(DES MOINES, Iowa) –- Protesters ambushed Newt Gingrich in the middle of the former Speaker’s speech Wednesday in Iowa in an attempt to have their message about big corporations heard.
The event featured two top Iowa and New Hampshire legislators who had come together to the state capitol in Des Moines, Iowa, to throw their support behind Gingrich. The small room in the capitol was filled with press and only had room for four or five citizens, all of whom, it turned out, were protesters.
As Gingrich stepped up the mic to speak, one man leapt from his chair toward Gingrich, and was able to get very close to Gingrich before the demonstrator was pushed toward the wall by Gingrich’s security team, knocking over the American flag behind them. He was escorted out with force immediately.
The other three stood up from their chairs, gathered behind Gingrich and chanted “Put people first!” before they were also escorted from the room.
Gingrich remained calm and collected during the protest, as he glanced at his wife, Callista and she shook her head in amazement. Gingrich told the press in the room that after campaigning in Iowa he knows the protesters are the “One-tenth of the one percent in Iowa.”
Several of the protesters told ABC News they were not satisfied by their encounter with Gingrich and thought maybe “a million dollars would buy 10 minutes of his time.” The group was a mix of Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement and Occupy Des Moines.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Maeve Reston, CNN
Deirdre Walsh and Eugene Scott, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Jim Acosta and Greg Clary, CNN