June 28th, 2008
11:52 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain speech disrupted by several hecklers



Sen. John McCain's speech to a Latino group Saturday was interrupted by hecklers. Photo credit: AP.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain has been taking most weekends off since effectively securing the Republican nomination, but the Arizona senator has a busy weekend, including a speech to a Latino conference where he was heckled several times.

McCain spent the morning speaking at the annual conference of NALEO, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. Sen. Barack Obama is scheduled to speak at the event after McCain.

Three hecklers from the anti-war group, Code Pink, disrupted McCain's speech at separate times and were later escorted from the room.

According to the group, Phoenix resident Liz Hourican, holding a camera aimed at the candidate, stood up when McCain said "I represent Arizona..."

Watch: McCain gets heckled

"John you do represent Arizona! And we want a peace candidate!," she yelled. "We want a peace candidate! Peace takes courage!"

McCain, laughing off the disruption, joked, "that's a long trip out," adding: "I'm sure you've seen the polls out now about trust and confidence in our government, and the one thing the American people want us to stop doing is yelling at each other."

Five minutes later, two more female protesters jumped up, yelling loudly.

"Your silence is consent to war crimes! War criminal!" one said. Another heckler carried a pink banner that read "McCain=Guerra" — or "McCain=War."

McCain, however, was met with a standing ovation by the audience at the end.

"Thank you very much," he said. "It makes me feel very wonderful to have such a wonderful reception."

NALEO expressed apologies to McCain just before the Obama speech. "The individuals were not NALEO members, they are not part of this constituency, and they do not reflect our values of engaging in dialogue and conversation with the next president of the United States."

Though much of McCain's speech focuses on the issues he has been pushing throughout the week - energy solutions and the lagging economy - McCain also touched on key issues among Latinos.

The senator paid his respects to "the contributions of Hispanic-Americans to the culture, economy and security of the country I have served all my adult life." He also emphasized that immigration reform begins with securing the United States border with Mexico.

"We must prove to [Americans] that we can and will secure our borders first, while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States," he's said, adding: "We have economic and humanitarian responsibilities as well, and they require no less dedication from us in meeting them."

Before the NALEO conference, McCain met briefly with Iraqi president Jalal Talabani in Washington. Later in the day, he is scheduled to meet with the president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo. He then flies to Louisville, Kentucky this afternoon, where he will hold two fundraisers.

On Sunday, McCain will meet privately with evangelist Franklin Graham in Asheville, North Carolina.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (379 Responses)
  1. Cathy in MD

    “Arizona senator?” “Busy weekend?” “On Sunday?” You mean, Arizona senator, John McCain? Really? He must have read Jack Cafferty’s blog and figured he’d better get out there and look like he’s working. He doesn’t want to be mistaken for a “lousy” candidate.

    June 28, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. DOH!!!

    John McCain- No se puede

    June 28, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Cynthia

    I bet he wishes he had taken this weekend off. This must be different than his town hall meetings.

    June 28, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. Bush the Third

    We Don't Want You McCain!!!!

    My husband fought in Iraq and believes you would be a terrible mistake as president and would not resolve the war in Iraq.

    We don't want a flip-flopping, war mongering, adulterous president.

    No thank you. No McCain, Not This Time!

    June 28, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. Ellie

    Ohhhhhh NOW he decides to WORK on weekends? Ha! ha! This just keeps getting more hilarious by the minute. He's gonna be worn out come Monday. John McCain KNOWS he's NO match for Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton, let's just keep in REAL okay?

    Say whatever you want, think whatever you wanna think...but the reality is, John McBush is NO MATCH for the dynamic duo Obama and Clinton!!!

    June 28, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Ilona Proud Canadian

    John McCain,


    On THREE SEPARATE OCCASIONS, during one single speech, John McCain was heckled BIG TIME! This is why he only wants to address 150-300 people at his Town Halls. In his Town Hall addresses he is well known to plant his special interest supporters, but, put him in front of strangers and boy he really had to cut his SPEECH SHORT!

    June 28, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Susan

    Sen. McCain promised to run a decent campaign. He has flipflopped on that by allowing his surrogates speak for him, then does not repudiate not only their terrorist statemnets, but racist statements. He takes no responsibility for his surrogates, and cannot be entrusted to be a man of his word. Republicans should all be ashamed that they caanot run a campaign on issues, but on innuendo and slurs. There is no way this man would ever be my President. Same on the Republican House!

    June 28, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  8. It IS funny, right?

    McCain laughing off war protesters? Hmmmm....sounds very familiar. Cheney and Bush find them hilarious, too. Yes, John, the whole thing is just one big belly laugh. Good luck on your campaign. And that floor plan you keep in your pocket of the living quarters at the White House? That's as close as you'll ever get.

    June 28, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  9. PG

    Working on the weekend! Man, better get some super power energy drinks ready for McSame!

    June 28, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. georgia jones

    You mean he is fianlly working a weekend? He better not over do it! LOL!

    June 28, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Fred Meseck

    I can't believe this! John McCain has flip-flopped once again! I am watching McCain's address to the Latino community in Wahsington, and I hear him object to Congress going home when people are losing their homes, inplying that Congress should be doing something to help the people impacted by the sub-prime mortgage crisis. This is the same guy who, only months ago, told Americans that they should get a second job and give up vacations so they can keep their homes, effectively removing govenrment help from the table.

    Don't let him get away with that! "Keep him honest.!"

    CNN rocks!

    June 28, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Michelle

    McCain is strong enough to handle it.

    Obama would be whining and playing the race card.

    June 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  13. tigerakabj

    Speaking objectively, McCain better get used to this. If the MSM won't hold him accountable, people like these will. Everything the hecklers said was true.

    He doesn't care about anything except how to please the xtreme right and the 100 lobbyists running his campaign. He voted 95% like Bush and Obama is going to cream him when he starts debating him face to face. McCain, get ready to head back to Arizona come November.

    June 28, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  14. Citizen

    Peace protesters versus an old man with a bad attitude? Yep, there is a chance that things will end well.

    June 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Linda

    " I have served all my adult life"...John McCain is caught in a time wrap.

    June 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. carrie obama

    ha ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha ha
    ha ha ha
    no on ewants you mcwar
    you are the worst presidential candidate ever
    you openly disrespected and insulted a for mer us president
    something you'll never be
    this is just the beginning
    the democrats dont want you
    the independents dont want you
    the republicans dont want you too
    i know where u belong
    you belong in azkaban.
    go away,mc war

    June 28, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    OK, I'm not a McCain fan (anymore) either, but let's be civil. This doesn't help Obama or anyone else.

    June 28, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  18. carepi

    ok, first af all he has not mention how he will pay for any of his ideas or proyects, second, he has been in the senate for how long now?, and what has he done to help latinos or inmigrants?, what has he done for arizona? of course all of the sudden he is commited... tha's just B.S. but it's only my opinion.

    look at both candidates and the solutions for the issues we have. make your own mint.

    Latino brothers, no matter who you vote for, what it wil matter is that you can go out and show that you are one of us, that you can exercise the right to vote, and that you can have a voice in this country of laws.

    on november go out and show our freedom, Vote!

    Juntos podemos cambiar el destino de nuestro pais, USA!

    June 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. Scott C

    It is only a matter of time until someone heckles him when he isn't in a great mood and people will see him erupt in an angry firestorm on stage, and show people he is a maniac.

    This speaks to the chances he has of winning in November, how many times has he been heckled so far? 20+ times?

    Obama? Zero...

    I guess though it is easier to hear hecklers at a McCain rally of 20 people than it is at an Obama rally of 1,100 or more.

    June 28, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  20. No Hillary Gore VP

    I hope he brought along his right and left elbow men to remind him each time he makes an error since he cannot remember what he said five minutes after saying it.
    What a Mc Looser

    June 28, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It figures Obama supporters don't have the courtesy to let him speak. It's time for Obama to stop hidng and join McCain at a town hall meeting.

    June 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Doc

    He is just soooo dull.

    June 28, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Lisa Salt Lake City, Utah

    McCain has been absent from his job that he actually is paid by the people to do. He is traveling M-F on our dime, and taking his weekends off. McCain ego before doing his job.

    June 28, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Bob, Hamilton

    McCain shouldn't have said to the woman- "tha's a long trip out' ( from here). That's the kind of sarcasm that aspiring future President should not have. His age is speedily manifesting itself in everything he says nowadays. AMERICANS MUST TAKE NOTE OF THAT!

    Shame on McCain!

    June 28, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. TEXAN

    That's it Latinos...stand up and speak up ! Mc Cain is not the right man for President ! He will not fairly represent ALL Americans. Look at all the issuses. Obama is the RIGHT man for President. Latinos unite and elect Obama !

    June 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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