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. Diing in Washington

    To Will, what exactly does the word liberal means to you? I hope you're not another Kevin James. Please, check out Chris Mathew and Kevin James on the youtube.

    June 28, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Peter E

    You know, if hecklers appeared at Obama rallies all the Obama supporters would decry them as repugnant racist idiots.

    How come Obama supporters are the only hecklers we've seenthroughout the primaries and now the general campaign?

    June 28, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. Sam, Muncie, Ind.

    Is this guy still running?

    I realize the republicants have to put somebody out there, but I didn't think they'd actually believe they have a shot at this.

    Don't give McCain too much grief for taking the weekends off, though. In the long run, it won't make any difference. Maybe he can avoid the severe debt Clinton racked up by working only Monday through Friday.

    June 28, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. Ilene MI

    I heard Obama was met with cheers, much unlike McCain. Looks like the replubs won't get the latino vote this time. The same vote that put Bush the Devil in office

    June 28, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Clay in Texas

    Throwing (democratic) protesters out? Perhaps so there is no dissent?? Hmm . . . I look forward to seeing McCain and his yellow-dog Republican puppets get voted out in November. Gosh, we may actually see some real leadership in the White House again!

    June 28, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Concerned

    I regret the lost of any soilder's live in this war in Iraq, a war that was and is being waged without just cause. I find it difficult accept that a presidential candidate can justify the lost of hundreds or thousands of more lives so that the lost of previous lives would not have been in vain. I can not and will not accept this line of reasoning. We need to get out of Iraq in an orderly manner ASAP. We have serious matters at the home front that require immediate attention. All of our National Guard troops should be sent home immediately.

    June 28, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. redbug - ohio

    he should be heckled. he is just one REALLY BIG JOKE. 3RD TERM MCBUSH. And happy to hear anyone heckle that LOSING WAR MONGER.

    June 28, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. 4TheGoodOfTheCountry

    2 DrMan: By emphasizing Hussein in Obama your statement feels nothing but racist and discriminatory. Remember: you don't get to choose your name at birth, but you do get to choose your religion and political views. So I say to all people like you – Obamaphobs, stop the scare tactics and get a life!

    June 28, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. Jesse Abrams

    Typical liberals ... the only voice that they believe should be heard is their own.

    June 28, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. lou

    For those of you who forgot 911 already, it isn't about "peace", its about keeping the trouble "over there". There will NEVER be peace with Islamic Nutcases. They will kill you if you don't "convert". Understand? They want to obliterate Israel, a sovereign nation. Understand? How about if they wanted to obliterate all Latinos? Would you "get it" then? Put yourself in someone else's shoes for about 10 seconds, then make an intelligent decision. I don't support the war in Iraq. I don't support ANY war. I believe dialog is best, but unfortunately that will never work with people who sware death to you if you don't do what they want. You should thank God you live in America, and shut up. Take a deep breath and let your brains catch up with your mouth, if you have any.

    June 28, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. A Concerned Citizen

    Yep, that is McCain for you. Supports the war in Iraq, knows nothing about the economy and likes things the way they are. Now he pretends to care about global warming, I guess the polls say he should.

    Heres to a president with real courage and resolve. Oh and who actually wants to fix this country, not just fight an idiotic war.

    Obama '08

    June 28, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. McCained Into A Stupor

    I don't think heckling that way is a very effective tactic. For one thing, it serves to break the tedious monotony of a speech by McCain. I say, let him speak without interruption, and his supporters will be stupified into helpless inactivity.

    June 28, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  13. TF

    I think instead of heckling him they should try to give him an Economy 101 book as a gift. There is a figure out there that this war has cost us 400 billion dollars. That figure is the estimate it will cost to replace all the equipment that has been damaged from the desert sand and over use. We also need 32,000 more soldiers to replace the ones that have been over used and abused as well. Can you spell draft? Hey your kids aren't as dumb as you repubs; they see the writing on the wall more war equals another draft. Maybe GWB can teach then how to dodge it on his lecture tour that will start in 215 days.

    So now tell me how safe are we. Can the US even afford to defends its own land is we need to. Maybe that's why they want hand guns on the streets of DC. So we can defend ourselves because the Gov will be to broke to do it for us. 2012 is coming are you ready for the end of the world (The Mayan Calendar has yet to be wrong)?

    June 28, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Rob indetroit

    MCcain needs war that is his purpose in life. that and spending , crypt keeper's money AKA cindy mccain

    June 28, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. Greg, Indianapolis

    "DrMan"..........i have a friend exactly like you. He is conservative as can be, and I get two-three emails a-day with his "sputum" about McCain this, Obama sucks that...etc etc. But I received them from him far earlier then that...like when John Kerry was running.....but he never mentioned John's name when he emailed everyone to rant....the same ranting you do. NOW, you both seem SOO intent on including this middle name as if it is something to be ashamed of? What are you trying to get at? Hate filled people is who you are.

    June 28, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. Nick in Ca

    Why do the hecklers have to be Obamas doing. He sure doesn't engage in those types of activities. And why does someone always have to bring up race. He is as much white as black and we should be looking way beyond that by now. But I do agree John McCain (note I have been a republican for over 30 years) is not going to give the changes we need. OBAMA08

    June 28, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Peter E

    Why is it always the liberal far-left that thinks they can disrupt decent political discourse by heckling, interrupting, and chanting slogans?
    They disrupted the republican convention in 2004. They repeatedly disrupted Hillary's rallies as well as townhall meetings as well as her daughter's (apparently they have no respect for their own either), and now they finally are disrupting McCain as well.

    Yes, they have every right to express their opinion. But one can indeed "disagree without being disagreeable." And interrupting someone else's discourse shows utter lack of respect for other people's opinion. McCain too has a right for expression! And by infringing on it with such heckling you aren't gaining any sympathy!

    June 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Dr Man is a goof

    "Dr Man" how many times can you type HUSSEIN! Whoaaa scary..Barack is in the Old Testament , a Hebrew name meaning "blessed" I bet you won't repeat that you goof.

    June 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Marilyn

    I'm not a McCain fan but there will be millions of us moderate Democrats voting for him in November. If the DNC, etc. is upset about that they should have "selected" a better Democratic candidate.

    June 28, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. gerry

    Maybe McCain should have stayed home this weekend; clearly he doesn't perform well on Saturday or Sunday.

    June 28, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. billy

    Hecklers have a purpose.They remind us not to believe so blindly and perhaps make better choices. John McCain is not the best choice the GOP could make,looking at the other choices e.g. Mitt Romney..this was a good choice. John does not stand a chance in light of his support for an unpopular and useless war in Iraq.

    June 28, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Rusty, Portland

    Is appeasement better?-–watch--Obama will, through his appeasement of Iran and Al Qaeda bring suicide bombers and roadside bombs to your neighborhood-–

    Did you ever ask yourself why they are not here now? Only Bush's policy of pursuing Al Qaeda everywhere has kept them from our cities--

    If you don't believe that then tell us why they are not here.

    June 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  23. Peter E

    Let me make this clear: I don't support this war. I too want us to withdraw. I disagree with McCain's ideas on this issue.

    However, you radical left knee-jerkers are NOT HELPING! By acting in such disrespectful manner you marginalize the anti-war movement, displaying how they are all just psychotic radicals with no respect for other people's opinions.

    Please "disagree WITHOUT being disagreeable!"

    June 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. Ryan Bullock

    See, thats the problem. Some of you people are praising the hecklers. Where is your respect for people? Do your talking at the voting booths, but let the man make his speech. Unbelievable. no respect at all.

    June 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  25. MCWAR!!!!

    DrMan ........... Good thing this didn't happen at a rally for B. Hussein Obama. They'd immediately be called racist............NO not RACE .......
    WAR.............John you do represent Arizona! And we want a peace candidate!," she yelled. "We want a peace candidate! Peace takes courage!"............ REPEAT AFTER ME McWAR...... NO more WAR!!!!
    CAN'T HEAR YOU !................ALthough McCain was a POW ,,,,,no record of LEADERSHIP ROLL !!!!

    June 28, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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