Ames Has Gotten Rather Mean Lately

Debbie Wasserman Schultz gets booed at the Iowa State Fair

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Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was booed at the Iowa State Fair Friday when she tried to defend President Obama's record on the economy. The jeers at Wasserman Schultz come a day after Republican candidate Mitt Romney was booed for saying tax hikes on corporations hurt people because "corporations are people." With the likes of Rush Limbaugh complaining about the tone of the campaign season -- he thought the GOP candidates beat each other up too much in Thursday's debate -- it's shaping up to be an excitingly nasty campaign show.

Despite the best efforts of "what appeared to be a coordinated group of Obama supporters carrying signs," the Des Moines Register's Jason Noble reports, the detractors made their presence known. Still, Schultz can claim to have pulled in one of the biggest crowds of the day -- about 400 people. The Republican candidates were stumping on the Register's soapbox Friday, and not every interaction was nice. The Hill's Pete Kasperowicz reports that Tim Pawlenty, too, was challenged while stumping in Ames, Iowa, site of tomorrow's important straw poll.
"I thought the country was about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, no exceptions," the questioner asked. "Tim Pawlenty, I want to know: When will you stand up for me?" ...
The questioner did not back down, and asked Pawlenty why government gets involved in gay marriage at all, and whether he would see a gay American as a "second-class citizen."
And though a smaller crowed listened respectfully as gay activist Fred Karger spoke about coming out, the Register's William Petroski reports, he angered one voter when he "favorably referred to a TV commercial that criticized 1988 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis for granting a furlough to convicted killer Willie Horton."
Limbaugh complained that the moderators encouraged the candidates to fight each other during the third Republican debate Thursday, instead of each other. He complained, "Fox wants these people to tear each other up.... They want approval from the mainstream media because that's what the mainstream media would do -- is tear these people up, or try to get them to." But maybe it's not just what the press wants -- it looks like a fight is what voters want too.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.