Was Horgan ‘don’t touch me’ comment an overreaction?

Was Horgan 'don't touch me' comment an overreaction?

WATCH: Reaction to John Horgan don’t touch me comment has been fierce. Did he overreact? Tess van Straaten takes a look.

‘You can’t touch this’ made rapper MC Hammer a household name.

But ‘don’t touch me’ isn’t working out quite as well for B.C. NDP leader John Horgan, who’s making national headlines for his scrappy and aggressive debate behaviour ? which led to a bizarre exchange.

Horgan was speaking over the moderator when Clark reached over, touched his arm and said, “calm down John.”

“Don’t touch me again, please,” the NDP leader replied. 

“Watching Mr. Horgan’s reaction was outrageous ? it was simply outrageous,” Green Party leader, who could barely get a word in during the debate, told reporters on Friday.

Weaver was asked about the issue while unveiling the Green Party’s indigenous platform in Victoria.

“I was sitting there stunned in the debate because Ms. Clark had put her arm on my arm first when she turned to talk to me and I didn’t react,” Weaver told CHEK News. ‘That’s just her style.”

Promising money to ease transportation woes on the Lower Mainland at a campaign stop in Vancouver on Friday, Horgan stayed away from the touchy topic. But after the debate, Horgan tried to justify his reaction.

“The premier kept wanting to poke and poke, she physically pushed me what was I supposed to do?” Horgan asked reporters.  “I want to stand-up for people and I was standing up for myself.”

Clark was campaigning in Williams Lake on Friday, promising to stand up for B.C.’s lumber industry in talks with the U.S.

The B.C. Liberals, who quickly adopted the hashtag #CalmDownJohn, say they don’t understand what all the fuss is about

“If he touched my arm and offered me a glass of water I’d probably have said, ‘thanks I appreciate it,’ Clark said Thursday.

With so many critical issues facing British Columbia such as housing, job creation and health care, many people are hoping the next leader’s debate will actually focus on the issues and not infighting ? including Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

“People in British Columbia are sick and tired of this negative stuff,” Weaver says. “It’s backfiring on the B.C. NDP, it’s backfiring on the B.C. Liberals. We’re not going into that rabbit hole.”

With the gloves off, the big question now: Will the two sparring leaders keep their hands to themselves at the next debate?

Tess van StraatenTess van Straaten

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