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. joe

    in as much as American people(mccain )would not want people yelling at each other...i think what is more dangerous is figthing one another or fighting some stupid wars that brings nothing but sorrow to hundreds of thousands of families and thousands of families in America ...YELLING IS MUCH BETTER THAN FIGHTING MY FRIEND

    June 28, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  2. Brian

    Poor manners and name calling are never the right approach. Calm, rational debate is what this Country needs. Let the ideas speak for themselves and take the hysteria out of the argument.

    June 28, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  3. REG in AZ

    When George W. Bush told the American people, the world and the congress that there was sufficient justification for attacking Iraq, he lied. Today the American people realize that, just as the world has all along. When he said that American drugs brought back into the U.S. would be unsafe, he lied to support his position, as he did when he said Global Warming wasn’t a real problem. He lied, as did many others in his administration, when he said his administration had nothing to do with releasing the CIA agent’s identity and again when he stated that squelching the wiretapping story during an election year was done for national security reasons and not just for political reasons. When he offered that Afghanistan was relatively secure, the War on Terror was succeeding and it wasn’t a problem to focus instead on Iraq and then frequently again throughout the Iraq campaign he used ‘rational lies’ in reporting status. On and on, private accounts for Social Security, Tax Cuts for the wealthy, trade agreements resulting in exported American jobs and taxes, the humongous deficit isn’t a problem,,, George W. Bush and his staff have freely reverted to exaggerations, rationalizations, intentional deceptions,, simply lies while they pursued their own private agenda and now today everyone understands that to be the reality … but how often have we actually heard it said? When have you ever heard a reporter say, ‘Well the president (or his staff) has told another whopper today’? Not the media, not the Democrats, not any whistle blower with merit, not any responsible Republican with a conscience, not even any Christian or community leader, not anyone with credibility has ever come out and exposed or condemned the flagrant and arrogant lying that the Bush administration has so consistently indulged in. Why? Is there that much power behind them, to control the media and put fear in everyone else? And if that is true, where does that leave us? One by one, separately the individual lies can be taken and rationalized, covered over and explained using more lies but together they tell the real story … we are simply being taken for granted and repeatedly lied to. Maybe it is felt that calling them on their lies or disrespectfully calling the President a liar would serve no purpose and might even be counter-productive but, as we have drastically seen, that then only condones and encourages more of the same. It is well past time for change! We desperately need change from the Bush-Cheney abuse and private use of our government and we really need change from Washington as usual!

    June 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Hispanic For McCain

    Good comments by Bayou Joe, all accept that John McCain will protect this great country of ours. Hispanic people will decide on John McCain. The Cuban, Puertorican, the Mexican and all the Lationos community will vote for John McCain and NOT ON OBAMA!!!!!!!

    Hispanic for McCain a true Hero

    June 28, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. from Az

    Part of the same bunch that boo-hooed Carter for jawboning us about conservation, weaning ourselves from fossil fuels and talking to folks unlike ourselves ...some of them thought then they were right ...the rest where just planning ahead.

    June 28, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Douglas Democrat

    Anyone who tells me to shut up and sit down better be ready to force me to do so, or have me arrested.

    I am an American citizen too, and I have the right (defended by my father and grandfather) to speak out when I see injustice. And this war, and the things our overextended and nearly broken military have suffered through, is unjust.

    I respect McCain's service as a military man, but as a politician I can not respect him because his ideas are straight out of the not-so-good old days.

    June 28, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Obama/Hillary 08

    Iran Nucular program is disruptive to the world. The googler is a very useful search engine. The internets is so amazing.

    June 28, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  8. Proud Vet

    bayou joe, there is plenty marshland in the bayou, take a long walk there....Obama´s intellect vs mc c what?

    and I served in NAM.....sorry to tell you, young men and wamen are not willing to die for this lie of a war....and mc c tough? please I laugh at that ad

    June 28, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. vw


    If you do not vote for McCain or Clinton, who can protect you here?

    June 28, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. James Lyons(Peoria, IL)

    Bayou Joe,

    No offense, but did the facts presented above have absolutely no effect on your opinion? It isn't our job to go across the world and install democracies, just because their citizens do not share the same civil liberties our country still has. Our early leaders, some who wrote the constitution, instructed us against such action. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Quincy Adams were all staunch opponents to foreign intervention.
    The brave soldiers, your son included, are great patriots, however their patriotism and courage has been taken advantage of by politicians supporting and even advocating an unconstitutional foreign policy. The soldiers deserve better than that from our leaders, who also take an oath of office to defend the constitution.
    The Islamic radicals you speak of would be better defeated not by our standing army, but by the lack thereof. A significant motivation factor for the hatred they harbor for us is our involvement in the political and military affairs of the Middle East. I think your statement about McCain continuing the fight in that region is correct, but the only reward we would get from this continued "war on terror" is more blowback.

    June 28, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Dan

    Hamas for Obama !

    June 28, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Proud Vet

    I meant to say women

    and tell your friend not to pander the latino vote, our vote is going to another candidaten well worth it and, DESERVING

    June 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg, MD

    Calling John McCain out on his Iraq War stance by every means possible is okay by me. We've seen EVERY protestor sidelined, marginalized and ridiculed by the current sitting President Bush. I can't find it in myself to be angry at people who just want their protestations known.

    So, continue fighting the good fight Code Pink. Maybe get Cindy Sheehan to meet with John McCain and have her grief and concerns be known to the next (if elected, War) President.

    But know this – John McCain is NOTHING like President Bush. Engage him with questions and debate him on his views of the next 4 years. You may even win the debate and change his mind – it's actually POSSIBLE with him. And that's the defining difference of Statemen like John Kennedy and Benjamin Franklin, compared with politicians like George Bush/Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

    June 28, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. Doc Sinn

    The GOP is truly out of gas(pun intended).

    No doubt this will be spun into "Barack Obama supporters are peace fanatics, blah blah". Literally more of the same from the GOP.

    Wouldnt be surprised if they were planted. McCain needs any attention he can get.

    The GOP is a pale pathetic shadow of the great party it once was. And sadly, they know it.

    June 28, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  15. McCain Means War

    Bravo hecklers!

    June 28, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. megaheckling

    ron June 28th, 2008 12:46 pm ET

    when will the obama supporters understand that the terrorist of this world are not influenced by words.

    It doesn't appear the terrorist have been influenced by war either – failure to negotiate prior to invading Iraq was a mistake, however Bush and his cronies had a clandestine agenda that had nothing to do with terrorism or wmd. McCain, this war was based on lies and deception. Let the Heckling begin.

    June 28, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. elaine

    With all of McCain experience he still voted for this stupid war...if this is what experience gets us than I'll go with Obama....he also thinks we were justified for having the Viet Nam war when history has proven that it to was a stupid war.

    June 28, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. Rick

    In 2000, I traveled to Michigan to work for McCain in the campaign. I lived in Wisconsin at the time.

    As an Independent, he represented the sort of change and direction that the Republican party needed at that time.

    But then, after 9/11 he decided to suck up to Bush and became a mainstream Republican (note that I did NOT say a mainstream Conservative.) His independence went out the window with his ideals.

    I cannot and will not vote for him in 2008. Sadly, he has become a de facto clone of Bush and the other NeoCons.

    June 28, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. independent

    for those hillary supporters who said that they would vote for john mccain are racists. they have a personal problem with obama because he is a black man. they are using inexperience as an excuse. deeply, it is because he is black. hillary was white and mccainis white. they will vote for white. i hate this world

    June 28, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Venus

    Tejano... do you mean the Al Qaeda in D.C.? Bush and his thugs?

    We should not be in Iraq! Period!

    I'll support our troops when they are fighting a war we NEED to fight other wise... be proud until one of your love ones are killed!

    Nam was another war we lost!

    June 28, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. fred

    I can bet that in about 100 years, George W. Bush will go down in history as one of our better presidents. Once Afghanistan and Iraq become successful democracies, Bush will deserve all the credit. Just think. He's the one who took down Sadaam Hussein, and he's the one who sent Osama Bin Laden into a cave, far removed from society.

    June 28, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. andrew s. rostolder

    mcain and dubya................ bat boob and boy blunder.............

    June 28, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. linda from South Dakota

    well,, remember,, mccain,, temper, temper,,,, watch your mouth,,,,, maybe those heckers were tryin to tell you something,, maybe listen next time stead of brushing them off,,,, change is a good thing,,,goooooo obama!!!!!!!!

    June 28, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    For the last two 2:56pm crew,
    I think it was hyperbole when saying Third World. At least I didn't read it as if they meant it literally. But, in terms of gov't size, it has increased in size and expenditures under the Republican held Congress from 2001 through 2006. It hasn't changed much in the last 18 months, and that's because President Bush is still spending $$ like a sailor on land. Lastly, good to know that Josh is a $250,000+ a year income earner. Otherwise, Senator Obama clearly lays out that his tax plan will drop tax rates for everone below $250,000.

    And then, Al Qaeda forces here in America? Really, where?
    This was probably just a misspeak. But if you look at any credible report in the last few days, the Taliban is getting really strong again in Pakistan. So, Bush took his eye off the prize in Afghanistan (the Taliban) and they're now escaping prisons and doing all sorts of crazy things. Why? Because we started an unnecessary war in Iraq.

    June 28, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Wendy Gonzalez Berkeley, CA

    Even though this event was a celebration of the Latino community, the CODE PINK trash decided to make it about themselves and hijack the event. I could understand if this was a speech on Iraq or the military. This goes to show that with Code Pink, it is not about the troops, but getting media attention for themselves. What do you expect from an organization headed by someone with the first name "Medea" as in Medea Benjamin? Thank you to the presidential candidates for giving attention to the hispanic community, who WILL be a big voice in November. I may be from the socialist republic of Berkeley, but the racist Code Pink does NOT speak for me! Viva la raza!

    June 28, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
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