LaRouche supporters disrupt Democrats

CNN/February 2, 2004
By Jeanne Meserve and Sasha Johnson

Manchester, New Hampshire -- Followers of perennial presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche interrupted a campaign event for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean on Monday before being drowned out by Dean supporters and removed from the room with the assistance of comedian Al Franken.

As Dean was addressing a crowd in Manchester, the fans of LaRouche -- who is something of an outcast in the Democratic Party for his extremist views -- began screaming that Dean is "a liar" and not a Democrat. They said the only candidates telling the truth are LaRouche and Sen. John Kerry, the apparent front-runner in the race.

The crowd began cheering "Howard Dean, Howard Dean," drowning out the LaRouche supporters as they were removed from the room.

Franken, a comedian and self-described liberal well-known for his attacks on the Bush administration and conservative-leaning media, helped carry out one of the disrupters. In the process, Franken's glasses were knocked off his face and broke in two.

Putting them back together with electrical tape, he quipped he had been "deputized" by Dean's security.

LaRouche supporters also heckled Sen. Joe Lieberman at a town hall meeting at Milly's Tavern in Manchester Monday evening.

Observers said the LaRouche crowd was forcibly removed by Lieberman supporters and Capitol Hill security staff who guard the senator.

Several people in the audience said they were completely unaware that there had been any disruption, but the Manchester Police were summoned to the scene and responded en masse.

Earlier, at a Kerry event, a woman asked the candidate, "Will the Democratic candidates tell us about the American situation in the global economy? Will you? And if not, why?"

"I think you've asked that question about three different places we've been, on behalf of Lyndon LaRouche," Kerry responded before stating his stances on international trade and domestic job growth.

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