Florida Governor Jeb Bush visited Pittsburgh, PA, Friday for a fund-raiser for Sen. Rick Santorum. Bush was making his way to the Duquesne Club, a posh, private club in Downtown Pittsburgh. Membership is by “invitation only.” If you have to ask how much membership costs, well, you probably won’t be asked to join.
The closest I ever came seeing anything like it was watching 1983’s Trading Places, with Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy.
At any rate, as Bush approached the club, he had a close encounter with a group of anti-Republican protesters. The protesters were on their way to join other protesters already gathered in front of the club.
Protesters say Gov. Bush “blew them a kiss,” which was enough to thrill the group of about 30 protesters that was made up of United Steelworkers, and members of a group called Uprise Counter Recruitment, whose website says they are, “…a tour of mid-west and mid-Atlantic states aimed at advancing regional counter-recruitment efforts and linking the issues of war and military recruitment to corporate globalization and environmental sustainability. The Tour consists of a dozen activists traveling via a bio-diesel bus to cities both large and small.” They have teamed up with Iraq Veterans Against the War and Alive In Baghdad. Alive in Baghdad “shows the occupation through the voices of Iraqis.”
It was this distinguished group, then, that Gov. Bush blew a kiss to on a street in Pittsburgh.
The group drew nearer, shouting, “Jeb, go home.”
The governor made a retreat to a nearby T-station, an entry to Pittsburgh’s subway. The protesters followed Bush into the station, so Mr. Bush descended the escalators to the mezzanine level. At this point, Mr. Bush found himself surounded by signs that read, “Pittsburgh is a Santorum Free Zone,” and, “Honk if you’re sick of Rick.” “We don’t want you here,” protesters chanted.
Some days it just doesn’t pay to be born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
The situation apparently became very tense. Approximately 75 protesters had gathered on the street. They were asked to disperse, and did not. Two protesters were tased by two officers from a Port Authority canine unit.
As a precaution, the governor was ushered into a T-station supply closet. He reportedly remained there until the crowd dispersed.
Pittsburgh police, monitoring the front of the Duquesne Club, said the protesters were peaceful, and did not respond, and apparently were not asked to respond to the incident at the T-station.
The entire incident lasted approximately 5 minutes, after which Gov. Bush safely came out of the closet.