Climate activists disrupt DeSantis campaign event, one tackled by security as he rushed the stage

 January 13, 2024

One of the campaign promises of Republican candidate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is to unleash American energy production, which has prompted opposition from leftist climate change activists and organizations.

Climate activists disrupted a DeSantis event multiple times on Thursday, including when one rushed the stage with a banner and was tackled by the candidate's armed security, according to The Hill.

The incident occurred in Ames, Iowa -- the home of Iowa State University, which prompted a snide remark about the current state of college campuses from DeSantis -- and the protesters were later identified as members of the climate activist group known as the Sunrise Movement.

"Exhibit A" of what's "wrong with the college system"

Fox News reported that Gov. DeSantis was delivering a speech to a gathering of Iowa voters when a protester rushed the stage and attempted to unfurl a yellow and black banner that read "DESANTIS: CLIMATE CRIMINAL," but was tackled to the ground by armed security guards in plainclothes before he could fully do so.

The activist shouted "Ron DeSantis is a climate criminal" and "How much money are you taking from oil companies?" as he was wrestled into custody and removed from the event.

A voter in the audience yelled, "That what's wrong with our colleges," which was parroted and amplified as DeSantis pointed to the protester and said, "That is (what's) wrong with the college system right there. That’s exhibit A."

"I know you have an agenda. Stop."

At another point during the campaign event, another protester interrupted Gov. DeSantis to repeatedly demand his "plan to stop the climate crisis," but the candidate fired back, "Excuse me, I'm doing this."

The protester feigned as though he was just asking an innocent question but continued to interrupt before security dragged him away as DeSantis countered, "You're interrupting and you’re being rude. Everyone else is listening. And you’re butting in. I don’t care. I know you have an agenda. I know you have an agenda. Stop."

Yet another protester interrupted at another point and, echoing prior insults about the governor's height from the Trump campaign, asked DeSantis, "Are your heels padded by fossil fuel CEOs?" and repeatedly shouted, "One inch or two?" as she was also hauled away by security.

DeSantis said he's happy to take questions, just not when "these numbnuts rush the stage"

The Des Moines Register reported that Gov. DeSantis largely laughed off the interruptions by the climate activists and even joked in his remarks to the crowd about one of the protesters, "He wants you to pay more for gas, more for energy. He wants rolling blackouts in this country."

DeSantis later told reporters, "We take questions from folks all the time," but added, "Yeah, I’m not going to let these, these numbnuts rush the stage or do anything like that, but I mean people that ask, you know, normal, respectful questions, we’re happy to do."

Shortly after the incident, the far-left progressive Sunrise Movement group took credit for the disruption and said in an X post, "Lately, DeSantis has been seeing us almost as much as he sees his fossil fuel donors. And for some reason his security guards aren't as friendly to us as they are to them."

The Register reported that the activist group also said in a statement, "Republican candidates and President Biden are bought and owned by oil and gas millionaires. Biden is overseeing more oil and gas production than at any time in US history while Trump and Haley take check after check from the fossil fuel industry. Young people deserve leaders who will fight for clean air and drinkable water. Whether it’s DeSantis, Biden, or Trump, no politician is safe."

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