Ford Jr. shows up at Corker event uninvited - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ford Jr. shows up at Corker event uninvited

Harold Ford Jr. showed up uninvited at a campaign event for rival Republican Bob Corker at a private charter airstrip in Memphis this morning. Corker had scheduled the media event earlier this week.

News reporters were surprised when Ford's tour bus pulled up at the event and, apparently staff at Wilson Air were surprised as well, as they tried to steer media inside the property for the Corker news conference.

"You need to get this bus off our premises please. Right now," said one Wilson Air staffer.

Corker instead, opted to come out and talk with Ford directly while the cameras were rolling. What followed was a tense confrontation between the two, caught on tape.

The two shook hands, but there was nothing civil about it. "I came to talk about ethics. And I have a press conference," Corker told Ford. "And I think that it's a true sign of desperation and that you would pull your bus up when I'm having a press conference."

"As a matter of fact, this is my press conference not yours, okay?" Corker told Ford.

Ford says Corker is desperate and he points to a recent critical campaign commercial as evidence. In the ad, an actor says, "Has Jr. ever had a job outside of politics? The ford family business is politics. But he does look good on T.V."

Ford tried to debate Corker on the spot, but Corker didn't take the bait.

"Tell me what do you think about this Iraq thing?" Ford asked. "I know you're here to talk about my family." Corker replied, "No, no. I'm here to talk about you."

Ford insists showing up at Corker's news conference was not a breach of campaign etiquette, nor - he says - was it a desperate move. "Every poll in the country shows us running ahead, every poll in the state demonstrates that," he said.

"Why does he think my family is just wide open for him to lie about, and distort the record of and tell stories about?" Ford asked.

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Visitor Comments:

Cheap shot by Ford. Show's why he flunked his law test to become an attorney. We don't need another immature Democrat in Washington.

The cheap shot came when Corker did the ad. yea, I would have met him and
confronted him with it too.

Corker and Jr was at it, not the family.   I if I was running, I would have
met him with the same thing.  If Corker doing to dis the dirt, then he
should be ready for the dirt to lay in the bed.

Harold Ford Junior is not John , Jake, Tamara, or any other person  in the
Ford family.  It was a cheap thing on Corker, he needs to sit down and eat

Ford says it is not about his family, then he acts like the other Ford Family Members!!!

That was cheap and typical of Democrats,what a joke!

How rude to show up at someone else's press conferences. Looks like
Ford is really desperate and looking for shock and hype.

What a cheap shot on the part of Ford. Ford lacks character and integrity! Not a man that I would vote for!

No. civility. One does not crash someone else's press conference. Is this
what we want?

That just shows how uncouth that Ford is in my opinion...............Wish
that I could see that.

ford family has their own it is a most important reason to not to vote for him

I didn't see what was so out of line with what Ford did.There were no campaign ethic laws broken,so he was well within his rights.I think this clip showed that Corker has no views nor has he given any thought to the issues that really need to be spotlighted.Corker has danced around all of the issues of real substance since the beginning of this thing, and has avoided many chances to debate with Ford and give insight as to what his platform really is.During this clip Ford threw some very important issues at Corker that he had no answers for and I find it hard to believe that Corker will ever have any legit responses.Simply because his whole campaign has been built around pointing out that the fact that Ford comes from a family that contains pass members of  the Tennessee government.Please Mr.Corker tell us something besides the obvious.I could care less about how many "Fords" have been in office.What I care about is having someone in office that will stand on the issues and w!
 ill put plans into action to have them no longer be issues that plague us.I'm only 20 years old so this will be just my second time voting,and my vote will be for Harold Ford Jr.

It was supposed to be a press conference with Corker, but as usually,
the press covers the democrat.

It was very unprofessional for Mr. Ford to intrude on Mr. Corker's rally. This was purposely confrontational and designed to force a conflict. We can not have civil discourse if this type stunt is not condemned by the public. We are all sick and tired of this vile political confrontation that diverts attention away from the real issues. Is it now ok for Mr. Corker to retaliate and invade Mr. Ford's next campaign rally, and on and on? This must stop.


I just viewed the on camera exchange between Harold Ford Junior and Bob Corker in it's entirety and I have to say that I was very surprised and very disappointed in the way Mr. Ford chose to conduct himself through the exchange. He displayed a lack of maturity and professionalism in my opinion. To go to the opposing candidates Press Conference demanding a surprise on camera debate on the tarmac of an airstrip, was nothing but an inappropriate and immature publicity stunt. Very unbecoming of a person that wants to represent this state as a Senator. On the other hand, I thought Mr. Corker showed a lot of class. He acknowledged Mr. Ford but politely reminded him that this was "his" press conference and he had people waiting for him then excused himself, leaving Mr. Ford to stand on the tarmac where he proceeded to throw an on camera temper tantrum while boasting how he was "up in all the national and Tennessee polls". A man that confident of victory just doesn't pull stunts like this! In objectively watching and listening to the exchange, it lead me to question Mr. Ford's judgment and further, his ability effectively represent this state on the Senate Floor. As WMC TV rebroadcasts this exchange, in sincerely hope that you show the public every bit of it. This is one that shouldn't be edited. Thank you!

No class. That's really ashamed - he seemed like a bright young man, but this really and truly shows a particular lack of couth and simple courtesy. I'm really sorry to see this, and have a feeling it will turn off many people from what could have been a bright political career.

Great move on Ford's part. At least it wasn't a Bush event where doors are closed to you if you are not on a list. Who says an opponent cannot attend another's press conference? Is there a law? A rule? I am visiting Nashville this weekend and have seen the attack adds that Corker has uncorked against Ford. My call is that Corker started it. Good move on Ford's part.

Shame on Ford. I thought I liked him but this was a DIRTY TRICK and I'm sick of them .

What Congressman Ford did strikes me as extremely appropriate in a
political campaign. He was nice, correct and very direct. That's the kind
of intelligent, experienced, educated and professional politician I would
like to see running my country. I would rather have my family see this on
the news as reality rather than as a commercial in the middle of something
totally else. I like Congressman Ford.

To everyone that is so critical of what Ford did, let me ask you this, "what would you do if an individual continually attacked your family with false statements"?  If Corker really had a platform to run on then it would not be necessary for him to run all of the negative ads.  Corker started the smear campaign and now when Ford confronts him on all the lies that he is spreading, Corker has no comments.  "No, no Mr. Corker, I think that it is you that is desperate".  By leaving families out of this election and sticking to the issues, you will not have to be concerned about Ford showing up to talk to you.  Funny how during the 2004 presidential election, that it was ungodly when Kerry mentioned the fact that Cheney's daughter is gay (which is true) but it's okay for Corker to spread untruths about the Ford family.

Ford reminds us of Al Gore invading President Bush's space in the 200 Debate. Gore lost the election! NUFF SAID.

There's an old adage that nuts don't fall far from their tree and this is another classic case. Harold Ford Jr can attempt to distance himself from his family; however, his family speaks volumes all its own. Also appears he really lacks class to attempt to usurp Corker's press conference.

Sad, sad, sad, Harold Ford appears to be a bitter man.

Not much of showdown folks. It was press conference - not a rally, not a closed dinner. Both gentlemen were courteous and shook hands. Not much to see here.

Please include in your coverage of Ford's interruption of Corker's 
presser today the fact that, in the history of 'campaign news 
opportunities', a rival candidate has _never_ just shown up with the 
intent of creating a disturbance.  Ford's conduct today is egregious, 
by any measure.  You, the target of his antics, DESERVE to express 
some outrage at being used.

You fastidiously try to balance your coverage, minute for minute, 
between candidates.  Ford "cheated" today.  If you simply spin this 
as 'campaign antics', you demean your efforts at 'balance'.

This is not just a "ha ha, these guys are really duking it out".  
This is cheating.  Ford knew it when he stepped off the bus.  You 
know it.

Don't be 'used', please.

Channel Five's deserved reputation for fairness is on the line.  This 
is NOT a "ha ha, aren't these guys desperate" moment.  It's a serious 
moment for your news journalism to point out Ford's violation of 
basic fairness (and fundamental class).

This is symptomatic of why cooperation between Democrats and Republicans is largely dead.  Not a good move on Ford's part.  Fear and Intimidation is the order of the day for both sides.  If you don't agree with what a member of the other party says simply break protocol and attempt to intimidate your opponent.  Ford simply emphasized the thought process.

I'm News Director for a group of stations in Arizona and former Press Deputy
with the Los Angeles City Council.  I
enjoy seeing what various candidates are doing in races across the country.
As someone who covers press conferences and someone who has set them up  --
I agree Ford's appearance was a very cheap shot.  Campaigning is never
easy -- and grandstanding gestures like his create a sleezy approach for
attention.  He ought to know better.

I'm disgusted that a candidate would horn in on an opponent's campaign stop.  I'm further dismayed that Harold Ford, Jr. would receive so much TV time after behaving so badly.

Guess it pays (at least for a time) to behave badly.

Wow!!  How embarrassing for Ford.  After witnessing the true smooth talker that lies within try to get out of this jam, the picture just became crystal clear for me....  This guy is too immature to represent our great state.  This was a poor lapse of judgment.

Major props to Harold Ford for doing this.   Corker is doing a press conference for political games -- attacking family, and Ford pulls in and reminds everyone about the real issues.     Ford showed he'll step into the fire and right up to the challengers -- that's what you want with a leader.   While Corker came off sounding like a whiny kid who didn't get his way.

"Cut and Run" Corker shows his true colors.   Debate the issues for a change.

Typical Ford family antics! Harold Ford Jr. is a fraud. He has changed his tune so much from the way he has voted for years.

For those of us who have watched the Ford family for the past 32 years this is typical behavior.  If Tennesseans are stupid enough to fall for his act, the Ford family circus will proceed from Action News 5 and the Commercial Appeal to CNN News and the New York Times.  What an embarrassment to Tennessee.

Ford is a professionally educated legislator with tremendous political skill
and the willingness to take direct action.  What exactly Bob Corker
represents is kinda spooky to me.


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