Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis made headlines when an aspiring teenage journalist, Quinn Mitchell, was ejected from a GOP event for his probing questions. This incident raises questions about free speech and press access.
Teenager Keeping DeSantis On His Toes
Quinn Mitchell has made a name for himself as an aspiring journalist who has hard-hitting questions for Florida Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis.
On Friday, Mitchell was thrown out of the First in the Nation Leadership Summit.
New Hampshire Event Not His First
The Summit, held in New Hampshire, featured several Republican presidential candidates. This was not the first time Mitchell had attended a political event.
Making a Name for Himself
A self-described political commentator, Quinn Mitchell has attended previous DeSantis events and become known for his probing questions.
Mitchell Brings Tough Questions
In June, Mitchell asked DeSantis if he believed “that Trump violated the peaceful transfer of power,” calling it “a key principle of American democracy.” DeSantis evaded the question.
DeSantis Evades and Redirects
“Are you in high school?” DeSantis asked the teen. He thanked Mitchell for the question and then followed up with a statement about winning the election by focusing on “Biden’s failures” and not on “things that happened two, three years ago.”
Accused of Being a “Tracker”
At Friday’s event, Mitchell was stopped by a woman who told him she recognized him as a “tracker,” a term for a person whose job it is to follow and record political candidates for the opposition.
According to Mitchell, the woman led him to a separate room, and she and another man accused Michell of “misrepresenting” himself.
At that point, he was removed from the venue by police.
A Case of Mistaken Identity
Event staff say that Mitchell’s removal was a mistake. In a text message obtained by the New York Times, a New Hampshire Republican Party representative said that “an overzealous volunteer mistakenly made the decision to have Quinn removed from the event.”
An Alleged “Disturbance”
The volunteer told Mitchell that he had “been a disturbance and [had] been known to be one.”
She then had armed officers escort him from the event. The representative says that the mistake was corrected and Mitchell was eventually allowed to re-enter the Summit.
No One Is Off-Limits
Mitchell does not limit his powerful questions to Republican presidential candidates, and he has attended nearly a hundred campaign events in his young life.
In 2019, at only eleven years old, he asked then-candidate Joe Biden about whether he thought Trump should be impeached.
Democrats Get Questioned Too
He also lobbed questions at Senator Amy Klobuchar, another 2020 hopeful, about Robert Mueller’s testimony regarding the election in 2016.
“America’s Most Famous Political Teenager”
Thanks to his tenacity and near-constant appearances at local campaign events, Chris Christie has called Mitchell “America’s most famous political teenager.”
Mitchell stays busy attending these political events, but he’s also a full-time high school student.
Still a Kid: Homework Is His Priority
When the Washington Post reached out to him this weekend for an interview, Mitchell declined. He told them he was too stressed. The reason? Homework.
From the Horse’s Mouth
Mitchell has a podcast called “Into the Tussle,” on which he discussed the events of the Summit and what happened when he was removed.
He confirmed that he was invited to re-enter the Summit once security realized the mistake.
History Fascination Kicked Off Political Interest
Mitchell says his interest in politics began at age ten and he attributes it to his love of history.
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