MT. PLEASANT, SC — Michele Bachmann came to Charleston to give her foreign policy vision, but she was interrupted by more than a dozen protestors with the Occupy movement.
Roughly 10 minutes into her speech, in front of roughly 60 supporters and media, the Occupy group sitting amongst the crowd stood at their seats at the call from their leader, "Mic check!"
The group then began a call and response message similar to speeches at Occupy rallies throughout the country.
"You capitalize on dividing Americans, claiming people that disagree with you are unpatriotic socialists," they said to Bachmann as local police escorted the candidate from the stage. See the full statement attached.
The Occupy crowd left after their brief statement. No arrests were made.
Bachmann's first comment upon returning to the room: "Don't you love the 1st amendment."
Earlier, Bachmann had recognized the anniversary of the Marine Corps and tomorrow's significance as Veteran's Day. After the speech, Bachmann called the protestors' actions "disrespectful and ignorant."
"They have the right to do that … but how disrespectful to do that when we were here to honor veterans and stand behind them and stand behind our military," she said. "Their liberties have been paid for with a very heavy price by the people who were in that room."
Bachmann said that campaign events have been disrputed by individuals and small groups in the past. "This is probably one of the loudest," she said.
Two Occupy Charleston participants explained to Patch why they chose to participate in the Bachmann event.
Bachmann's address included attacks on President Barack Obama's foreign policy decisions — most notably, his plans to withdrawal troops from Iraq.
"As President, my decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan or Iraq would be based on military considerations and not on turns helping my personal political fortunes," she said.
Bachmann also called for the National Guard to get a seat at the table of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. And she was critical of those suggesting dramatic cuts in military spending.
"As Commander in Chief, I will commit the necessary resources to the first constitutional duty of our government, protecting the nation and keeping America free, safe and sovereign," she said.
Every appearance for Bachmann and others battling frontrunner Gov. Mitt Romney leading up to this weekend's CBS News/ National Journal debate in Spartanburg is crucial as South Carolina voters decide who they are going to support.
Some South Carolina conservatives have even gone as far as launching anti-Romney websites in an effort to get Republican voters to choose anyone but the former Massachusetts governor.