Protesters chanting ‘no oil money’ heckle Ron DeSantis: Chaos at Fox News town hall as demonstrators derail end of crucial pitch to Iowa caucus-goers

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • DeSantis was answering a question on abortion when he was interrupted 
  • Activists chanting ‘no more oil money’ stood up and approached the stage
  • They were escorted out by security as DeSantis closed out the town hall  

Florida Governor’s Ron DeSantis crucial pitch to Iowa voters was derailed by climate change activists chanting ‘no more oil money’ on Tuesday night.

The Republican hopeful was fielding the final questions from Fox News hosts Brett Baier and Martha MacCallum when the protesters sparked chaos by jumping up, waving banners and shouting.

Security removed the hecklers after one managed to get on stage as DeSantis said: ‘You live and you learn with these people.’

‘Well, you guys, that was a mistake.’ he told the demonstrators as they were escorted away. ‘You guys didn’t get that one right’.

At least one of them was wearing a shirt from the ‘Sunrise Movement’, a group with a mission to ‘force the government to end the era of fossil fuel elites’. 

The GOP candidate then composed himself and continued answering a question about the ‘culture of life’ and abortion. 

The interruption came at the end of the Fox News town hall where DeSantis was making one of his final pleas to caucus-goers with just five days left.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis crucial pitch to Iowa voters was derailed by protesters chanting ‘no more oil money’ on Tuesday night

Security removed the hecklers as DeSantis said: 'Well, you guys, that was a mistake. You guys didn't get that one right. OK'

Security removed the hecklers as DeSantis said: ‘Well, you guys, that was a mistake. You guys didn’t get that one right. OK’

Donald Trump still has a commanding lead over the Republican field, and DeSantis and Haley are battling for second place.

DeSantis zoned his attacks on Haley before targeting Trump, and told Iowans they can stop the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ of his win. 

The 2024 hopeful said that the media has contributed to boosting Trump by going ‘relatively easy’ on the former president compared to coverage in 2016 and 2020.

‘I honestly think Iowans have it within their power to upend all of that,’ DeSantis told an audience member at a town hall in West Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday when asked why he believes candidates other than Trump are having trouble gaining polling traction.

‘I think that, yeah, there’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy,’ the Florida governor added. ‘I mean, the media loves just reporting polls constantly.’

A security guard at the Fox News town hall deals with one of the protesters who tried to rush onto the stage on Tuesday night

A security guard at the Fox News town hall deals with one of the protesters who tried to rush onto the stage on Tuesday night

From left: Iowa Evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, Casey DeSantis with son Mason, five, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) sit in the front row of Gov. DeSantis' town hall in West Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday night

From left: Iowa Evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, Casey DeSantis with son Mason, five, and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) sit in the front row of Gov. DeSantis’ town hall in West Des Moines, Iowa on Tuesday night

Former President Trump is still dominating in national polls – though his lead is significantly shrinking in New Hampshire, where former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley skyrocketed to second place with just single digits separating them.

He said that Trump is remaining at the top because, in part, the media coverage.

‘I think there’s a reason why the media has been easy on him relative,’ he said at his Tuesday town hall with Fox News hosts Martha McCallum and Bret Baier. ‘They used to hate him. He was like the worst thing ever.’

DeSantis claims that Democrats want to see 2024 be about Trump’s legal problems rather than his presidential record. ‘I think they want to see 2024 being all about these things,’ he said.

‘Ultimately, it’s the people that decide these, not the polls,’ DeSantis insisted.

The town hall was the second in a series of three in Iowa with Fox News – the first was with Nikki Haley on Monday night and the third will be with Donald Trump on Wednesday while the other two candidates are debating across town.

DeSantis flew back to Iowa after spending the start of the week in Tallahassee, Florida, where he delivered his State of the State address on Tuesday morning before flying back to Des Moines to make it to the town hall.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday at a Fox News town hall in West Des Moines that Iowa caucus-goers can end the 'self-fulfilling prophecy' of a Donald Trump win

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday at a Fox News town hall in West Des Moines that Iowa caucus-goers can end the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ of a Donald Trump win

DeSantis flew back to Iowa from Florida for the town hall Tuesday evening after earlier in the day deliver his State of the State address in Tallahassee

DeSantis flew back to Iowa from Florida for the town hall Tuesday evening after earlier in the day deliver his State of the State address in Tallahassee

Meanwhile, Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis remained in Iowa with Texas Rep. Chip Roy to continue campaigning for the governor.

At the town hall, DeSantis noted that his wife and son, Mason, five, were door-knocking in the snow while he was in Florida.

Casey and Mason were in the audience for the town hall on Tuesday.

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