Mitt Romney Protesters Rally at Lake Minnetonka's Lafayette Club
With chants, masks and signs, protesters made their presence felt during the Republican frontrunner's visit to Minnesota.
As presumed Republican nominee Mitt Romney prepared to descend on the Lake Minnetonka area Thursday evening, an estimated 50 to 75 protesters began to assemble at one of the prime spots for his visit, Lake Minnetonka's prestigious Lafayette Club.
With Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan still a questionable arrival, demonstrators made sure his presence was known with cardboard masks.
St. Louis Park resident Ilo Madden attended the protest rally because she's "worried about democracy." She said she's saved $300 so far under the new health care plan.
"I love 'Obamacare.' I don't like Bush tax cuts," she said. Her personal slogan, she said, is "keep your 'mitts' off my healthcare."
Most of the people in expensive vehicles driving by protestors on their way into the country club continued undeterred. A few drivers honked horns in support and one man gave a friendly wave. One woman riding in a Cadillac, however, stuck her tongue out at the crowd.
Romney was visiting Minnesota to raise funds and those attending the private reception at the country club reportedly paid $2,500 each and up to $10,000 for a photo. An MPR report said that it would be the only event Romney attends in Minnesota this election season and that a $50,000 donation secured an invite to a private dinner afterwards at a home in Shorewood.
While protestors and others waited for the motorcade, a few people on bicycles stopped because they said they couldn't believe the size of the crowd.
They crossed the street and began yelling at the protestors.
When protestors yelled, "minimum wage is poverty, we demand our dignity," Robin Mackell of Mound countered with "minimum wage is too high!"
"To be bused in is so contrived and ridiculous," she said of the protest, which was officially coined The Rally to Reject the Romney Economy and organized by Americans for Tax Fairness, MoveOn.org, TakeAction Minnesota, SEIU and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy.
"They want tax breaks for the richest 2 percent, added Spring Park resident John Bradley. "But we're paying all the taxes."
Not all of the protestors were President Obama supporters. Lee Leichentritt of St. Paul said he's against the two-party political system "that's ruining our country."
"No more two-party dance," he added.
Leichentritt said he plans to vote for Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein.
Romney's motorcade arrived at the club just before 7 p.m., nearly an hour late, and once all the vehicles had driven past the crowd, it quickly dispersed.
Romney's scheduled visit to Lake Minnetonka comes less than week before the Republican National Convention in Florida, where he is expected to officially secure the party's nomination for president.
Vice President Joe Biden visited Minneapolis Tuesday and gave a speech to about 1,500 people at a campaign rally.
Romney's last visit to Minnesota came back in early February, when he was glitter bombed twice by protestors during a rally in Eagan.
The 2012 election takes place Nov. 6.