SARASOTA, Fla. — Supporters and opponents of Mitt Romney faced off outside of the Republican nominee’s rally here in an at-times-violent confrontation.
As hundreds of Romney supporters lined the sidewalk outside the Ringling Museum of Art, a group of more than 20 protestors carrying an effigy of Romney marched in and confronted them as both sides chanted.
One of the men leading the protest, organized by Occupy and Move-On according to demonstrators, repeatedly cut into the Romney line — drawing pushing and shoving.
“Get a job, I worked my 50 years,” shouted one Romney supporter at the demonstrators.
One man, wearing a yellow Manatee County Tea Party t-shirt squeezed the back of the protest-leader’s neck, as other Romney supporters surrounded him.
After 20 minutes, the protest leader laid out a red carpet over several protesters and the man in the Romney costume walked over them. The leader then crowned “Romney” as the “King of the 1%,” commanding the Romney supporters to bow before their leader.
“We don’t get paid to support out candidate,” shouted one woman.
“I’m proud to be one percent. I built everything I have,” said the man next to her, also jeering the protest.