Newt Gingrich’s book tour got off to a noisy start Monday as a handful of protesters attempted to drown out his speech at the American Booksellers Association Convention and Trade Exhibit.
“This is nonsense! Nonsense!” the House speaker shouted after repeated efforts to be heard. The demonstrators, local activists who had purchased tickets to the ABA “Power Lunch,” were led away by security. They were protesting proposed cuts in social programs.
Outside the banquet room, about 100 protesters from a variety of organizations chanted slogans against the Georgia Republican and the “Contract With America.”
“What we have to do is harass him in as many forums as possible,” said one activist, Mark Pasquesi.
The demonstration appeared to make the crowd more sympathetic to Gingrich, who was introduced by former ABA President Chuck Robinson, who also read a statement drafted by the association’s board of directors calling for continued federal funding of the arts.