January 7th, 2008
09:25 PM ET
8 years ago

Protestors disrupt Obama rally

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - A group of about a dozen anti-abortion protestors interrupted one of Barack Obama's New Hampshire rallies Monday night.

The group shouted in unison, "Abortion is abomination," forcing Obama to pause in the middle of his speech.

When the noise erupted, Obama first paused and looked up into the balcony where they were standing.

"Alright," Obama said, attempting to squelch the commotion. "Alright."

The rest of the crowd soon got angry with the protestors.

"No need to boo. We appreciate [their] point," Obama said, adding that he'd be happy to talk to them afterwards but that shouting "isn't going to solve anything."

The whole incident lasted about two minutes before they were escorted out by police.

Before leaving the room, one protestor yelled, "True change is ending abortion!" Change has been a major theme of Obama's campaign.

Once the audience calmed down again, Obama said, "Let me just say this, though... Some people got organized to do that. That's part of the American tradition we are proud of."

"That's hard, too, standing in the midst of people who don't agree with you," he added.

- CNN's Chris Welch

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    these religious zealots are tactless and dangerous.

    January 8, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  2. Chris

    Obama is AWESOME!

    No other candidate stands a chance.

    January 8, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  3. K Eldridge

    Abortion is a sensitive issue. I don't agree with abortion, but abortion is legal; it is a personal choice. Should it be legal? The alternative: Young ladies finding a way to get the procedure done underground, increasing their risk of infection and death. I wonder if any of those protestors actually opened up their homes to foster children, or adopted a child, or actually participated in any programs that educate people about sex and contraceptives.

    January 8, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  4. Ron, TX

    I guess it would have been more "presidential" if he just told them to "shut up!" like Bill Clinton did?

    Nah, I like Obama's approach a bit better. Those people DO have a right to say what they think. No one should tell them to shut up. They just need to find an appropriate forum and not disrupt everyone else.

    January 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  5. scooter

    womanwithhope – get a life, quickly. one of the geatest tests for a democratic society is to be able to let someone yell at the top of their voice that which you most disagree with....... and do so without harm or reprisal. thats free speech and in a free society.

    dont have it out with someone who took your job because they were either better than you, smarter or more efficient at their job.

    the smart thing to do is to see why they got that promotion and if you want it so bad, do your job better and smarter and get it back, otherwise move on and get another job that suits your current abilities.

    and dont try to press your personal religious, political, moral or ethical views onto someone else.

    sure, yhou can scream them at the top of your voice so long as you are not tryinto force feed others with your ideals

    and live a happy life, smile

    January 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  6. calmdown, lady!

    "Don't be like the young guy who took my promotion"

    a little bitter are you? Sounds like Hillary herself is on these message boards – and yes, Barack will be taking the promotion you thought was so securely yours.

    January 8, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  7. Roland

    WomanWithHope,
    I thought Obama's last remark was very conciliatory. He was gracious enough to stand up for those women who protested. He applauded their courage to stand up for something even though it was hard...to protest in a room filled with thousands of (most likely) pro-choice dems, that takes courage.

    January 8, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  8. Yolanda - Single Mom

    As a single mother, I appreciated the support of the protesters that I made the right choice. I would take my baby over money any day,

    Thanks for the encouragment by the protesters me and my little American appreciated.

    I know nothing will change but the fact that people want me to keep my baby means a lot. Thank you Protesters.

    January 8, 2008 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  9. Dolores DiBartolo

    Barack Obama is a man of integrity and can easily handle people who disagree with him with dignity and remain self confident. He is ready to do so in Washington, as President of this country. I am so proud to be able to say that he is truly the "Candidate of Change" and just what America needs to unite us and bring back the hope we've needed for so long.

    January 8, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  10. Andrew, Niagara Falls, NY

    maybe the above mentioned promotion was given to someone who deserved the position instead of yelling at the position.. wait.. that sounds familiar doesn't it?

    January 8, 2008 12:54 am at 12:54 am |
  11. John

    I think that was the single best thing he could have done. In the army we call this asymetric warfare. Turn weakness into strength. This could have been an ugly " dont tase me bro" situation, but the ability to listen, turn it into a pro for you, and demonstrate your ability to listen to everyone, even those who dont agree with you, or are obviously hostile against you is an great testament to the problem solving ability of the candidate. Problem solving is what i want from my president, and this was a great demonstration.

    Just for kicks, I would like to see a pro choice protest in a romney, or thompson rally. that would be funny.

    January 8, 2008 12:55 am at 12:55 am |
  12. Susan, Springfield, Missouri

    Or like running on CHANGE, nothing BUT CHANGE, but he won't say how that change manefests itself or or why the only other things he says is how Hilary is not a person you want as a president. That is NOT CHANGE, the boys beating up on a girl.

    January 8, 2008 12:56 am at 12:56 am |
  13. babywash

    I Think that People are always "TALKING" about change and tolerance, and then when they get it (Some willing to listen to opposing views):

    "No need to boo. We appreciate [their] point," Obama said, adding that he'd be happy to talk to them afterwards but that shouting "isn't going to solve anything."

    They don't want it!

    True CHANGE means, not always getting just what YOU WANT:

    It means accepting opposing viewpoints...........

    January 8, 2008 01:09 am at 1:09 am |
  14. edward greenberg

    i hope that the voters in new hampshire are smart enought to vote for clinton,simply because shes is without adoubt the best person for our leader of our country.

    January 8, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  15. kenny

    Womanwithhope: are you medicated? If not you CLEARLY should be. Anti Abortion activist are truly radical christian whack jobs.

    January 8, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  16. Democrat for life

    Wow those protesters were dumb, how's wanting to go back to lifestyle in the middle ages considered "change"?

    January 8, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  17. Diana

    Obama handled that situation with class. (I saw it on CSPAN, so I'm not just reacting to second-hand print reports.)

    He could have let his supporters continue to boo the protesters. He could have stood in silence while the protesters were escorted out, and then resumed his speech without saying a word about them.

    Instead, he calmed the crowd down, defused the situation, and basically gave his supporters and all those who watched a lesson in tolerance and calm.

    He even told the protesters he'd be happy to talk with them after his speech.

    This is a man who is truly willing to respect and listen to people who disagree with him. That's the kind of leadership we need.

    January 8, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  18. Elliot

    DON'T TAZE ME BRO!

    January 8, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  19. Ashti Waissi

    Obama is the next US president for sure, he's the best man. I hope he becomes next US president and make Kurdistan to a separate country.

    January 8, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  20. Ashti Waissi

    I think people should shout their mouth when Obama is speaking and listen for what he has to say.

    January 8, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  21. scotty

    SO WHAT HAS BARACK DONE- WHAT DOES HE STAND FOR
    HOW MANY CLINTON PEEPS DOES HE WANT AS HE MENTIONED IN THE WHITEHOUSE????
    I HAVE NOT SEEN ONE OF HIS PLANS MENTIONED OH YES JUST THE PLAN OF CHANGE AND HOPE –
    HE'S ARROGANT AND VAGUE
    NO MATTER WHAT HILARY DOES THE PRESS AND EVERYONE ELSE JUST TRIES TO MURDER HER
    WELL IT WON'T BE THE 1ST TIME YOU IGNORANT PEOPLE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE
    GOOD LUCK
    IT SHE DOESN'T GET THE NOMINATION I AM DEFINITELY NOT VOTING NOR WILL I CALL BO MY PRESIDENT
    HINDSITE IS ALWAYS SO MUCH BETTER
    REMEMBER AL GORE????

    January 8, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  22. Michael - Stamford, CT

    It seems like Senator Obama doesn't handle himself so well when faced with those that don't agree with him on the abortion issue. I wonder what Senator Obama would say the majority of Americans who disagree with his position on supporting driver licences to illegal aliens? In the previous debate on CNN Obama said he supports this when asked for a yes or no answer.

    January 8, 2008 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  23. Ron O.

    Ah, the saga continues. Beat up Bush – put any inexperienced moron democrat in the White House and hope for the best. Let me ask a question – how many more terrorist incidents have occured here, on US soil, sonce 9/11? What? NONE? Really? ZERO? That's pretty amazing, don't you think? Do you think its a co-incidence; that Osama and al-kaida just took a little break? The general public, the entertainment community and yes even the media are so niave to what is reallyy happening on the world stage, its truly scary. This is th greatest country in the history of the world – do you really think the corn farmers of middle america will elect a female OR an african american ( MUSLIM no less!) to the the White House in November? WHO are you kidding? The dumbest, lamest Republic, McCain or romney, is a shoe in. In a way, I'm a little sad, being pro-choice and pro-environment. But I want a strong US military that goes into the 3rd world countries and kicks in doors and shoots people in the head in their beds at night SO IT NEVER HAPPENS HERE AGAIN!! And I am 100% fine with that.

    Anyone who thnks the Democrats are anything less than the devil himslef is a fool. I'll take Dick Chaney and big oil any day. Maybe I should go buy some stock. THANK YOU President Bush for keeping us safe since 9/11/01. I wish we didn't have term limits.

    January 8, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  24. Mary

    People in He-l, probably want ice tea to easy the flames, but no one is going to take it to them.
    Obama, wants change and unity. What planet is he living on. He'll spend four years trying to unite and change and accomplish nothing.
    Enjoy the spotlight for now, beacuse that's going to evaporate soon.

    January 8, 2008 02:01 am at 2:01 am |
  25. Stephanie

    Who are you people??? Let me get this right, Senator Barack was supposed to engage respectfully with individuals whose only goal was to be disrespectful, disruptive and insolent? Yeah, lending an ear to these presumable religious zealots would've totally been productive...

    January 8, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
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