Newt Gingrich heckled at endorsement event in Iowa by Occupy Des Moines protesters


Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich speaks to the media at the Union League Club following an earlier meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on December 5, 2011 in New York City. Gingrich, who's seen a surge in polls in recent weeks, attended a town hall event December 3, hosted by the Tea Party of Staten Island.


Spencer Platt

Newt Gingrich was heckled at an endorsement event in Iowa on Wednesday and reportedly chased out of the Iowa Capitol building.

The 2012 Republican presidential candidate had been in Des Moines to receive endorsement of one of Iowa’s top political leaders, Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, R-Hiawatha.

According to the New York Daily News, it began with a shouting demonstrator calling Gingrich a "1 percent candidate" before being escorted from the room, as other protesters standing behind Gingrich began to clap and chant "Put people first."

The Des Moines Register reported that protesters from the local local Occupy Wall Street movement then interrupted proceedings with chants ranging from "mic check" to "put people first" to "speaker Gingrich, you can run but you can't hide."

Gingrich, an avowed critic of the Wall Street Movement, responded by recounting a recent event at the University of Iowa where another group of protesters heckled him, charging that he had a "callous attitude toward poor people."

It was a reference to recent statements by Gingrich that poor kids should work as janitors, commenting that they have "no habits of working" or getting paid for their endeavors "unless it's illegal."

(GlobalPost reports: Newt Gingrich says poor kids have no work habits, suggest janitorial work)

The candidate referred to the University protesters, saying “that same one 10th of 1 percent — all noise, no thought — tried to drown out the conversation, so I appreciate you putting that in perspective.”

Paulsen, who walked with Gingrich out of the building, reportedly said of the protest: "I wasn’t expecting it but I’m also not surprised."