Rick Perry Heckled: GOP Presidential Candidate Faces Hecklers, Protesters During Campaign Stops
Rick Perry had a tough day on the campaign trail. The GOP presidential candidate faced hecklers as well as protesters on Thursday.
Hecklers confronted Perry during a press conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that "two unidentified men with video cameras made disruptive statements about the constitution and told Texas Gov. Rick Perry to stay out of Tennessee." Perry pushed back on the suggestion that he stay out of the state, saying, "Tennessee is very important." He continued, "If you look back, Tennessee has been one of them (the states) that has made the difference -- it's a swing state."
Perry's stop in Knoxville included a fundraiser attended by Tennessee politicians. The News Sentinel reports that one attendee was Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, "who endorsed Perry as his presidential candidate of choice last summer."
Later in the day, the Texas governor faced protesters during a stop in Charlotte, North Carolina. While entering a fundraiser at a local restaurant, protesters carrying signs gathered nearby to protest Perry's stance on immigration. The Charlotte Observer reports:
Messages on the signs read "Say No to Rick Perry's In-State Tuition for Illegal Aliens!" and "Rick Perry -- Endorsed by Mexico."
William Gheen, president of the Raleigh-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC (ALIPAC), said, "It's time for him to exit the race. Do the Republican Party and the country a favor, and exit the race."
Vernon Robinson, a Concord Republican who is running for Congress in the 8th District, also showed up to protest Perry's stand on immigration.
"Rick Perry's amnesty, if enacted into law, would be the first time Texas has surrendered to Mexico in 175 years," Robinson said.
Per the Observer, "Members of the group later heckled Perry during a question-and-answer session with members of the media."
During a GOP presidential debate last Thursday, Perry went on the defense over his immigration record as Governor of Texas. He specifically defended his support for a bill providing some undocumented students with in-state tuition. He explained, "If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they've been brought there, by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart."
Herman Cain, who is competing with Perry for the GOP presidential nomination, criticized Perry's immigration record on Wednesday night. The former Godfather's Pizza CEO told CNN's Wolf Blitzer, "Today, I could not support Rick Perry as the nominee for a host of reasons. Him being soft on securing the border is one of the reasons."
Perry was not the only prominent politican to face heckling this week. President Obama was heckled at a Los Angeles fundraiser on Monday night. The Associated Press reports:
The man positioned himself up in front of the stage and started shouting loudly right after Obama started talking. The heckler proclaimed that "Jesus Christ is God" and a Christian God. According to Real Clear Politics, the outburst was met with boos from the crowd at the event.
Obama stopped talking. Then after a moment the crowd started chanting "Four more years! Four more years!" and drowned out the heckler.
WATCH: Perry Defends His Immigration Record During Last Thursday's GOP Presidential Debate: