Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich on Monday complained that Occupy Wall Street protesters were "blocking" his right to free speech.
The former House Speaker told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he had canceled an event at his campaign headquarters, where protesters were waiting outside the front and back entrances.
"Some of the Occupy Wall Street people, frankly, have a touch of anarchism in them," Gingrich declared. "I think, ultimately, the society’s going to have to say there are limits to those kind of folks blocking people from having their right to free speech. But we decided it wasn't worth risking some kind of big confrontation and so we, frankly, decided to skip past that particular event."
"I do think we can't be held hostage by those kind of people," he added.
The Georgia Republican said that Ron Paul supporters, on the other hand, were "pretty civil and pretty decent."
At the same time Gingrich was accusing Occupy Wall Street demonstrators of infringing on his free speech, police in Manchester, New Hampshire were investigating allegations that one of his staffers assaulted a protester.
"He pushed me roughly, and he said, 'Get out. We don't want you here,'" Rebecca Burton, who was holding a protest sign at a Gingrich event, recalled to Hartford Courant.
"He grabbed me and shoved me with absolutely no provocation. I said I wanted an apology. ... It was completely out of the blue. I had my back to him," she explained. "I was assaulted without an injury."
Watch this video from Fox News' Hannity, broadcast Jan 10, 2012.
Photo: Flickr/Kate Ausburn
(H/T: Politicker NY)