DES MOINES, IOWA — Just two days after he was picked as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan hit the campaign trail solo Monday, August 13th — speaking at the Iowa State Fair. FOX6’s Mike Lowe followed Ryan on this campaign stop in the city that’s also playing host to President Barack Obama.
Monday’s stop at the Iowa State Fair was the first time Ryan was appearing without Romney since the VP announcement was made this weekend. It was also his first time not speaking to an all-friendly Republican crowd. As soon as Ryan took the stage, protesters began to shout him down.
Ryan was about to deliver the punchline to a joke Monday, when he was disrupted by hecklers.
“It’s funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and be peaceful. These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin,” Ryan said.
A woman in the audience rushed the stage, holding a sign that read: “Communities before corporations.”
“Do you see this sign here? Like I said, this must not be from Iowa,” Ryan said.
The woman was escorted out by law enforcement officials.
Ryan continued his speech as if nothing had happened — criticizing President Obama and providing a broad outline of the Republican vision to change course. Then, Frank Cordaro, with a fist raised, shouted repeatedly “stop the war on the middle class.”
“I was trying to keep him from getting up on the hay. Not only couldn’t I hear, but then I couldn’t see and there was a young lady and an older Korean vet and he was getting knocked around all over the place. He had me by the back of the shirt and the sweatshirt, and I turned around and told him he better let me go and that was the only warning he was going to get,” Gail Ernst said.
The reaction in Iowa was perhaps an indication of how controversial a pick Ryan may be — because of his ideas on reducing the nation’s debt and deficit and what he wants to do with the nation’s budget.
“I think that’s a good thing. I think Paul Ryan has ‘em worried, and they need to be worried,” Ernst said.
The man was also escorted out, and FOX6’s Mike Lowe spoke with him afterwards.
“Mr. Ryan does not represent the Catholic Faith because he doesn’t have a clue about the common good. He knows how to protect corporate good, corporate personhood,” Cordaro said.
Several Ryan supporters left the Iowa State Fair Monday disappointed, saying they missed most of what the newly-appointed VP candidate had to say.
“We’re supposed to have a civil dialogue and to have people be screaming and yelling all of those platitudes, I don’t understand why you just can’t let him speak,” Charles Markus said.
FOX6’s Mike Lowe will follow Ryan to Denver, Colorado where he is expected to speak Tuesday, August 14th. Stay tuned to FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for the latest!
CLICK HERE for more coverage of Mitt Romney’s selection of Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan as his running mate via FOX6Now.com.