Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain had a bit of tough time on the campaign stump Saturday -- supporters of rival candidate Ron Paul repeatedly shouted him down and heckled him, such that Cain cut in and told them to "be respectful."
It started when Cain, delivering one of his standard lines calling the economy "on life support," was interrupted by a shout of either "This is absurd" or "The Federal Reserve" -- an audio recording of the exchange was unclear.
The candidate stopped his speech to tell the crowd, many waving Paul campaign signs, to knock it off.
"With all due respect, I'm going to give this speech today, thank you very much,” the former Godfather's Pizza CEO said.
The boisterous crowd got particularly riled up when Cain made a point about the Federal Reserve, one of Texas Rep. Paul's signature issues.
“The Federal Reserve, I do not believe that we need to end the Fed, we can fix the Fed, that's all I want to say about that, alright,” Cain said to boos.
Again, he stopped to tell the crowd to cut it out.
“Are you all going to let me do my speech or not?” Cain asked. “All I'm asking for is the respect for me to give my comments and my speech, that's all I'm asking. Just be respectful, that's all, thank you very much.”
According to the latest Des Moines Register poll, Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck in Iowa ahead of the state's January caucus. Cain leads with 23 percent, Romney is second with 22 percent -- notable because neither candidate has spent an inordinate amount of time campaigning in the state, compared to some of their rivals.
Paul came in third with 12 percent, the only other candidate to crack double digits.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann was fourth with 8 percent, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry tied at 7 percent, former Sen. Rick Santorum at 5 percent and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman at 1 percent.
Editor's note: This post has been updated to report the first heckler to interrupt Cain may have shouted "The Federal Reserve" instead of "This is absurd." An audio recording of the exchange was unclear.
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