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Protester grabs mic from Kamala Harris during MoveOn forum

Protester grabs mic from Kamala Harris

A protester rushed on stage Saturday during MoveOn's Big Ideas Forum in San Francisco and grabbed the microphone from 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris. The man tried to say he wanted "attention for a much bigger idea" before he was led offstage.

Harris pushed equal pay as her big idea during the forum. As she was discussing student loans for black students, the protester walked up and interrupted her, causing her to leave the stage as staffers and even her husband, Doug Emhoff, tried to remove the man. 

After he was escorted off the stage, Harris returned to chants of "Kamala, Kamala."

Harris quickly picked up where the panel left off, saying "you have a question and I want to answer it" to the moderators, who asked her about crime statistics. 

The protester was identified as Aidan Cook by animal rights organization Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), which issued a press release shortly after the incident. 

After the incident, Emhoff tweeted his gratitude for the "kind notes" and wrote "we are good."

MoveOn, meanwhile, tweeted an apology to Harris. "We sincerely regret that a protestor was able to gain access to the stage at our forum today," MoveOn wrote.

The lawmaker is one of 14 Democratic hopefuls who have descended on San Francisco for the California Democratic convention this weekend — and the only one with a hometown advantage. Deep-blue California is not usually considered an important primary stop for Democrats, but the state's primary has been moved up to Super Tuesday. At stake on March 3 will be a share of California's 495 delegates, which are handed out proportionally. 

"There's a chance for maybe two, three, maybe even as many as four — depending on how the contest is going — candidates to collect enough delegates here to continue on," CBS News correspondent Ed O'Keefe said on CBSN.

But attending the convention may not be a slam-dunk for Democrats, especially as Republicans have attacked left-leaning politicians for being aligned with Hollywood or Silicon Valley. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper received boos for saying "socialism is not the answer," during his California Democratic convention appearance. Frontrunner Joe Biden is skipping the convention altogether to attend a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Ohio.

Ed O'Keefe contributed to this report.