DES MOINES, Iowa -- Paul Ryan's highly anticipated debut at the Iowa State Fair was interrupted by a handful of hecklers who relentlessly barraged the newly minted Republican running mate with jeers.
"Whoa, hey, all right," Ryan responded, as a woman scrambled to get on the stage and was hustled away by state troopers.
"It's funny because Iowans and Wisconsinites, we like to be respectful of one another and be peaceful with one another and listen to each other," remarked Ryan. "These guys must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin."
Two people tried to make it on stage -- one made it, and the other didn't.
"Stop the war on the common good!" another man began shouting at the front of the crowd, beating his fist against the air in the direction of the candidate. Moments before, the heckler had been waiting quietly on the hay bales under the hot August sun. People had gathered hours before Ryan's scheduled stop to see him. Now, supporters were angrily confronting the heckler, holding up their campaign signs to block his view of Ryan.
Yells of "Snake oil salesman!" "Stop the war on the middle class!" and "We are the 99 percent!" and the bickering that followed resulted in a din that nearly drowned out the candidate's speech, which was blaring from the speakers.
If distracted, Ryan remained calm on stage, sticking to his stump lines and throwing a jab at the president, "My guess is the reason President Obama isn't making it here from Council Bluffs is that he only knows left turns."
Later in the speech, as the shouts continued, Ryan demurred, “We’re used to this in Wisconsin.”
On the way out, one of the men shouted and obsenity, calling Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney a "disgrace." Romney, however, was not at the state fair, but rather campaigning in Florida.