Super Tuesday went surprisingly well for Joe Biden, with the former vice president claiming victory in a number of crucial states.
However, things got tense for a few moments during Biden’s victory speech that night when a protester rushed the podium, according to Mediaite — and the candidate’s wife sprung into action.
Jill Biden defends husband
As seen in video footage of the event in Los Angeles, Biden campaign adviser Symone Sanders can be seen grabbing a woman and hauling her off the stage. It turned out that she wasn’t alone; another protester soon ran forward and launched herself at the candidate.
Biden’s wife, Jill, blocked the woman as a group of campaign staffers ran up to assist with the effort. For his part, Joe Biden was left unhurt in the fracas.
Sign Symone Sanders up for the XFL immediately pic.twitter.com/LyBCe7dQX1
— Caleb Hull (@CalebJHull) March 4, 2020
It was unclear whether any of the other people who came to the former vice president’s defense were law enforcement officers or professional security personnel.
Mediaite has reported that the two disruptors from the “Direct Action Everywhere” grassroots activist group were there to protest animal cruelty in the dairy industry. Academy Award-winning actor Joaquin Phoenix addressed the same issue during his acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars, according to Fox Business.
Candidates under attack
This is far from being the first time that protesters have attempted to hijack a political candidate’s campaign event. In March of 2016, a man tried to rush then-candidate Donald Trump during a rally in Dayton, Ohio, The Guardian reported. Unlike at the Biden event, a large group of security swarmed Trump’s assailant and forced him to the ground before he was able to reach his intended target.
Similarly, in 2015, Black Lives Matter activists took the microphone from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as he was giving a speech in Seattle. Nobody from the Sanders campaign made any visible attempt to remove the individuals.
Sanders was again targeted last month when topless women converged on him at an appearance in Nevada, Business Insider reported. Like the Biden protesters, they were also voicing opposition to the treatment of animals by the dairy industry.
More protection needed?
Following the melee at the Biden victory speech, at least one senior Democrat is now arguing that both Biden and Sanders should be assigned a Secret Service detail. On Wednesday, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote a letter making his case.
“Taking into consideration the remaining candidates’ large campaign operations, high polling averages, as well as physical threats to their safety —all factors contemplated by the guidelines—I urge you to immediately initiate the consultation process to determine whether to provide (Secret Service) protection to certain major Democratic presidential candidates,” Thompson said, according to USA Today.