NEWARK, Ohio—Democratic protesters who have been trailing Mitt Romney's bus tour across the country finally caught up the Republican nominee, shouting loud enough for the candidate to hear as he spoke at a rally here.
"GO HOME ROMNEY! GO HOME ROMNEY!" about 30 protestors shouted in unison as the former Massachusetts governor took the stage here at a historic town square in the shadow of Newark City Hall.
Ann Romney, who was on stage introducing her husband, briefly acknowledged the group, telling supporters here, "We got some distracters out there, but... we can be just as loud about how much we love this country."
But her husband has become more adept at ignoring protestors. While Romney would often pause and acknowledge those aiming to disrupt his events during the primaries, the Republican nominee ignored his detractors today. But he seemed more fired up than usual in delivering his usual stump speech—as though he were aiming to drown out his opponents with his own voice.
David Axelrod, a senior political adviser to President Obama, said in a message on Twitter that he disagreed with the protesters' tactics.
"I strongly condemn heckling along Mitt's route," he wrote. "Shouting folks down is their tactic, not ours. Let voters hear both candidates (and) decide."
The protests come a day after the Romney campaign re-routed the candidate's tour in Pennsylvania to avoid the GOP candidate's opponents. Romney had been scheduled to visit a Wawa convenience store in Quakertown, but instead dropped in on a location on the other side of town after hearing former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, was leading a protest at the first site.
Asked by a local reporter why he had changed the location of his visit, Romney joked that he'd heard he already had another surrogate on site—a reference to Rendell's recent criticism over the Obama campaign's attacks on Romney's tenure at Bain Capital.
Olivier Knox contributed reporting from Washington