A sucker-punch thrown by a 78-year-old Donald Trump supporter at a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday was “somewhat impressive,” a surrogate for the GOP front-runner said on CNN Thursday.
Andy Dean shocked his fellow panelists during the CNN segment when he appeared to defend the sucker puncher, John McGraw. The Linden, N.C. man was arrested and charged with assault, battery and disorderly conduct for socking protester Rakeem Jones during an event in Fayetteville. Video shows McGraw assaulting Jones as he was being escorted out of the event.
“That guy’s 78 and throwing a punch like that?” Dean asked Thursday.
“I mean, at his age we must say that that is very, very interesting,” he continued.
Host Brooke Baldwin disagreed with Dean’s take, saying “I’m not giving him credit for throwing a punch.”
Dean complained that it’s unfair that protesters appear only to target Trump rallies.
“And if a 78-year-old guy, which Donald Trump is not in control of, he’s a very powerful man, but he can’t control a 78-year-old man who, at that age, that looks like good exercise,” he said.
“He’s 78. That’s somewhat impressive.”
CNN contributor S.E. Cupp, who opposes Trump, criticized Dean.
“We’re talking about whether a Trump supporter should be applauded for punching a protester,” she said. “This is absurd. It’s disgusting.”
Jones, the protester, did not suffer any serious injuries from McGraw’s blow. However, he was apprehended by security as he was leaving the event.