Gingrich gets 'occupied'
December 21st, 2011
03:46 PM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich gets 'occupied'

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – A handful of protesters temporarily hijacked a Newt Gingrich press conference Wednesday intended to showcase the GOP presidential candidate's latest endorsements.

The former House speaker was formally announcing the support of Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and New Hampshire House Speaker William O'Brien with both men at the Iowa State Capitol Wednesday morning when he was interrupted.

An Occupy Des Moines protester, who was sitting just a few feet behind Gingrich's left shoulder, visibly startled the former House speaker and others in the small room when he yelled "mic check."

Three others immediately began calling Gingrich the "corporate one percent candidate" and chanted "put people first" as they were escorted out of the room by security staff.

A few minutes later, Des Moines resident Ross Grooters disrupted the press conference.

"I think of all the candidates we've had, I have a fairly long record of being able to talk with a very wide range of people," Gingrich said, after telling Grooters he would be happy to speak to him after the press conference.

The protesters heckled Gingrich as he and his wife Callista made their way through the capitol building to his car.

One woman involved with Occupy Des Moines said they intend to target all the presidential candidates. She told reporters that various factions of the Occupy Wall Street movement will be descending on Des Moines next week to occupy candidate's headquarters.

Gingrich is just one of the candidates that have received similar treatment during this election cycle. A similar scenario played out last week during a speech he delivered in Iowa City, Iowa.

Ross Grooters, a 37-year-old locomotive engineer, said he recently joined Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (Iowa CCI), another group that is known for disrupting town halls and events.

– Follow Shawna Shepherd on Twitter: @ShepherdCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Newt Gingrich • Occupy Wall Street
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. T'sah from Virginia

    LMAO again – Wow, this is a funny day with these candidates!! At least "Occupy Obama" protestors are more peaceful!!

    Poor ginGRINCH, he is being hit from all sides!! I almost feel sorry for him................NOT!! It's not going to be long before he snaps!!

    Obama 2012!!

    December 21, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Failure is the Republicon legacy

    And the fox celebrities and Puss-ball falsely portray these OWS people as less than human? This was great – thank you OWS people for speaking up. The protestors seemed loud in that little room where Gingeritch was hiding his press conference, but they were respectful and non-combative.
    Unlike the disrespectful tee-baggers from the past that jabbed fingers at people’s chest or menacingly got into their face crowding personal space – shows you who the real Americans are.

    December 21, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. JasonD

    Why would they occupy Ron Paul's campaign, makes no sense......he voted against the bank bailouts, believes in a limited govt' and has consistently stood up for the rights of the little guy (99%) during in time in office. I really hope they meant everybody BUT Ron Paul.

    December 21, 2011 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. MTATL67

    Did he really just say "I have a fairly long record of being able to talk with a very wide range of people" I remember very recently he told them "Take a bath and get a Job". This nice act is not working for him. I didn't like him when he was callous but at least I respected him.

    December 21, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    There's nowhere you can go where we won't find you Newt. We are everywhere!!! WE ARE THE 99%. In the words of P. Diddy: "I thought I told you that we won't stop."

    December 21, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    I hope Mr. Gingrich is able to parlay this incident into some sympathy votes. But, he will not be able to do it by putting them down and demogoguing the protestors. He will have to bite his tongue HARD and congratulate them in excersing the freedom of speech, which is exactly how Rep. Bachman has handled them. It did her campaign good.

    So, why do I want to see Gingrich parlay this into votes? Because it may make for a longer primary season, and a longer primary season means a more interesting campaign season.

    December 21, 2011 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. mms55

    i'm pretty sure they mean ron paul to for his less regulation bs.we all know that is what caused this mess.

    December 21, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. GODZILLA1

    This is so cook – what a welcome for the candidate of corporate America.

    December 21, 2011 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  9. Rsprings

    One of the bloggers here stated the "Unlike the disrespectful tee-baggers from the past that jabbed fingers at people’s chest or menacingly got into their face crowding personal space – shows you who the real Americans are." The difference is those people were INVITED to a Town Hall Meeting to discuss Medicare and Obamacare. Not all people attending were disrespectful. The Occupy people are NOT INVITED to press conferences and their intention is not to discuss but to disrupt. They have been anything but respectful. The Occupy Claim to represent the 99% well...they don't represent me.

    December 21, 2011 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    JasonD wrote:

    Why would they occupy Ron Paul's campaign, makes no sense .....
    ----------
    Actually, you are not making any sense. How can speak out for a candidate when you do not even know his positions on various issues?

    Because Dr. Paul shares many of the same views when it comes to taxes. He feels that the wealthy pay more than their fair share of taxes already. If he had his way, a multi-billionaire would be paying the same amount in taxes as an electrician.

    What is most wrong about that concept is that the billionaire consumes for more resources that have been bought and paid for
    by tax dollars than the electrician. He travels more by air. He has a larger carbon footprint. Etc. He causes others in his inner circle to be the same way, even if they are not billionaires.

    December 21, 2011 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Rsprings wrote:

    The difference is those people were INVITED to a Town Hall Meeting to discuss Medicare and Obamacare.
    -----------------
    Seriously? You don't really believe that in every case do you? You are also suggesting that Mr. Gingrich does no screening of who is at his event, that he lacks security, that he is totally irresponsible and lacks foresight. I know you are not really saying that about Mr. Gingrich, are you?

    December 21, 2011 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Failure is the Republicon legacy

    It never states that some people were invited and some were not. So we can conclude that this response is just another typical GOP response to try to confuse or deny the facts.
    We won't let you get away with your false assumptions, no lame stream (fox) here.
    Real Americans don’t need to “confuse or deny facts”.

    December 21, 2011 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    Every vile un-American House member of the GOBP deathcult should be "Occupied" during his or her entire (and entirely undeserved) vacation after their cowardly cutting and running from the tax cut bill.

    December 21, 2011 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Larry in Houston

    It's not the first time he's got 'heckled' but I have talked to a lot of Repubs that are going to change from Republican to Independent "

    December 21, 2011 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Jeff In Oregon

    I love that guy. Good job and thank you. I love Iowa.

    December 21, 2011 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Non sequitor

    I probably couldnt be less of a Gingrich fan, but still, this "Occupy" garbage has to stop! I heard last week about the latest rally – "Occupy Immigration" – that doesnt even make sense.

    December 21, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  17. 100% ETHI

    So what. Next, Obama will be occupied. You think the Republican doesn't know how to play the same or different games?

    December 21, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  18. "Not" a I want Your Things For Doing Nothing Parasite

    I love how the LOUD uneducated Libtards are helping Obama out of Office..It is very generous of them. Mic Check LOL,LOL,LOL please....my 10 yr old daughter keeps asking me if those people stopped taking there medication LOL,LOL for real LOL,LOL I tell her they have yet to go see the Doctor about there mental ilcapacitys. She smiles and says that she hopes they do.........................Kids say the darndest things.........Oh yes so do liberals LOL,LOL,LOL I'm still smilin

    December 21, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  19. Silly Baggers!

    @GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE while I am on your side of the aisle and a P Diddy fan I can't say a quote from him is the best choice for referencing in a political discussion. That said I support the rest of your comment and I dig your name.

    December 21, 2011 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. FERNANDO M

    Why does this even make it a news worthy, occupy is total bs, this people should be looking for work, even ilegal immigrant are working you see them trying to survive, it's ok to protest but with some civilize way, why? doesn't CNN report about aboma's wife spenidng $100k extra just so she can go ahead on their vacation, while million of American are out of work, and so are they Occupiers...this media outlet is not doing its job.

    December 21, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Silly Baggers!

    @"Not" a I want Your Things For Doing Nothing Parasite

    Surely it must be an oversight that someone so educated as yourself would litter their comment with "LOL".

    Next time you want to criticize the education levels of a particular group of people why don't you start by posting a comment that is structured in an educated fasion. I don't think you can comprehend how idiotic you made yourself look.

    December 21, 2011 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  22. Ben Dover

    Boy, He sure waddled out of there as quick as he could...It only gets worse Pillsbury!

    December 21, 2011 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    I'd like to see him get "occupied" by a broomstick handle. That shoudl eb his Xmas gift.

    December 21, 2011 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  24. Silly Baggers!

    @Fernando M who said none of the occupy people work? In fact if you read the article one of the people that was involved in this is currently a locomotive engineer. Also while you are at it please post your source for your claim that Mrs. Obama spent $100k of tax payer money to go on vacation. We are waiting.

    December 21, 2011 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "So what. Next, Obama will be occupied. You think the Republican doesn't know how to play the same or different games?"

    First, the Teatrolls were the astroturf attempt by the GOP to play this "game" who bus toured themselves all over the country to make it look like there was more groundswell in different locations than there really was...and the MSM sold it to the country on the GOP's behalf. Second, the Dems have nothing to do with OWS and haven't done themselves any favors by trying to distance themselves from it to avoid any political fallout. OWS is actually organic, as opposed to corporate funded Koch-Armey organized Teatroll BS, is actually composed of locals in each location and the MSM is doing everything it can to black it out, misrepresent its message and de-legitimize it ...the evidence of the difference is ample...and, to be honest, the Dems are really dropping the ball by not trying to get more involved and more responsive to OWS, not necessarily to the point of co-opting it, but certainly to the point of winning them over.

    December 21, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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