Manchester madness surrounds Ron Paul
January 9th, 2012
10:26 AM ET
6 years ago

Manchester madness surrounds Ron Paul

Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – Retail politics New Hampshire style turned into a chaotic scene for Ron Paul at morning stop here in Manchester.

Moe and Joes diner was packed with cameras and reporters waiting for the 76-year-old Republican presidential candidate to come and work the room, but the scrum seemed to get the best of him.

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After going table to table shaking hands with mostly high school students from Massachusetts –unable to vote in the Granite state - he squeezed through the crush of reporters to the other side of the diner where there were a fair number of New Hampshire voters.

Paul, the Texas congressman, was supposed to sit down and eat breakfast.

But he stopped working the room and instead walked out and got in his car after less than 15 minutes of glad handing.

As he stood outside, pinned against his car doing a television interview, one angry New Hampshire voter came out to find him.

Karen Heller tried unsuccessfully to get close to Paul and ask him to come back in, saying she had brought her 90-year-old mother to meet him.

An angry Heller told reporters the Paul campaign promised he would shake everyone's hand, and was quite upset he left so abruptly.

Heller, an independent who voted for President Barack Obama in the New Hampshire primary four years ago, told CNN afterward she was leaning toward Paul but is now unlikely to vote for him.

"If I met him, looked him in the eye and liked him he would have gotten my vote tomorrow and instead I'm turned off," Heller said.

Paul told CNN: "You the media did that to her [Heller], she should have been furious with you."

Paul seemed quite overwhelmed by the media madness around him - and with the grip and grin generally required of candidates. His aides insist he spent a year shaking hands and meeting voters at diners like this, just without the throngs of reporters and cameras.

Team Paul responded to the events in a press release, saying members of the media created a "mob-like atmosphere that was deemed to be unsafe for the candidate, Moe Joe's customers, and reporters themselves," in which Paul's wife Carol was shoved aside.

His National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton also apologized to the customers at the diner and those who were distressed by the incident.

"We ask the press, at all upcoming events over the next day and a half, to be respectful of both Dr. Paul and of New Hampshire voters, who are entitled to examine their candidates in a safe and responsible atmosphere," Benton said in a statement.

Heller –a classic New Hampshire voter– said if Paul wants to campaign here he's got to deal with it and work through it "like all the other candidates."

Despite the ruckus, several New Hampshire voters at Moe and Joes said they are going to support Paul.

Also see:

Santorum to South Carolina: 'Step up'

Romney feared being fired

Paul looking forward to South Carolina, caucus states

Perry makes play for Christian voters in South Carolina

Democrats maintain focus on Romney

Filed under: 2012 • New Hampshire • Ron Paul
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Bob Moore

    Wake up GOP!!! Huntsman is the one. Like Paul, he's also libertarian, but not a die-hard isolationist (which is why Paul is unelectable).

    HUNTSMAN IS THE MOST SUCCESSFUL GOVERNOR ALIVE: look at his conservative record that got him >90% approval.

    I know, I know, he "worked for Obama" (for the record, so do his two sons in the military). But this is the entirety of his baggage (serving USA before GOP)! BUT REALIZE, IRONICALLY, in a general election, HUNTSMANS BAGGAGE ACTUALLY BECOMES OBAMAS BAGGAGE!

    Mitt is a populist. Watch him speak for himself and cover all sides of the issues: "Mittstant Replay" youtube. + he's a proven failure, a 1-term Governor with 34% approval.

    January 9, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  2. TheNewFourthEstate

    Why would you blame Doctor Paul for a media swarm? If the media cannot conduct themselves with some sense of propriety that is not Doctor Paul's fault. He has called out reporters in the past for shoving and bullying both the public and other reporters. He is a gentleman, I trust his judgement, and he has my vote this election.

    January 9, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |

    Listening to his son Rand this morning discussing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, I'm even more convinced I will never support Ron Paul.

    January 9, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Rudy NYC

    Rep. Paul might be crazy, but he's not fool. He knows many of his positions and statements are indefensible and disqualify him from being considered a serious candidate for POTUS. Ron Paul is running from the press because he doesn't want to have get caught on camera answering for things like why was he the keynote speaker at the 50th anniversay dinner for the John Birch Society. Ron Paul gives libertarianism a bad name.

    January 9, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  5. Jim

    What a shallow person. You have to meet him, shake his hand and look in his eye to vote for him?
    How unrealistic to think that its that easy. There are thousands of NH voters trying to meet him and ask questions. Just because you can't get through doesn't mean he shouldn't get your vote.
    This is madness indeed.
    Vote for the man based on his policies.

    January 9, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. rob

    pathetic smear job

    January 9, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. bob

    A real Ron Paul supporter understands the ideas and would vote for him regardless if they go to shake his hand or not. People need to research the issues and quit making this a popularity contest.

    January 9, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Alex

    Ron Paul usually sticks around and shakes hands, sometimes he does many stops in a row and doesn't have the time. Ron Paul 2012!

    January 9, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Neal

    Hello Karen Heller. Don't give up on Ron Paul. He is way ahead of all the other candidates. Thanks for showing up and vote Ron Paul 2012. For Freedom.

    January 9, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. Michael

    she was leaning toward Paul but is now unlikely to vote for him.
    "If I met him, looked him in the eye and liked him he would have gotten my vote tomorrow and instead I'm turned off," Heller said.

    No wonder this country is heading down the crapper, people vote for candidates who look them in the eye, or mostly likely to sit down and have a beer with. How about voting for someone who takes there oath of office seriously, who is firm in the belief of liberty and wants to end unnecessary wars. Ron Paul will get my vote on that, not issue diverting nonsense this article spouts. Ron Paul is the real change candidate. If you want endless wars, a shrinking middle class, and the devalue of the dollar then vote for Obama or any other Republican candidate.

    January 9, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  11. Otis Feahterhead

    If you're decision to vote for someone is whether or not they shook your hand at a diner – you're part of the problem not the solution. This comment is not an endorsement of any candidate.

    January 9, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  12. fyi2day

    Sad effort Dana... This is more lame than cutting of the veteran in Iowa as soon as he mentioned the down side of war.

    Hey New Hampshire, the media says Romney has already won.
    Shock them on Tuesday!
    Vote Ron Paul for Freedom!

    "Video killed the radio star" in the 1980's
    Let's hope the Ron Paul Revolution and a free internet can do the same to the corporatist consolidated media machine. It is time to break them up or put them out of business.
    Don't let them, through their lobby and our own corrupt or misguided politicians, pass SOPA under the guise of protecting us from piracy. It is a ruse as much as slipping Martial law provisions into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In ten years, the Patriot act and NDAA has killed the Bill of rights and the 4th and 5th Amendments. Don't let the SOPA bill kill the 1st amendment as well. The terrorists are not the threat to America!
    Vote Ron Paul 2012, you and your neighbor's freedom depends on it. Make sure you tell them! The MSM is counting on the fact we won't educate each other. We must come out of our shells on this!

    This is not a left or right issue. This is a fundamentally foundational American issue, which Paul is offering the only correct alternative. Without our freedom nothing else matters. Don't be distracted by lesser issues. Good luck with your research and please vote! Yours in Liberty!

    January 9, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. Marie MD

    He shook hands with youngster who can't vote! He can't handle the media and people frenzy? What is he going to do if he wins (which hen wont) the nomination? Do car and fly bys? I keep saying this seventy six (I thought it was 78) is too old and he can't handle then pressure. He was there for a breakfast and left peoplen waiting for his highness as he blew the joint. Good start clown!
    I saw his boy's interview with Soledad. He's his daddy's attack dog. Won't shut up to listen to anyone about truths and what his daddy has said in the past. He was ferry disrespectful Soledad but we know from his capaining goons he treats woman as lesser beings.

    January 9, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  14. willie floyd

    Remember the comment he made some weeks ago re: "stamina"?? I think his age is a big factor-too old.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 9, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Andrew

    Are you kidding me? This is a sad article. The only people in the diner were teenagers from Mass. unable to vote? What a crock. Why don't you just say tweens or 5th graders.
    If could only look him in the eye? So people do not bother to understand your candidate, pin your hopes on looking him in the eye.
    The subtle message is"Do not vote for Ron Paul".
    This the kind of stuff they would write in the old Soviet paper "Pravda".
    Makes me sad to think what a disservice the MSM is doing. Are you people not Americans?

    January 9, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Lynn

    Ron Paul can't even handle a morning glad hand without a temper tantrum. He's showing his age, even his suit jacket isn't fit for a presidential candidate. It fits as poorly as Ron Paul does in the campaign/

    January 9, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  17. Adam

    Someone like that should not be allowed to vote anyway. That's really sad and ignorant. We need to set the bar a little higher for voting requirements if somebody would change a vote based on sensationalism rather than the actually policies the canidate supports.

    They should be required to pass a US History and I.Q. Exam lol

    January 9, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. m j cullinane

    Neaver in my entire life heard such garbage as first i had to look him in the eye lolol america your looking silly again ,And after this election the country will neaver see a man of wisdom ever again ,You have to vote for Dr paul romney works for hollywood with his plastic smile

    January 9, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Oldfan

    Real surprised at you CNN, fitting in the word 'madnees' and 'Ron Paul' in the article title.
    Way to smear! I'm just not sure who's worse anymore, CNN or FOX?

    Ron Paul has my vote!

    January 9, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. tom

    Seriously? You're note going to vote for a guy because he was squeezed out of a restaurant?

    January 9, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |