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. James Lyons(Peoria, IL)

    The important question to ask, Ron, is WHY are the terrorists trying to attack us? It's the same reason Iran held our hostages in the early 50's, and it is the same reason that the group of Saudi's savagely murdered our family members and countrymen nearly seven years ago. It's called blowback. As defined by the CIA, the term "blowback" means the unintended consequences of foreign intervention. And that is not blaming those events on the americans. To say that it is would be arguing with logical fallacy.
    And part of the reason we have those ghettos you speak of is because our executive and legislative branches are too busy borrowing money to immediately spend on a foreign policy that calls for nearly a trillion dollars a year to maintain our empire. Imagine what a fraction of that money could do, if used to secure our borders and constitutionally improve the quality of life within our own country.

    June 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. jimmy velman


    June 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  3. mike

    John Mcain is another antiquated backward thinking white guy. Its time to move forward and try a new approach. The status quo is not working and is pushing america into global oblivion.

    June 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. Rob indetroit

    Franklin Graham Evangelist i hope ther isn't anything in his closet.

    June 28, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Christina

    Attn: ron

    Your comment partially reads "how many terrorist attacks have there been since bush went after them"

    I am sick and tired of hearing this statement – knowing it to be patently untrue that there have been no attacks on our soil since 9/11. The properly way to phrase it is: There has been no "reported" attacks of terrorism on USA soil since 9/11 - there has been numerous attacks and coverups. Just a couple of weeks ago at least two US air liners, on US soil had missile attempts on them ... where is the media??

    Let's face it – our media is an extension of a corrupt Bush government. I'd like to see someone tackle that little issue. McBush – I can't hear you ...

    June 28, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  6. Ian M

    Poor McCain. He know's he's running against historical precedent and will do or say anything.

    June 28, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  7. Desmond

    While the anti-war sentiments are worth noting, heckling is not the way to have this done. Hopefully, the individuals doing so did not think they were helping OBAMA by their cheap behaviour and hopefully, they were not perceived as being his supporters because they were not. They may even have been his detractors trying to get him some bad press.

    June 28, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  8. Obama '08

    It's a shame that we can't maintain a mature discourse over this election. Whether or not the candidates themselves can do so, the rest of surely can.

    June 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  9. Billy

    "McCain is two different people. One person in front of a Latino crowd and another when he isn't."

    McCain's credibility with Latinos is rightfully trashed after his Chicago rally two weeks ago.

    June 28, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  10. Brian Phoenix AZ

    To: Phil in FLA,
    That isn't even worth 100 to 1 odds on AZ voting him in again.

    June 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  11. Obama '08

    It's a shame that we cannot maintain a mature discourse during this election. Whether or not the candidates do so, we should be able to

    June 28, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  12. mike

    street gangs rule some neighborhoods because of conservative laws regarding gun control and regulation, not because of liberal laws such as the 3 strike law. No access to guns for anyone would eliminate guns for thugs as there would be none to steal or buy illegally from upstanding conservative citizens. Social programs and education would uplift impoverished large swaths of impoverished people from the circle of violence in which they seem to be hopelessly stuck in. Christian values teach us to help our fellow man regardless of their ills. Consevatism has very little to do with christian values. Give your neighbor a hand up!

    June 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  13. ethan

    john mccain is senile.
    i hope the hecklers give him a heart attack.
    he hasn't seen this much action since vietnam!

    June 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Peter of Oregon

    Reading this article has made me suddenly feel sleepy.

    June 28, 2008 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  15. Dreno

    Ohhh, poor Johnny boy! How about the soldiers getting their limbs blown off... that is just a tad bit worse than getting heckled! CARE FOR THEM not if you're interupted!!

    NO McSame 08... NO McCain/Bush 08

    June 28, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  16. James in Kamiah

    John McCain has lived a life longer than he should have, and all because of the one ring he craves so much; power. Give up the power John; it only has the power to destroy.

    If you want to see an old soul become decrepit vote McGollum '08. See him become even more twisted over his addiction.

    Therer is only one lord of the Bush administrations ring, and Cheney does not share power.

    June 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  17. Foregn obeserver

    The US should go ahead and elect an inexperienced, arrogant, elitist by the name of Obama. He sat through 500 sermons of Jeremiah Wirght and claims he saw and heard nothing of that hate. He also lied about campaign financing.

    You are in such a mess now so you might as well make it even worse.

    June 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  18. Hispanic For McCain

    Listen you morons Liberal Dem stop with the Hate just accept the facts that Hispanic this year is for John McCain. Trust me the Hispanic community does not trust OBAMA. Just ask the Cuban in FLORIDA, and the Mexican down at Arizona, Texas, NM, MI, NV, OH, PA, NJ, CT they all going top vote for John McCain. John McCain is the one that is going to protect the citizens of the United States. NOT OBAMA. He is not for the Hispanic all he doing is brainwashing the Hispanic community. That is why they did not vote for him in the primary. All Hillary Latinos supported will support John McCain.

    Liberals Dem get over it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  19. Democratslovetohate

    I love all the hatred you people have for a candidate.

    How incredibly sad.

    You all wanted a Democratic Congress and look what it's gotten us. Higher prices on everything.

    Good job.

    June 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  20. I'mVotingforMcCain

    Those people aren't fit to tie John McCain's shoes.

    June 28, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  21. Dreno

    Hey DrMan... I didn't see anything here considered "racist", in fact nobody even mentioned it, but YOU! You got some issues you need to deal with?

    June 28, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |

    It is not mature for people to act this way, hecklers just want attention for thereselves...John McCain cares about America and will be the best canadate for the president...I will vote John McCain for President

    June 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  23. saga for Obama

    McCain working on the weekend...gee, he must be desperate. McCain does not flip flop, he belly flops.

    McCain= ties to the mob
    McCain= WAR, while Exxon gets richer in Iraq with no bid contracts
    McCain=higher food prices
    McCain= more drug trafficking into the US
    McCain=pandering to the very same lobbyist while food and gas prices sky rocket out of control
    McCain=war in Iran
    McCain=the worst of this country...Greed and ignorance

    June 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  24. mike

    Ron, terrorists are not shaken by words. You are correct there. However terrorists are moved by actions. Such as foreign policies that oppress their peoples, beliefs, ideas, or rape their resources. The sooner conservatives realize we need to have dialogue with other nations, including those we dont agree with, the sooner the terrorists will realize that we may be looking for positive solutions, not aggressive solutions, and start to tame their rhetoric.

    June 28, 2008 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  25. Desmond

    McCain rightly had a problem with the hecklers. But then is obnoxious enough to denigrate a former President as "lousy"?????
    McCain, in my opinion, is DEAD WRONG

    June 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
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