Videos: Top five glitter bombings -- and how Peter Smith's attack on Mitt Romney stacks up
Cops and Secret Service agents who protect Republican presidential hopefuls are dealing with a new kind of threat -- one that sparkles. Last Tuesday, Denver got into the act when Peter Smith, a college student and politics intern, was arrested after he tried to throw blue glitter on Mitt Romney, in town for the Republican caucuses. But how did his display stack up with other glitter bombings? Decide for yourself with our top-five video countdown below.
Typically used to protest a politician's stance on gay marriage, glitter bombs may seem like a harmless form of protest, but law enforcement still takes them seriously. Could there be anthrax mixed in with the glitter, or some kind of chemical? Despite those possibilities, the trend doesn't appear to be slowing down. Here's a look at some recent showdowns between these sparkly militants and GOP candidates.
Nick Espinosa v. Newt Gingrich
Date and location: May 17, 2011, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Rachel E. B. Lang v. Michelle Bachmann
Date and location: June 18, 2011, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Occupy Tampa protesters (among others) v. Rick Santorum
Date and location: January 23, 2012, Lady Lake, Florida
Rick Santorum may be the most frequent target of glitter bombers because of his strong views against homosexuality and same-sex marriage. He was showered at a South Carolina event by Occupy Charleston protestors shouting "bigot" and again during a campaign stop in Iowa in late December. In fact, Santorum has learned to brace himself for the attacks, telling the media that this sparkly scare happens quite often. The most recent attack occurred during a Tea Party event at an American Legion post in Lady Lake, Florida. One of the protestors sprinkled glitter over Santorum, shouting, "Stop the hate" as security guards carried the man out and gave the rest of the protesters trespass warnings. Santorum responded to the attacks by turning the rhetoric around, arguing that these bombers are "trying to shut down free speech and anyone who disagrees with them."
The Glitterati v. Ron Paul
Date and location: February 6, 2012, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Peter Smith vs. Mitt Romney
Date and location: February 7, 2012, Denver
And, finally, we reach our own local incident. Though an aiming failure by the bomber left Romney glitter-free, the mission still won attention all over the country. Peter Smith took his chance at the Tivoli auditorium as Romney shook hands with supporters. The twenty-year-old University of Colorado Denver student faces $1,000 in fines as well as the possibility of up to six months in jail; he was also fired from his internship with the Colorado State Senate Democrats. But he has said he doesn't regret his actions.
More from our Politics archive: "Video: Rachel Maddow wonders if Rick Santorum win in Colorado matters."