Security guard tackles protester during DeSantis Iowa stop

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AMES, Iowa — A security staffer with Gov. Ron DeSantis tackled a protester at a campaign stop in Iowa Thursday night after the demonstrator and two others interrupted the GOP Florida governor’s speech.

The protestor, who was tackled offstage, was holding a banner that read “DeSantis: Climate Criminal” and was believed to be connected to the Sunrise Movement organization, a nonprofit that aims to fight climate change.

It was not immediately clear whether the protesters were working together, as they interrupted at different times during DeSantis’ 90 minute event.

“This is what is wrong with the college system right now,” DeSantis said as security escorted one of the protesters out of the crowded venue. He mocked the protester for taking his banner out and having “telegraphed” what he was about to do.

When one protester interrupted him — accusing him of taking money from rich executives — the Florida governor shouted back and told him to stop.

“Excuse me, I’m doing this,” DeSantis said. “I know you have an agenda.”

The event featuring DeSantis, held at a BBQ restaurant packed with hundreds of people, was organized by Never Back Down, the super PAC supporting his run for president. It was his third stop with the organization that day.

He told reporters after the event that, “I’m not going to let these numb-nuts rush the stage or do anything like that, but I mean people that ask, you know, normal, respectful questions, we’re happy to do.”

Thursday night wasn’t the first time a protester disrupted a DeSantis event. An anti-oil protester chanting “no oil money” also interrupted DeSantis’ town hall with Fox News in Des Moines on Tuesday.

“You see that all the time,” DeSantis said Thursday. “You see who they’re spending money against. You see what they’re doing with the media. Who the media doesn’t want to be the candidate, that’s the best endorsement that any Republican can ever have.”

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