Video: Pawlenty and the gay-marriage heckler

posted at 5:30 pm on August 12, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier today, we went to the Iowa state fair in Des Moines to track a few of the candidates and get a look at their application of retail politics, which as Jazz Shaw noted in his earlier post, is really how candidates succeed in Iowa caucuses and straw polls.  Herman Cain and Ron Paul gave speeches at the Des Moines Register’s “soapbox” venue during the day, but didn’t take questions from their very responsive and enthusiastic crowds.  Tim Pawlenty did, however, and one questioner berated Pawlenty for his stand on traditional marriage — which Pawlenty used as an opening to politely offer his position:

This comes as a bit of a contrast from yesterday’s dust-up at the exact same venue for Mitt Romney. Romney lost his cool a little bit in dealing with a heckler during a Q&A, and the clip made all of the Iowa television news broadcasts later in the afternoon. This was actually the second hostile interaction Pawlenty had during his appearance; during the speech, a man continually yelled things like “You’re lying!” at the stage, to which Pawlenty dryly noted that Americans have the right to express themselves in public.

As with the earlier case, Pawlenty refused to get into a running debate with the man. He waited patiently for him to finish and then gave his policy position, and when the man refused to stop yelling, just said, “We’re just going to have a respectful disagreement,” and turned to take another question. The man in this video pulled out a sign and continued to speak as Pawlenty left the stage, which drew the attention of the media. Later, though, Guy Benson saw the same man holding a sign for Barack Obama and cheering Debbie Wasserman-Shultz during her “soapbox” appearance, which makes this questioner a bit of a provocateur — a failed one, in this case.

Here is Pawlenty’s last pitch during his speech, which came just prior to the exchange above. The crowd was only a little smaller for Pawlenty than it was for Ron Paul, and quite enthusiastic; Cain’s also drew a good-sized crowd. Fred Karger was another story entirely.

Update: Someone on Twitter called my description of the questioner as a heckler “ludicrous” and demanded an apology. None will be forthcoming. Although the original question was certainly legitimate (and I have often written about getting government out of marriage), the activist didn’t like the answer and kept on trying to interrupt — to the point where people around him began telling him to knock it off. My microphone is pretty directional and it’s hard to pick up on the video when I have the camera pointed back to Pawlenty, but that’s what I saw. That’s an example of heckling, as I see it.

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Pawlenty has the nerve to show up after last night’s performance?
It’s over Timmy.

carbon_footprint on August 12, 2011 at 5:32 PM

Isn’t his the same position as Obama?

Maybe if the left would actually lead on the issue rather than pandering for votes.

Spathi on August 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Typical liberal. Won’t debate you. Will just try to shut you up.

Where was this guy’s Brown Shirt?

GarandFan on August 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

why do politicians honor this forum hijacking. People came out to listen to Tpaw, not to hear some random jack*$$ yelling. Speakers should invite the heckler to go to another corner of the fair and attract his own speakers.

joeindc44 on August 12, 2011 at 5:39 PM

I bet that was the first time for that loud mouth to wear a checked shirt…looked brand new.

d1carter on August 12, 2011 at 5:40 PM

“My position on gay marriage is the same as President Obama’s.”

That’s all Tpaw needed to say and it would have been game over. Well ok the heckler would have ignored Tpaw and kept yelling, but at least the point would have been made.

Bishop on August 12, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Confirmed: Gay Marriage advocates are mostly thugs

Norwegian on August 12, 2011 at 5:47 PM

20 comments or bust!

sleepy-beans on August 12, 2011 at 5:48 PM

I expect this is going to be part of the the Democrats’ M.O. this year – send provocateurs to GOP candidates’ appearances, to heckle them, attack them, and try to embarrass them, to get some red meat for the MSM and the lefty blogs.

Ward Cleaver on August 12, 2011 at 5:54 PM

I bet that was the first time for that loud mouth to wear a checked shirt…looked brand new.

d1carter on August 12, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Yep, needed something to cover the Che teesirt.

slickwillie2001 on August 12, 2011 at 5:56 PM

ssssqqqqqquuuuuuiiiiiiiiiiiisssssssssssssshhhhhhhhhhhh.

birdhurd on August 12, 2011 at 5:57 PM

The guy on the bottom video yells, “I love my government.”

stldave on August 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

It’s time to set the tone early. Grab the provocateurs and give ‘em a split lip. They won’t be back a 2nd time, and we might have a chance to listen to a candidates views on various issues in order to make an intelligent decision.

It’s either that or have ONE individual PROCLAIM a candidate for us.

Right Barry?

GarandFan on August 12, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Red meat for asteronii.

andy85719 on August 12, 2011 at 6:01 PM

“My position on gay marriage is the same as President Obama’s.”

Yeah, but Obama’s lying. That makes it ok.

joeindc44 on August 12, 2011 at 6:03 PM

The guy on the bottom video yells, “I love my government.”

stldave on August 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Well, obviously. Guy’s a Democrat activist, so he’s probably registered with every social welfare program they’ve thought of so far, and a few they haven’t.

KingGold on August 12, 2011 at 6:04 PM

dude needs a brown bag to go with his brown shirt…

wonk-a-donk on August 12, 2011 at 6:08 PM

The guy on the bottom video yells, “I love my government.”
stldave on August 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

That was actually Debbie Sergeant-Schultz, but I completely understand why you thought she might be a guy.

Bishop on August 12, 2011 at 6:09 PM

The guy on the bottom video yells, “I love my government.”

stldave on August 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

Well, obviously. Guy’s a Democrat activist, so he’s probably registered with every social welfare program they’ve thought of so far, and a few they haven’t.

My how times have changed, I wonder if his Prius still has on its “I love my country but fear my government” bumpersticker.

Of course, this is because the smugs think they have a killer slogan by calling small government advocates (i.e., anti-totalitarians) “anti-government.” I wonder if the hippies at the raw food place that was raided share the sentiment.

joeindc44 on August 12, 2011 at 6:13 PM

I didn’t know Erkyl was Gay?

Hening on August 12, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Lord have mercy, Pawlenty’s got his blue jeans on…

portlandon on August 12, 2011 at 6:16 PM

Confirmed: Gay Marriage advocates are mostly thugs
Norwegian on August 12, 2011 at 5:47 PM

Future rioters.

tommyboy on August 12, 2011 at 6:19 PM

Fred Karger was another story entirely.

…………………. Who?!

ThePrez on August 12, 2011 at 6:29 PM

What this idiot doesn’t realize, is that right now, the government DOES stay out of his ‘marriage’. He’s more than welcome to get ‘married’ in whatever ‘church’ he wants with the government playing no part in his ‘marriage’. What he really wants is the government TO interfere in his marriage.

miConsevative on August 12, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Why don’t good Americans who want to hear people speak beat the crap out of these mutts?

moochy on August 12, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Isn’t his the same position as Obama?

Spathi on August 12, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Hello.

I’d be more impressed if this same guy had berated Debbie Downer on Obama’s position.

Instead, he cheers her on like a good little self-loathing drama queen.

The Ugly American on August 12, 2011 at 7:01 PM

Doesn’t the protester realize that he can get married to his partner in Iowa?

SC.Charlie on August 12, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Would somebody please close this thread due to lack of interest?

Thank you.

Knucklehead on August 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Would somebody please close this thread due to lack of interest?

Thank you.

Knucklehead on August 12, 2011 at 7:07 PM

Snort! 27 comments in two hours! I had to click to see what all the excitement was about!

Naturally Curly on August 12, 2011 at 7:27 PM

This comes as a bit of a contrast from yesterday’s dust-up at the exact same venue for Mitt Romney. Romney lost his cool a little bit in dealing with a heckler during a Q&A, and the clip made all of the Iowa television news broadcasts later in the afternoon.

Romney didn’t lose his cool. He was firm in his response to the heckler.

If you want to see a candidate lose their cool, watch this guy.

Conservative Samizdat on August 12, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Ed, his a plant he did the same thing to Bachmann just a couple of hours ago.

TimeTraveler on August 12, 2011 at 7:40 PM

This heckling, and it’s by the loony left, is their strategy fro 2012.

Remember when Code Pinko used to get into press conferences so easily? And then cause a ruckus.

I’d say lets do the same thing to the left, but acting like a loony is not in our culture and values. Other and pointing “Infiltrator” signs at them, I don’t know what else to do.

Kini on August 12, 2011 at 8:00 PM

The guy on the bottom video yells, “I love my government.”

stldave on August 12, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I heard that, too.

*facepalm*

Bro with the Sick Flow on August 12, 2011 at 8:06 PM