Six presidential candidates are scheduled to attend the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference this weekend to fight over Michigan voters, a directive that one Marco Rubio staffer appears to have taken literally. John Yob, national political director for Rand Paul, accused Rich Beeson, Marco Rubio’s deputy campaign manager, of punching him at a bar. “He literally physically assaulted me by punching me in the face,” Yob wrote in a Facebook post this morning, adding that he has “it on video, from multiple angles. This will play out in the national media in the next few hours.” He later called on Rubio, who is not attending the conference, to fire Beeson. Conservative blogger Brandon Hall says he was at the Horn’s Gaslight Bar last night and watched “Beeson suddenly, out of nowhere, approach one of Rand Paul’s advisers, John Yob-unprovoked-and try to hit him. Beeson missed a full on shot but still struck Yob’s in the face with a powerful blow near the jaw.”
CBS Detroit notes, “This happened in a Michigan resort community where the clip-clop of horses is much more common than the slap of angry fists [Cars are banned on Mackinac Island]. It’s the kind of place one would assume solves problems with a well-placed, ‘I said good day, sir.’”
Although Rubio is not attending the event — which draws a few thousand donors, activists, and party leaders — he is sending a few surrogates, according to the Detroit News, including Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars.