXK2tUko
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) August 22, 2016
dan bongino lost two elections in md, so he ran to fl to try the scam again, and he’s still a little baby https://t.co/WXoOUZWgs6
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) August 22, 2016
— Eric Michael Garcia (@EricMGarcia) August 22, 2016
Below is the full recording. Please make time to listen to the whole thing.
Image via Florida Politics