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.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
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.
Santorum to South Carolina: 'Step up'