Aspiring Teen Reporter Who Made Ron DeSantis Uncomfortable With a Simple Question Thrown Out of GOP Event

In 2023, hating the media and viewing it as a sworn enemy is basically an official plank of the Republican Party, as it has been for several years now. To hear Republicans tell it, the media is out to get them and is not to be trusted. Usually, this stance is directed at legacy publications like The New York Times or The Washington Post, which have the audacity to ask questions like, “Who do you think won the 2020 election?” Apparently, though, the Times and the Post aren’t the only ones to have gotten under the GOP’s skin. It also has a 15-year-old aspiring reporter to reckon with.

On Friday, Quinn Mitchell, a New Hampshire teen who has been following politicians on both sides of the aisle since he was barely in the double digits, was thrown out of a GOP event where almost every Republican candidate for the 2024 nomination was expected to speak. Mitchell first came to prominence while attending a town hall in June, where he asked Ron DeSantis if he believed that Donald Trump “violated the peaceful transfer of power, a key principle of American democracy that we must uphold.” DeSantis responded by asking, “Are you in high school?” and then failed to actually answer the question.

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That exchange was followed by two further encounters between Mitchell and the DeSantis team. Per The Boston Globe:

In the first, at the July Fourth parade in Merrimack, Mitchell tried to engage with DeSantis, and he had his shirt tugged from behind before members of DeSantis’s security team surrounded him on the side of the parade route, Mitchell told the Globe at the time.

In the second incident, at an August town hall hosted by Never Back Down, a political action committee that supports DeSantis, an attendee told the outlet that they saw one staffer snap a picture of Mitchell on Snapchat, adding the caption “Got our kid.”

On Saturday, Mitchell recounted on his podcast that a woman he didn’t know came up to him and said, “I know who you are. You’re a tracker.” (A “tracker” is someone who follows political opponents and records their public statements and appearances.) According to Mitchell, the woman then took him into a room where a man claimed Mitchell had “misrepresented” himself. After that, he was removed from the event by security and nearly a half dozen police officers. “They told me I was being a disruption,” Mitchell told the Globe. “I was taking a video like anybody else.”

In a text message, Jimmy Thompson, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Republican Party, told the Times that Mitchell’s ejection had been a mistake. “During the course of the two-day event, an overzealous volunteer mistakenly made the decision to have Quinn removed from the event, thinking he was a Democrat tracker,” Thompson wrote. “Once the incident came to our staff’s attention, NHGOP let him back into the event, where he was free to enjoy the rest of the summit.” In an email, a spokesman for the DeSantis campaign said of Mitchell’s removal: “We were not involved in that decision.”

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