Three protesters arrested at Santorum campaign event

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"I think it's really important for you to understand what this radical element represents. Because what they represent is true intolerance," Santorum told the crowd, according to reports. 

He went on to blame Obama for the protesters' actions. 

“I understand their frustration," he said. "For three years they haven’t been able to find work, they have a president who doesn’t care about them.”

The crowd of supporters sought to turn on the protesters at one point, according to NBC News, chanting: "Get a job."

Santorum, forced to yell over the persistent protesters, said he respected their ability to disagree with him.

"Now I gotta tell you, I don't agree with these people but I respect their opportunity to be able to have a different point of view and I don't think they're a hater or a bigot because they disagree with me," Santorum said.

Three protesters were arrested at the event, according to CBS News, including one who threw glitter on Santorum. This is at least the sixth time activists have "glitter bombed" the GOP candidate, who is now considered a front-runner for the nomination. The motive cited is often gay rights, and Santorum is a particularly popular target due to his social conservativism.

"You realize that there is a group in society that is being left behind," Santorum said, as part of his response to the protests. "There's a group, about one in three Americans don't graduate from high school, and almost all of them, over three quarters of them, will end up in poverty at some point in time in this country. ... We've got to provide an opportunity for them, instead of standing here unemployed yelling at somebody, to go out and get a job and work for a living."