Newly minted frontrunner New Gingrich became the latest Republican to get “mic checked” by the Occupy movement at a campaign event in Jacksonville, Florida Thursday.
One tea party supporter agreed with Gingrich that the current 99 Percent protests were “destructive” to America.
“Do you have a directive — do you have a statement that you would make to that movement [as president]?” the man asked.
“There is a strain of hostile people on the left organized across the country who believe in trashing things, believe in destroying things,” Gingrich replied. “Who do they think paid for the park they are sleeping in? Who do they thing paid for the bathroom they want to use? Who do they think paid for the food they’re eating?”
“America wasn’t created by people who woke up every morning saying, ‘You owe me,'” he continued. “I think we ought to confront them head on. The last point I’d make: Every city government has an absolute obligation to enforce the rule of law and to protect private property and, frankly, they ought to be filming these people, and every person who engages in violence ought be given a very long vacation from the streets in order to contemplate why in the future, they’re not going to engage in violence against fellow Americans. But none of them should be tolerated if they engage in violence against persons or property.”
As the candidate was finishing his remarks, a group of protesters delivered their own message.
“Mic check!” a protester yelled.
“Mic check!” was the reply.
The activists began to chant something about “the 99 percent” before being drowned out by tea party supporters.
“Hold on,” Gingrich told the crowd. “I want to answer you very directly. There is no such thing in America as 99 percent! We are 100 percent Americans! We are all part of America!”
Watch this video from CNN, broadcast Nov. 17, 2011.