DeSantis interrupted by three protesters at campaign stop days before Iowa caucuses

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AMES, Iowa — Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis was interrupted three times by as many protesters during a campaign stop in Ames, Iowa, Thursday, including two who were forcibly removed by security.

Speaking at his fourth event of the day just days before the leadoff Iowa caucuses, the Florida governor harshly criticized the protesters, saying they represent what’s wrong with U.S. colleges and universities today, and reminded the crowd that he’s the target of attacks from Democrats and the media.

DeSantis was on stage for about five minutes before a protester, who was close to the stage, stood up and shouted his name, seemingly to try to ask a question.

“Excuse me, hold on. Excuse me, I’m doing this,” DeSantis said. “I know you have an agenda. Stop.”

DeSantis went on, saying the man who interrupted wants “you to pay for more gas” and “we’re not going to let people like that win.”

“We’re going to make sure we’re energy independent in this country,” he said.

A second protester tried to get onstage – yelling “Ron DeSantis is a climate criminal” and trying to display a banner. He was almost immediately pushed off the side of the stage by DeSantis‘ security.

“That’s exhibit A” for what’s wrong with U.S. colleges, DeSantis said, smiling. The protesters were young adults, and Ames is home to Iowa State University, though there was no clear indication they were students.

The third protester chimed in not long after, calling out from the crowd. She also was hauled off.

DeSantis continued on with his remarks before taking several questions about his policy positions.

Campaign events have been infrequently disrupted as the DeSantis has crisscrossed Iowa, with some exceptions.

Protesters with a similar message to the ones in Ames – “no oil money” – interrupted DeSantis Tuesday during a Fox News town hall. They were escorted out.

DeSantis also encountered protesters on both sides of the aisle at the Iowa State Fair in August. During a one-on-one chat with Gov. Kim Reynolds, liberal protesters blew whistles, drowning out the two talking until they were removed. Supporters of former President Donald Trump chanted things like “We love Trump!” when DeSantis was nearby.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC.

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