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. CB

    He looks angry...his temper scares me.

    June 28, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. outsider

    mcwar has nothing other than war to offer America, crazy warmonger

    June 28, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. hector sanchez


    June 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  4. hector sanchez


    June 28, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. hector sanchez


    June 28, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. Greg

    Why do we get a heckling story when Bobby Jindal, one of McCain's possible VP choices and an apparent Rebublican wonder boy, is facing a credible and serious recall petition in Louisiana after being in office only 6 months?

    June 28, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Another Latino for McCain

    As a Latino, these planted hecklers by the Obama camp and MoveOn.org are an insult not only to the people that took part in the event but also to Latinos everywhere. This is a sad misrepresentation of Hispanics and I don't appreciate it one bit.

    June 28, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. EMT

    A man who was a POW and viciously tortured gets accused of war crimes by people who have never served their country? A man who refused an offer of release from prison to prevent a PR victory for his captors is told he has no courage?

    Sorry, my irony alarm just exploded.

    What you have here is current liberal philosophy at it's most basic level: if you don't agree with us, you're a war criminal. If you don't agree with us, we will do nothing more productive than scream at you and wave signs. No debate, no ideas.

    Just yelling and obstructivism.

    June 28, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. hector sanchez

    OBAMA 08!

    June 28, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. henry of cleveland

    mcain first of all alot of us werent born during jimmy carters term so comparing obama with carter is irrevelavant

    June 28, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Obama / Clinton 2008

    I am a proud Democrat, but I do not support hecklers. Peaceful protests should not disrupt others freedom of speech.

    I agree that McWar knows nothing about peace, but he should be free to spew his bad policy nonetheless.

    Obama / Clinton 08!

    June 28, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. Jan

    Mr> McCain If you want to be elected you must consider stopping this liars war. Its not right what is happening to Innocent Iraq citizens. Why for ALL our sakes cant you see both sides of this, that is what a good president would do . Nothing in Iraq is worth the hair on a head of one of our soldiers, let alone the cost of it all from now on .Its not too late for you to change your mind sir and I hope you do.

    June 28, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. McCain does =War

    Go Code Pink.

    Code Pink = True Feminists

    Not Closet Republicans claiming that because Hillary lost they'll vote for McCain. So cry all you want but real women no a real feminist when we see/hear one. You folks are hurting women with your crazy rants.

    June 28, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Mike in NYC

    ("Islamic Nutcases." "Mayan Calendar." Garbage like this gets through, and I'm still in moderation. Says a lot, doesn't it?)

    June 28, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  15. Patrick Peavy Dallas,TX

    Wow, those ladies really made fools out of themselves and their positions on the issue.

    June 28, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Jason

    Why are they called HECKLERS and not Protestors?

    June 28, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  17. judy, Wisconsin

    The Republicans are not used to any dissent. Just look at Bush's scripted audiences for the past 8 yrs.. You're not allowed into his events (even the press conferences if you aren't worshipping the party line. Thank God for people with some courage, we'd still be fighting the Vietnam War if people hadn't protested. Get used to our freedom McBush because we have awakened!

    June 28, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Shannon

    Why are Obama supporters afraid to let anyone else talk, why do they hate all people that have a different viewpoint from them. Let McCain talk, either you will agree with him or you won't. This idea that we all have to walk in lock step with Obama is disturbing. If you don't agree with him you're a racist. It reminds me of the Bush regime, if you didn't agree with them you were a traitor. Come on Obama let people talk, tell your supporters to stop being so hate filled. Is this an example of how unite us.

    June 28, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. LJ in Cypress

    I don't even know why the media and others refer to the iraq adventure as a "War". Why not label it for what it really was...an invasion by a government with far superior military capabiliites than the vanquished....and for reasons that are rather transparent.....to seize control of an area of the world that some deem to be of strategic interest to us. Why not have an honest dialogue about it. I'm willing to listen to any conservative explain to me if it's morally justifiable for the US to abndon it's long history of only attacking countries who have attacked us first...and shifting to a new paradign, where we try and be proacative and remove govenmens whose leaders that we believe in the future could cause us problems. Maybe they have a legitimate point to make......But it least, let's discuss it honestly. By the way from a strictly legal point of view, does anyone out there know what the legal justiciation for the invasion was?

    June 28, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Phil From VA

    Old man Mcsame, stay home and rest.

    June 28, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Ellie in Aurora, CO

    PUMA women – Pay Attention! (That is, if you are not all republican chaos instigators in disguise!)

    McCain has not been a friend to women his entire life! Including his current wife – read about the names he has called her in anger.

    Bill Clinton disrespected Hillary about as much as any husband can, with his constand affairs and lies to her about them.

    Obama treats Michelle like a queen, clearly loves and respects her.

    Now, who do you want championing women's issues in the White House?

    June 28, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  22. Drew, Appleton, Wisconsin

    Sorry to say it folks, but heckling, booing and general incivility to the candidates isn't some phenomena of the past 20 years ... it goes back to the days Washington nashed his wooden teeth in frustration at some loudmouth in the crowd.

    The difference now is the saturated coverage of said incivility.

    June 28, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  23. Kevin

    I seem to remember most Americans supporting the war along with McCain and most of the senate. McCain does not want the situation in Iraq to continue but he fears a bloodbath if we pull out too fast, that is just common sense. Obama has not told us what he would do if he started bringing troops home and Iraq started to implode. I hope this question will be asked at one of the debates. Obviously it won't be at a town hall style debate because Obama is to afraid to attend these.

    June 28, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  24. J

    Wow, you liberals are all flash and no substance. How can you vote for someone who represents "change" when you dont even know HOW he is going to do it. Its ridiculous, at least McCain tells us how he plans to honor his changes. I dont like either candidate really but ill never vote for a socialist!

    McCain 08

    June 28, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. @everyamericans

    McBush is soooooo OLD he will be retiring in peace soon, but he wants our young kids to continue to die in Iraq for 100yrs more.

    McShame = War

    June 28, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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