Watch — Vivek Ramaswamy Defuses Heckling by Letting Iowa Protester Speak, Answering Her Question

watch vivek ramaswamy defuses heckling by letting iowa protester speak answering her question
AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy gave a pro-choice protester who interrupted his campaign event the opportunity to speak, upholding his commitment to being a “free speech absolutist.”

Ramaswamy was speaking at an Iowa Republican Party event on Monday when the pro-choice heckler interrupted him with shouts of “Protect all women!”

The heckler claimed that “Republicans are raping people” and called former President Donald Trump a “rapist who grabs women by the pussy.”

The protester continued shouting as attendees were escorting her out of the event. However, when the crowd yelled at the protester to “let him answer,” Ramaswamy encouraged her to speak instead and told her to return to the stage to ask him a question.

“Come on up, It’s okay. You can ask a me question and I then will answer,” Ramaswamy told the protester, who identified herself as Kayla Crist.

“If someone nonconsensually rapes me, I’m not having their child,” Crist said as she wiped away tears. “It’s my choice; it’s my body. I’ve already raised my kids that somebody implanted in me and doesn’t take care of. The system does nothing for the single mother. There’s no child support, and nobody goes after them. I raised my child by myself.”

Ramaswamy then praised Crist and told her she is doing “one of the most important things,” which is “being a mother raising her children in this world.”

“Even if we have our disagreements, I want to say thank you. And part of what it means to live in this country is we have free speech. We get to speak our minds openly even if we all don’t agree,” Ramaswamy said.

The Republican presidential candidate then encouraged the crowd to applaud the protester for having the “courage” to come to the event and ask him a question.

Speaking to a reporter after the event, Crist said she felt emboldened to interrupt Ramaswamy’s event in honor of her “gay, straight, bisexual, transgender allies all across the world.”

“There are people born with both parts and if they want to have the surgeries to be whatever they want to be, choose which one. There are more than one gender. People are born transgender, and they’re just facts,” she said before stating that she has not yet decided which candidate to support in 2024.

After the incident, Ramaswamy took to Twitter and reaffirmed his commitment to free speech.

“I’m a free speech absolutist. Especially for those who disagree with me,” Ramaswamy said.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow him on Twitter.

Authored by Jordan Dixon-Hamilton via Breitbart July 10th 2023