VP Candidate Paul Ryan Stops at Iowa State Fair: Heckler Taken Off Stage (Update with Video)
While President Barack Obama barnstorms Iowa for three days beginning today, newly named GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan's visit to the Iowa State Fair ensures the president won't have the state to himself.
DES MOINES, IA -- A protester disguised as a Mitt Romney supporter rushed the stage Monday as new vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan was speaking -- and being heckled -- in front of several thousand people at the Iowa State Fair.
The woman had been wearing a Romney T-shirt before Ryan took the stage at about 1:15 p.m.
The Wisconsin congressman had been speaking for only a few minutes when the woman jumped on the stage and started to shout.
An Iowa State trooper jumped onstage after her and walked her out of the area. Troopers took at least one other person from the crowd later in the event.
Ryan pointed out the woman trying to get on stage and then moved aside while the trooper removed the woman.
"She must not be from Iowa," Ryan said to applause.
The heckling continued throughout the 20-minute speech.
The crowd was mostly pro-Romney, but a handful of vocal protesters were spread throughout and did not stop. Romney supporters tried to drown them out, which made for a hostile crowd.
"I thought it was too bad people were so rude," said Ann Carrick, of Dexter, who identified herself as over 60. "They have the right to speak, but not when someone else is speaking."
Carrick called Ryan an "awesome selection."
"It's good to have a Midwestern flavor to that, instead of an East Coast pick it could have been otherwise," she said.
Ryan appeared unfazed by the protest, even if the crowd was distracted.
"We are used to this in Wisconsin," Ryan said, again to applause.
Ryan criticized President Obama for not appearing at the fair. Obama said today that he intends to hit the fair tonight, according to the Des Moines Register.
“If you happen to see Congressman Ryan, tell him how important this farm bill is to Iowa and our rural communities,” Mr. Obama was to say in his speech elsewhere in Iowa, in Council Bluffs, where he was kicking off his bus tour. He is to appear in Boone this evening.
Ryan was appearing on the Des Moines Register's "soapbox" today, a tradition for candidates in both parties.
Ryan's 20-minute speech focused on his and Romney's plan to turn around the economy.
"Where are the jobs, Mr. President?" he asked, later adding, "We can turn this thing around."
For Iowans, this was the first chance to get a look at Ryan since Saturday morning's announcement that he is joining the GOP ticket. Pundits are still debating how Ryan fits into the race and whether he helps or hurts, and both parties are of course rushing to put their spin on the selection.