Protesters ambushed Newt Gingrich in the middle of the former Speaker’s speech today in Iowa in an attempt to have their message about big corporations heard.
The event featured two top Iowa and New Hampshire legislators who had come together to the state capitol in Des Moines, Iowa to throw their support behind Gingrich. The small room in the capitol was filled with press and only had room for four or five citizens, all of whom, it turned out, were protestors.
As Gingrich stepped up the mic to speak, one man leapt from his chair toward Gingrich, and was able to get very close to Gingrich before the protestor was pushed toward the wall by Gingrich’s security team, knocking over the American flag behind them. He was escorted out with force immediately.
“Mic check! We’re taking over this press conference!”
The other three stood up from their chairs, gathered behind Gingrich and chanted “Put people first!” before they were also escorted from the room.
Gingrich remained calm and collected during the protest, as he glanced at his wife, Callista and she shook her head in amazement.
Gingrich told the press in the room, that after campaigning in Iowa, he knows the protestors are the “One-tenth of the one percent in Iowa.” Gingrich also referred to last week when he was “mic-checked” at the University of Iowa during a speech on brain science, two people were escorted out.
“They were also the one-tenth of the one percent,” Gingrich said. “All noise, no thought, trying to drown out conversation,” Gingrich said.
After the dust settled from the protestors this morning, Gingrich continued his speech, when another man stood up and yelled at Gingrich that he wanted to speak to him.
Gingrich told him he “I’ll talk to you outside.”
Gingrich stopped and spoke with the man on the way out and was heckled by several others who stayed behind in the hall.
Several of the protestors told ABC News they were not satisfied by their encounter with Gingrich and thought maybe “a million dollars would buy 10 minutes of his time.” The group was a mix of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Occupy Des Moines.