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Gay-Rights Protesters Interrupt Gingrich Gay-Rights Protesters Interrupt Gingrich

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CAMPAIGN 2012

Gay-Rights Protesters Interrupt Gingrich

They are quickly escorted from the room after questioning candidate on gay rights.

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Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich pauses as he speaks during a Florida Republican presidential primary night rally on Jan. 31 in Orlando, Fla.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Newt Gingrich's final event of the day on Monday was interrupted by two high-school-aged protesters who stood up and accused the former House speaker of discriminating against gays and lesbians.

"Hey Newt, why do you support discrimination against gays and lesbians all the time? Serial hypocrisy!" a young man yelled at Gingrich, interrupting his 40-minute speech. After he was pushed out of the room by what appeared to be a supporter, a second young man took up the charge in the back of the room, chanting, "No hate in our state, why do you discriminate?"

 

As the crowd began chanting Gingrich's name, a woman approached the second protester and grabbed his wrists. Before a fight could break out, police escorted him from the room.

Gingrich was unruffled by the disruptions, saying he presumed most of the crowd supported him. "My guess is it's 407 to three," he said.

The rest of his speech battered President Obama's policies, though Gingrich also spent a few minutes defending his proposals to put a colony on the moon, an idea that prompted a mocking skit from Saturday Night Live over the weekend.

 

He also expanded on comments earlier in the day that compared Egypt's planned trial of 19 Americans to the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis and likened Obama to Jimmy Carter, whose candidacy for reelection was derailed by the crisis.

Gingrich likened himself to Ronald Reagan and suggested that the Egyptians would fear him as the Iranians feared Reagan, prompting them to release the Americans.

"If I were president, the message to the Egyptian government this evening would be quiet, firm, unequivocal, and I suspect by sometime tomorrow morning all the hostages would be on an airplane coming back home," he said, referring to the Americans who are being banned from leaving the country but not yet arrested by the government, according to recent reports.

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