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Friday, April 16, 2021

Marco Rubio confronts a rare foe in his Texas debut: a heckler

DALLAS – For Donald Trump, hecklers have become the norm at campaign rallies. Hillary Clinton has confronted them, too. But Marco Rubio is rarely heckled during campaign events. Which is why what happened Wednesday afternoon was surprising.

The Florida senator had just taken the stage in a hotel ballroom at his very first presidential campaign rally in Texas when a man wearing a camouflage shirt shouted at him, appearing to say: “Marco Rubio owned by Jews!”

Supporters tried to shout him down with chants of “Marco! Marco!”

The man was removed by uniformed officers and later identified himself to a reporter.

“That has never happened before,” Rubio told the crowd.

Indeed, Rubio events tend to be interruption-free. Immigration protesters have demonstrated at Rubio fundraisers and other gatherings in different places. But they usually remain outside.

A heckler was escorted out of a Rubio speech in New York earlier this year and immigration protesters interrupted him at a conservative confab in Washington. But those were both events hosted by or held in conjunction with other organizations.

Rubio drew between 800 and 900 people to his event here in Dallas, according to a campaign estimate. He is also in Texas to raise money. Former Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks is hosting an event for him.

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