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Hinchey debates reporter before debate

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Albany/HV: Hinchey debates reporter before debate
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SAUGERTIES, N.Y. -- Congressman Maurice Hinchey's campaign releases a statement in regards to a confrontation the 22nd district representative had with a reporter Thursday evening.

Hinchey's campaign says the congressman is regretful he did not walk away from the argument sooner, but says, Hinchey was being badgered The Kingston Freeman reporter William Kemble.

The argument happened only moments before Hinchey took the stage for a debate against opponent George Phillips. It started after the reporter asked Hinchey about his interest in a local development project:

"What are you talking about? Are you trying to give the same phony stuff that are you put in the Freeman so many times? Are you still as deceptive as you always have been? Are still you a manipulative guy? You're full of baloney. You're full of baloney, said Hinchey.

At this point, another reporter tried to break in to ask a question, and Hinchey said: "Yeah, please ask me something. This guy is just full of baloney."

When Kemble persisted, Hinchey told him: "Shut up! I have no interest in the project.

A YNN photographer on the scene said that wasn't the only part. After the cameras turned off Hinchey made a beeline for Kemble and got in his face. Our crew saw the congressman poke Kemble in the chest aggressively.

The Hinchey campaign meanwhile says that after the taped interview:

"Mr. Kemble continued badgering Mr. Hinchey and took an aggressive step toward him in an attempt to provoke a further argument. Nevertheless, the congressman regrets he didn't walk away from Mr. Kemble sooner in order to end the heated argument."

Hinchey is a scheduled Capital Tonight guest next week, on Tuesday night, where he'll be sitting down with Liz Benjamin for a one on one. Hinchey's opponent Phillips was on the show earlier this week.

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