Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential hopeful, was heckled by a loud group of audience members in Iowa on his first solo day of campaigning, signalling a possible rough ride for Ryan in the weeks to come.
The hecklers were at the front of the stage where Ryan, freshly minted as a running mate over the weekend by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was speaking at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines on Monday.
One protester, a young woman, climbed on stage and was dragged away by three state patrolman.
"These ladies must not be from Iowa or Wisconsin," Ryan told the crowd.
Hecklers, many of them seniors, repeatedly tried to disrupt Ryan as he spoke. They yelled out statements such as "We are the 99 per cent" and "Stop the war on the poor." One woman kept shouting: "Are you going to cut Medicare?"
The politician did not take any questions after his 13-minute speech in which he outlined his party’s plan for creating 12 million jobs. His speech focused on cutting government spending, chopping tax rates for companies and relying on domestic energy resources.
The Wisconsin congressman did not address the drought affecting the Midwest.
It also meant that he didn’t speak to his assertions he would transform Medicare – the health-care benefit system for seniors in the U.S. — into a voucher-like system. Ryan has been adamant the system needs reform, upsetting many seniors.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a stop at the fair later tonight, on his first day of a three-day bus tour of the state.