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Nikki Haley speaks on stage to a crowd at a rally.

Handling Hecklers: Trump vs. Haley

As retail politics ramped up ahead of the New Hampshire primary, protesters and hecklers made their mark on the 2024 campaign cycle.

By Talia Pantaleo

MANCHESTER N.H. — Protesters disrupted campaign events for both former president Donald Trump and the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. But the two Republicans used different tactics in handling them.

On Saturday, Trump held a rally in the Southern New Hampshire University arena, and one protester got out of his seat and headed toward the stage.

Outside the Southern New Hampshire University arena, thousands wait in line to see Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump in Manchester, N.H. (Talia Pantaleo)

“You took millions from foreign governments,” the protestor said.

In response, Trump supporters voiced their disapproval, drowning the disruption of shouts of boos and chants, with “USA” echoing throughout.

The protester was escorted out of the venue, and Trump called him “just a disturbed person.” 

Trump also used the moment to attack political opponents and donors in the Democratic party.

“A lot of those guys are paid, by the way, by [George] Soros and these people,” he said, referring to the billionaire, philanthropist, and Democratic donor.

“This weaponization is happening because we are leading so well in the polls,” Trump said, implying a link between the disruption and the success of his political campaign.

The following day, Haley held a rally at Exeter High School. As she has been at other events,  she was trailed by protesters with the Sunrise Movement—a political-action organization advocating for action on climate change.

A protester in the first row stood up, unfurling a banner that read, “OIL SELLOUT” in the group’s branded yellow and black colors. Security escorted the protester out; some joined in chants of support for Nikki, while others booed.

Haley turned the disruption into a positive talking point. “Let me just say this: I am always happy to see a protester because my husband and our military men and women sacrifice every day for them to be able to have the right to do that,” Haley said.

91㽶Ƶ Staff

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