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Florida congressman goes off on reporter at Romney event: ‘You’re an advocate!’

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
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Mario Diaz-Balart (AP)

HIALEAH, Fla. -- At a presidential campaign event for Mitt Romney Tuesday, Mario Diaz-Balart, a congressman from Florida who endorsed Romney, got into a debate with the Miami Herald's Marc Caputo when the reporter laughed at his comments during an interview.

Caputo asked Diaz-Balart about President Obama's foreign policy record, and when Diaz-Balart suggested that recent successes in the Middle East and Africa were a result of Bush administration policies, Caputo chuckled.

That's when Diaz-Balart went off.

Diaz-Balart: "You laugh, are you a reporter or a debater? . . . It's funny because--and I'm not giving you a hard time here, but usually reporters are reporters, not advocates."

Caputo: "I am not."

Diaz-Balart: "Oh yes you are."

Caputo: "Give me an example of advocacy,"

Diaz-Balart: "Right now! You're laughing about my position. . . .You're an advocate! By the way, you have the right to be. I love advocacy."

Caputo: "I disagree with your characterization of advocacy."

Diaz-Balart: "You're in advocacy. You're an advocate."

Caputo: "I completely disagree."

Diaz-Balart: "And I completely respect your advocacy, I do. I respect your advocacy."

Caputo: "I respect your right to get it wrong that I'm advocating."

Diaz-Balart: "Okay, that's fine."

Caputo: "We'll agree to disagree."

Diaz-Balart: "And I respect you when I give a point of view that you disagree with, laughing about it."

Caputo: "I don't know why you think I disagree with it."

Diaz-Balart: "You laughed about it."

Listen to the rest in the audio recording. The spat begins about three and a half minutes in.

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