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. Paul in Dallas

    I feel much the same as Charles above who wrote about the importance of civility. I too am a supporter of Senator Obama. I think the quality of discourse has descended very deep. "McBush" and "Obamabots" are really hateful words. These are peoples' names. We can all disagree and be civil. I don't agree with Senator McCain on very much at all, but do respect his views, his service to our nation. Both of these man are United States Senators and should be treated with a little bit of respect. It's as if we are at war with each other. Senator McCain and Senator Obama have much more respect for each other than do most of their supporters.

    June 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  2. D.R.

    Obama is flip flopping again:
    On the issues of Public funding, Iran, Nuclear Power, etc., etc., etc.

    I thought his campaign was change, yet he exemplifies the same old Washington politics that he is trying to distance himself from.

    I think he meant 'CHANGE MY POSITION ALL THE TIME'. That is change we can believe in because he has changed his position, and hence it is true he is flip flopping.

    McCain '08 for Hillary '12

    June 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Joe Utha

    mccains go home sleep with Cindey. war war war war war war thats all mccain stands for and shipping out jobs to china or india. mccain please please please just quit we dont need you. obama 08!!!

    June 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Brad, Iowa

    Well handled by McCain. Just remember that these people don't represent liberalism just like Dobson doesn't represent conservatism. How obnoxious.

    June 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  5. aaron from minneapolis

    This is an example of how democrats act in a dishonerable way??? I don't think so. How about republicans posing as life long democrats and starting up Anti Obama websites? That's dishonerable and cowardly. At least these women represented themselves and did a great job bringing to attention the war crimes this current addministration has done. This war was started on lies.

    Republican strategy:
    frear and smear

    June 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. Josie WA

    WAR IS NOT PRO LIFE war for oil is murder!

    June 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. basanti

    if you look at my previous comments- im not a Bush fan- but we must give credit where its due. To get Lybia in line and now North Korea- there must be something right that the current admn has done.

    June 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. aware

    Obama supporters are extremely rude and devisive! Obama is gaining the "most polarizing candidate" title! 😦

    June 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. aware

    Obama supporters are extremely rude and divisive! Obama is gaining the "most polarizing candidate" title!

    June 28, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Fred - PUMA

    I am all for PEACE. But do you peace heads know that peace comes at a price. Do you know that every day, there are fanatics out there plotting to do harm to us JUST BECAUSE.... what ever their own agenda may be.

    Like it or not, you get to be the biggest power in the world (for now) not by playing nice, nice... You have to have the gumption to right what is wrong and to put yourself out there. Look at China, it is an economic powerhouse. Every country probably owes it money. It is not known as the most powerful country in the world BECAUSE it has no interest in any other country beyond itself. China could care less if other countries slaughter themselves up. You do not become a powerful country by standing on the side lines...

    While other countries may hate us, know that this hate is by way of envy.

    We are no longer an economic powerhouse,,,, we CANNOT afford NOT TO BE a Military powerhouse.

    Wake up Bambi women... I am a woman myself, my husband was injured twice in Vietnam. I am not for war... but I know war is a NECESSARY evil.

    Think about it, do you honestly our economy will maintain let alone flourish if we get another 9/11 ? Do you know if our malls were bombed by a suicide bomber (very easy to do, don't you think?), our infrastructure,, bridges, roads..bombed. etc... who will be out there
    shopping and sustaining our economy. Would you be out there? Would tourist come here, Would you go shopping, or even take the bridge to work ?

    Don't you know that every day some attack of some sort is thwarted without it coming to our public attention ?

    All these anti war talk is well and good but don't you guys know that the era of peace heads don't work anymore.
    I am not even a McCain supporter – my heart is with Hillary all the way and no I will not vote Obama the farce. Give McCain a chance to debate – have respect and hear what he has to say. At the end, vote to protect our country – she will protect us... we need a patriotic person for this Presidency.

    June 28, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Samuel

    I cannot say that I like all of McCains Ideas but I certainly do not want to see a Maxist Idealist take the White House either. Both the Dems and the Repubs have had almost 232 years since this country became a sovereign nation to get it together and make things work in Government.
    This is why since age 18 I have voted the Independant Parties (Reform or Constitution Parties) right down the ballot. The two main players have spent more time bickering instead of working to fix the problems of Unemployment, Homelessness and Health Care Insurance. We need someone who is going to address things down the middle so it can include all of us regarless of our Political Beliefs.

    Stop the yelliing and start the Voting!!!

    June 28, 2008 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  12. Fred - PUMA

    And stupid comments like J. Dean of Juno Beach above just shows how stupid some people are. They should just watch TV or something. If you don't have anything constructive or productive to say – whether it is right or wrong , drink some beer or Kool Aid (Obama should have plenty) and watch some mindless TV.

    June 28, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. G Margate, FL

    McCain belongs to a nursing home not the white house.

    Democrat all the way.

    June 28, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. jackie

    Everyone deserves respect regardless of whether we agree with him or not. At least give a person the opportunity to state their position before deciding to heckle.

    June 28, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Lisa

    Was McCain speaking civil when he attacked former President Carter without justification – just because he wanted to? Was McCain being civil when he uses profanity in the Senate? Or when he calls his wife vulgar names in public?

    June 28, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. CA Loves Obama!

    What a delusion to think he can actually win the Latino vote! Come to my beautiful state of California and see how much you are liked by the Latino community here, McCain. NOT!

    McCain doe snot stand a hope in hell winning the Latino vote. MOVE ON to the blue-collar folks who are resisting Obama because of his color..you may win there.

    June 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. New Day

    Its McCain's own fault. He has lost his way. He won the nomination because of his maverick past and, now, has chosen to appease Bush republicans rather than the American people, as a whole.

    June 28, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. km

    Doesn't matter how loudly they ell..the bush administration has their own agenda about spreading democracy aronund the world....it makes no difference what the people of this country thinks about it. Just ask Cheney...when asked how he felt about the majority of Americans that believe Iraq is a mistake and he responded, 'so.'

    June 28, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. nosky

    You Obama folks scare me. Do you know what "your" guy stands for? I bet not because all he does is speak in platitudes. He is the ultimate politician - he will say anything to get elected. One moment he speaks about the ugly divide in Washington, and the next he is ripping his opponent - whether it be Hillary or McCain.

    By the way, why is Obama too chicken to debate McCain in a townhall format? He wouldn't have his script with him and then the truth about Obama being an empty suit would come out.

    And in regards to all of your cute names for McCain, how about the conservatives start a chant ... No'bama. Nay, that would be too childish.

    June 28, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Mark G

    McBush, McSame, you deserve what you got old boy. You and your party are toast in November

    June 28, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  21. seah

    Code Pink those are obama backers and bundlers.

    Figures Obama to have low lives do his dirty work.

    June 28, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. carepi

    I guess that was, wel let me see.... FREDOM of Speech?

    americans, it is time to hold the bush administration accountable for war crimes and violation of the geneva convention of POWs. We are a country of honor love and LAW.
    the president can't change the international law as he pleases.

    Down with bush, cheney and those CROOKS!

    June 28, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. Sal

    that's awesome, no chance for "skeletor with a comb over"

    Obama in '08

    June 28, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Ardnuas

    Thank you to the people with the guts to speak out!!!!

    June 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. Chris

    I'm an independent, but when I see people act that way it makes me immediately hate their cause.

    June 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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