During a campaign event hosted by former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday evening, while celebrating early returns from Super Tuesday election results, two protesters stormed the stage and interrupted his statements.
The protesters appeared to be animal rights’ activists and started shouting, “Let dairy die!” while they were on the stage. They were immediately escorted off the platform with help from Dr. Jill Biden and senior campaign adviser Symone Sanders.
According to reporting from The Independent, both Dr. Biden and Sanders “jointly tackled” one of the protesters, pushing them out of the way and directing them to leave the area.
Sanders later tweeted about the situation, stating on Twitter that she “broke a nail” because of it.
I broke a nail. #SuperTuesday
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 4, 2020
Many on social media celebrated the way in which Sanders and Biden handled themselves.
YO, Jill Biden is FEARLESS.
These two protesters rushed the stage, and Jill had her man's back.
Nice to see that.
You'll never see Melania do that. pic.twitter.com/wG0xHobFyk
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) March 4, 2020
My new hero, Jill Biden. https://t.co/bNU9SflwaL
— Evert D. (@EvertD2) March 4, 2020
— Ricardo Luke (@Lukericardo) March 4, 2020
In spite of the heroics displayed by both Sanders and Biden, others noted that the fact that protesters were able to get that close to a frontrunner candidate running for president was deeply disturbing.
Former White House press secretary Robbie Gibbs, who served in the Obama administration, discussed the issue on MSNBC that evening, calling on some more protective measures to be taken by the federal government. He cited a separate but similar incident with protesters interrupting an event that involved Sen. Bernie Sanders earlier this campaign season.
“Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden need Secret Service protection. What happened tonight was nothing short of genuinely scary,” Gibbs said.
Fmr. Obama Press Sec. Robert Gibbs: "Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden need Secret Service protection. What happened tonight was nothing short of genuinely scary." pic.twitter.com/KUkl5FP3wp
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 4, 2020
Former Obama photographer Pete Souza echoed his sentiment in a tweet Wednesday morning.
“Kudos to @DrBiden and @SymoneDSanders but as @Robt_Gibbs said last night, both @JoeBiden and @BernieSanders need Secret Service protection ASAP,” Souza said.
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) March 4, 2020
The Secret Service itself does not determine which candidates for president receive the agency’s protection.
As noted on the Secret Service website, “‘[m]ajor Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates,’ as identified by the Secretary of Homeland Security, are eligible for Secret Service protection.”
Chris Walker is a freelance journalist based in Madison, Wisconsin, who focuses on news, politics, and analysis of world events. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, since 2005 Chris has reported on workers’ rights protests in Wisconsin, opined on four separate presidential elections and written on a number of other political subjects for a variety of national online publications.