Occupy Tampa mic-checks Mitt Romney fundraiser in Tampa
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11/30/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday | Listen to this entire show:

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Occupy Tampa protester Bill Livsey shouts at Mitt Romney's motorcade as it leaves the Tampa Museum of Art


photo by Josh Holton

Last night six members of Occupy Tampa were kicked out of a Mitt Romney fundraiser at the Tampa Museum of Art. Outside about 100 fellow protesters shouted the word "shame" when they saw hired security forcefully eject the would-be infiltrators.

The suggested donation for the private fundraiser was $2,500, but when Occupy Tampa’s protesters found out that they could pay anything they could afford to get in, several of them tried to get their foot in the door. Bill Livsey was shoved out the door by several guards.

Moments after protester Becky Rubright was escorted out the back door, she began to reiterate the message she had attempted inside the museum using the “people’s mic.”

Rebekah Patnode also tried to sneak in and said that she was able to get most of her message across.

Many of the protesters verbally confronted Romney supporters, but their protest was largely ignored. But one of Romney’s supporters, Zina Rosenblum blamed US Representative Barney Frank and former US Senator Chris Dodd for the financial meltdown.

Earlier in the afternoon Romney met with about 100 supporters at the Tampa Port Authority. Because Herman Cain is weighing whether or not to keep his campaign going, some Republicans feel the race for the nomination is now between Romney and Newt Gingrich. President Barack Obama was a key target during Romney’s speech. Many Republicans feel he doesn’t have the private sector experience to revamp the US economy.

Romney said he chose the Tampa Port as a backdrop for its role in promoting international trade.

While fostering new trade relationships with Asia was at the top of Romney’s priority list, he said that he would also crack down on dishonest trade stemming from China.

Berny Jacques is a strong Romney supporter, and said that his public and private experience is the right mix for fixing the American economy.

Romney declined to answer any questions from media about a recent ad by the Democratic Party labeling him a flip-flopper. He said that conversation would be more appropriate at a press conference.



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