June 28th, 2008
11:52 AM ET
6 years ago

McCain speech disrupted by several hecklers

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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)

    And when did congress declare war on Iraq, Tejano? Did I miss something? Last time I checked, congress had never declared war on Iraq.
    To Mr. McCain's credit, I don't agree with the liberal protesters in more than likely most of their views, and I certainly do not agree with the way they delivered their message. I do agree with their position against the war, albeit likely for different reasons.

    June 28, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Larry

    Should've been McCain in 2000, instead of Bush. Just like it should be Hillary in 2008 instead of Borat.

    June 28, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. POTUS?

    HEY HEIDI.....GROW UP AND START ACTING LIKE AN ADULT UNLESS YOU'RE NOT.
    WHEN A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE GIVES A SPEECH....
    YOU GIVE THEM THE RESPECT OF SHUTTING UP YOUR MOUTH!

    "YES WE CAN"????
    ONLY GOES TO SHOW YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN DISCIPLINED MORE AS THE CHILD / INFANT YOU SOUND LIKE!

    June 28, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Lee

    Heckling is rude. However sometimes it is the only way to get your point across to a party that isn't really interested in real people. I am a little tired of people saying that if we support our troops we must support our president. Under bush we have all endured hardship in one way or another. Bring the troops home.

    June 29, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
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