It was the kind of tough question a Republican presidential candidate might get on a Sunday morning talk show, only the person asking it was 15: Quinn Mitchell wanted to know if Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis believed former President Donald J. Trump had violated by the peaceful transfer of power on January 6, 2021.
Video from awkward exchange at a June 27 town hall in Hollis, NH, for Mr. DeSantis, who dodged the question, ricocheted online. So was their next encounter at the 4th of July parade in Merrimack, NH, where the video shows Quinn, an aspiring journalist, chased away by Florida governor’s handlers.
But the teenager said he wasn’t prepared for what happened Friday, when he was briefly ejected by police from the First Nation’s Leadership Summit, a candidate showcase organized by the New Hampshire Republican Party. The two-day event in Nashua, NH, featured Mr. DeSantis and most of the GOP field, but not Mr. Trump.
“They told me, we know who you are,” Quinn, who has his own political blog and podcast, said in a phone interview Saturday from his home in Walpole, N.H., referring to the summit’s organizers.
Quinn, who was credentialed for the summit by the state GOP, said a person connected to the event told him he had a history of disruption and accused him of being a stalker, the kind of political operative who records a candidate’s rival.
The next thing he knew, Quinn said, he was taken to a private room and then escorted out of the Sheraton Nashua Hotel by local police officers. His ejection was the first The Boston Globe reported.
Jimmy Thompson, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Republican Party, said in a text message Saturday that removing the teenager was a mistake.
“During the two-day event, an overzealous volunteer mistakenly made the decision to remove Quinn from the event, thinking he was a Democrat seeker,” Mr. Thompson wrote. “When the incident came to the attention of our staff, the NHGOP let him return to the event, where he was free to enjoy the rest of the summit.”
In an email Sunday morning, Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for the DeSantis campaign, wrote, “We were not involved in that decision.”
A public information officer for the Nashua Police Department also did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.
According to his Web pageQuinn has attended more than 80 presidential campaign events since he was 10, taking advantage of New Hampshire’s status as the state’s first in the nominating process to ask questions of the candidates.
He said he wants to hear former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey speak Friday, along with businessman Perry Johnson, a long-shot candidate.
At a town hall where Mr. Christie was introduced in April, Quinn asked another pointed question: Would Hillary Clinton be a better president than Mr. Trump?
Mr. Christie, the most vocal critic of the former president in the GOP field, responded that he would still choose Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, describing the contest as “the biggest election that the American people hold their noses and votes for.” ever had.
About two months later, it was Mr. DeSantis’ turn to field a question from Quinn, this one about Mr. Trump’s actions on January 6.
“Are you in high school? said Mr. DeSantis, who faced criticism as a candidate for not being fluid in his interactions with voters and reporters, a dynamic that led to some awkward exchanges during the campaign.
Florida’s governor has pivoted, arguing that we will lose if the 2024 election focuses on “re-doing things that happened two, three years ago.”
Quinn said it didn’t seem like a coincidence that he was kicked out of Friday’s event before Mr. DeSantis made remarks, which he planned to skip.
“They know the story between me and DeSantis,” he said.
When he was allowed to return to the event, Quinn said he was able to make the catch Remarks of Mr. DeSantis. But when the governor opened the question, Quinn walked away.
“Okay, one quick question, what do you have?” Mr. DeSantis asked one audience member.
Nicholas Nehamas contributed to the reporting.