Gingrich gets 'occupied'
December 21st, 2011
03:46 PM ET
11 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. Sniffit

    "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. "

    He's referring to the Red State/Limbaugh/Beck type talking points of completely misrepresenting the vacation. The flight for FLOTUS and the kids and all the security etc that goes everywhere with them was something like $60K and the secret service etc for the time they'll be on vacation is like $40K...something along those lines. Of course, we have to pay for secret service for them no matter what, but who cares about pesky little facts like that?

    December 21, 2011 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Failure is the Republicon legacy

    OWS are real people without corporate support doing "their own thing" – so yes it may appear to be a little "out of control". But when do the people with the least standing up to the people with the most come across as organized or well funded – as the tee-baggers are with their Koch funded tour buses and lines of spotless accessible porta-potties, and budgets to match.
    So you GOPers go ahead and talk about your daughters who are talking down to these Americans, maybe they don't speak for you, or for all of the 99%.
    But they are speaking for a whole lot of Americans – maybe at least for the 48% of Americans who are living at or below the poverty level – IN OUR AMERICA.

    December 21, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. The Greedy Old Parasites have declared class war on US!

    Hey "Not" a I want Your Things For Doing Nothing Parasite", can we assume from you handle that you also oppose the Greedy Old Parasites and their neocon deathcult?

    December 21, 2011 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. NVa Native

    And BTW – with all these fruit-cake GOPers promoting hate & fear to their minions of mindless followers (many of which are racist) its a wonder that keeping the President & First Family safe doesn't cost us millions upon millions of dollars. And like the Snifit said – we pay for it no matter who the President was or is. Think how much it costs to fly to Crawlford Texass once a month?
    You reap what you sow, and hate & fear is expensive.

    December 21, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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