Animal rights protesters disrupted Chris Christie's political soapbox appearance Saturday, one of several wild moments during the New Jersey governor's visit to the Iowa State Fair.
Another man held up a corn dog in a sexually explicit way and asked Christie to show what he does to corporations and others who donate campaign money to him.
"This is a wise guy who forgets that I'm from New Jersey," the Republican presidential candidate shot back at the man. "You're minor league compared to what I deal with most of the time, brother."
Three animal rights protesters jumped on the stage to try to draw attention to Christie's November veto of a bill that would have stopped farmers from confining breeding pigs in so- called gestation crates, which opponents have called inhumane.
"Animals want to live," some in the audience chanted, as two men and one woman jumped on the stage, before quickly being grabbed by members of the Iowa State Patrol.
None of it was in keeping with the "Iowa nice" tradition that Des Moines Register organizers ask for from the audience before any speaker takes their stage at the fair.
"When something like that happens, and I'm here in Iowa, man I feel right at home," Christie said as he regained control of the stage. "I believe that farmers should be able to make the decisions about how best to raise their livestock, not government bureaucrats."
The moment was even more dramatic than one earlier this week on the same stage when protesters disrupted a speech by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, another Republican presidential candidate.
In his soapbox appearance, Christie launched immediately into a question-and-answer session with the audience, rather than first giving a speech or only giving a speech, as virtually all participants typically do.
Asked about the stock market's drop and China's currency devaluation, Christie downplayed the importance of the world's second-largest economy.
"To strengthen our economy, we don't need to worry about China," he said. "We need to worry about what's happening in the United States of America. Our taxes are too high, the tax code is rigged for the rich—not for everyday working folks."
© Copyright 2021 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.