February 14th, 2012
04:15 AM ET
3 years ago

Protesters disrupt Santorum event, get arrested

(CNN) – A group of protesters disrupted a Rick Santorum campaign rally in Tacoma, Washington, on Monday, prompting the presidential hopeful to brand it as a “radical element” that represents “true intolerance.”

After Santorum was introduced to raucous applause, the protestors launched into the Occupy movement’s traditional “mic check, mic check” call. After hearing that, the conservative crowd attempted to shout down the Occupy protestors with chants of “U.S.A., U.S.A.”

“Isn’t this a great country? I love this,” Santorum said as the shouting match played out in front of him. “This is the one reason I love doing outside events open to the public because you get a chance to hear from everybody.”

That genial Santorum, though, shortly gave way to a more confrontational Santorum when the protestors continued.

“They don't want to hear what the other side has to say. Why? Because if they have a reasonable, rational discussion, they can’t be successful,” Santorum said over the shouting protestors.

Some of the protestors were then taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs by police, who then led them out of the event. Tacoma Police confirmed that three protestors were arrested, two for disorderly conduct and one for assault.

With the protestors gone, Santorum addressed what has just happened.

“I think it's really important for you to understand what this, what this radical element represents, because what they represent is true intolerance,” Santorum said.

Though later in the speech Santorum focused on other issues, the protestors loomed large over for former Pennsylvania senator’s speech.

“Barack Obama has sided with the 99 versus 1,” Santorum said. “He supported this movement - this movement that is intolerant and disrespectful. He supported them and embraced them.”

After wins in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota, recent polls have Santorum running even with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The race for the Republican presidential nomination continues on February 28 in Arizona and Michigan.

CNN's Chris Welch contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2012 • Occupy Wall Street • Rick Santorum • Washington
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    "Why? Because if they have a reasonable, rational discussion, they can’t be successful,”"

    More nonsense and propaganda from one of the GOBP's cowardly crop of flaccid and failed clown car candidates. The GOBP deathcult is desperately AVOIDING having a rational discussion about income equality and the increasing wealth gap between the filthy rich and everyone else. The GOBP deathcult is deathly afraid of having a rational discussion about how the filthy rich and big business have corrupted our economic and political system. Want proof? Did Mr. Frothy say a single word or direct any comments to that subject when he had the opportunity to do so? No he did not. Because he, like the rest of his party, is a coward who can't handle the discussion. This refusal to discuss these important issues, along with the GOBP deathcult's refusal to discuss the millionaire tax sought by three quarters of Americans, shows just who is "intolerant." When you hear the GOBP complain about "intolerance" be assured it's just projection, a child's tantrum, and phony victimhood. OWS!

    February 14, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  2. GI Joe.

    We don't need no dad-gummed theocracy in this country! And I will NOT have catholocism and all the pOPES radical views crammed down my throat.

    Women (and a lot of men) do NOT approve of ssantorum. Where is "right to free speech" if he has people arrested? We do NOT need that kind of dictator in this country. He sure rally's the dems to come out AGAINST HIM.

    February 14, 2012 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  3. The Other Dale

    Ah, the old "I'm rubber, you're glue" tactic. Seems to work with Republicans who can't think clearly, as they've been successful with it ever since the Tea Party first turned up. Can't blame him for trying it here, even if it is a fantasy.

    February 14, 2012 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  4. diridi

    Santorum is an idiot. o.k, Yes, Romney too, but little better than that dude.

    February 14, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  5. The GOP opens mouth and inserts foot

    But Santorum is the poster child for true intolerance.

    February 14, 2012 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  6. diridi

    good for them...they know he is an idiot.

    February 14, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  7. Napowan

    How can he say that the Occupy Movement represents intolerance when he preaches intolerance more than any person on the national stage right now. He doesn't even acknowledge that he HATES all gay people, ALL liberals and democrats, and any person that is not a christian. Shame on you Rick

    February 14, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  8. crazier by the day

    “Barack Obama has sided with the 99 versus 1,” Santorum said.

    And this is bad for the U.S.? Who have you sided with Rick?

    February 14, 2012 08:55 am at 8:55 am |
  9. Larry in Houston

    Go Rick – Hope You carry AZ & MI – this way – we can be sure a Democrat will win the white house in nov.

    February 14, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  10. Marry

    One could easily brand the presidential hopeful (s) (and all the GOP has to offer) as a “radical element” that represents “true intolerance.” Or what would you call the misinformation (also known as lies) they spread?
    Get that GOP/TP crowed out of politics. The country would be a lot better off!!

    February 14, 2012 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  11. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    Wow, I can't believe Washington let him in the state. We don't put up with guys like Santorum in Washington State. How did he cross the border or be allowed to land at the airport? Come on Wahington, you can do better than this. Ramp it up a bit next time by shutting down all roads, block the highways and whatever you have to do. But do not let this angry right wing condom burner back in our state.

    February 14, 2012 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  12. Thomas

    Let the Rick Speak .

    I like his Fascist tone, so authoritative .

    February 14, 2012 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  13. Name: DParke

    Wake up America. Romney IS our future. Santorum is a nice enough guy but Obama will eat him like a snack!. Like it or not Romney is the only one seasoned and polished enough to beat Obama. As republicans it’s time to rally and get started beating on Obama not each other. Romney will swing moderates to us and if we, as strong conservatives, unite behind him Romney WILL beat Obama. Time for wishing and dreaming us over. It’s time to rally and prepare for the real battle. Swallow your stubborn ideology pride and rally around the only Conservative who can actually beat Obama. He has a public record that people can pick apart, bit he had no skeletons in the closet. He is a Mormon for crying out loud! Off the chart family values, loyal to 1 wife, honest in business and acknowledges Jesus as his savior. He is by FAR the bet we got. Let’s rally around him and unite and heal out wounds and start the Obama fight. Bring it!!!

    February 14, 2012 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. anagram_kid

    “They don't want to hear what the other side has to say. Why? Because if they have a reasonable, rational discussion, they can’t be successful,” Santorum said over the shouting protestors.

    Since when did the man on dog, all contraception is wrong candidate become capable of a reasonable, rational discussion?

    February 14, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. JoeS

    The problem in this country is that voters are looking for a very very perfect Presidential candidate. Even if Jesus run for President they will reject him.

    February 14, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |