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. Alex

    that is why foreign nations love obama, most people do not want wars, bah

    June 28, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Cathy in MD

    McCain has been heckled a number of times during his campaign. Instead of “laughing it off,” maybe he should take a moment to listen. There are some angry customers who don’t like the service. He apparently prefers to dismiss them.

    June 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. R.O.B.

    Aww, poor John McCain. haha

    OBAMA '08

    June 28, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  4. Ethel

    McCain is out of touch with American voters. We want him to go away and enjoy his retirement. Barack Obama is clearly the candidate of "this time". Republicans should think about what is best for this country and join the Obama movement. It is a clear indication of "power hungry" for John McCain. The state of this nation is worse due to people like McCain who want to lead us for personal gain without consciously considering the well being of all.

    June 28, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  5. Peachy Keen

    The truth hurts doesn't it John. Sadly, it is hurting the American people. Thankfully, you will be out of our hair the first week of November.

    June 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. patrick

    Why am i not surprised?, Hell i would have applauded the women myself. John Mccain is pandering to the Latino community and that is the ONE thing the Hispanic community does know and beleive about Mccain. As much as Mccain is touted as a war hero and maverick, i truly beleive it could be a issue that could lose him this election in November.

    Piece of advice to Mccain....

    As loyal as hispanics have been to fighting for this country, proposing a lengthy war along with proposing tightening immigration laws does not = latino vote!

    June 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  7. K

    Yes McCain would like it if people stopped yelling and just shut up and do as he says

    June 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Moderates Unite!

    Code Pink wackos....what a bunch of idiots

    June 28, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Liberals hate free speech

    Don't like your ideas? We'll shout you down.

    So much for public discourse. Disgusting.

    June 28, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Guy Kasweka, Toronto

    I hope McCain sympathizes with the Hecklers. War was a bad idea from the start and it's still is now. McCain=Bush so far

    June 28, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    and it starts...

    June 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Greg FL.

    He supports the war and that is a fact. I also believe he will come up with some more excuses why we have to stay there if he's elected. A vote for McCain is a vote for a continuation of a war policy in the Middle East.

    June 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Venus

    This is why McSame like to stage his townhall meetings that way he doesn't have to deal with protesters!

    Go Bam!

    June 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. patrick

    LMAO, if John Mccain is watching Obama's reception to the NALEA conference, then he should REALLY be sick to his stomach. Now what Obama got was what you call a excited and warm reception.

    John Mccain.....what happened??


    June 28, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Obama: 2nd Term Carter

    Protest are one good thing about the USA. It is done mant times to both running. It must be a slow news day.

    June 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Chris in NY

    Every event is bound to have a nut or two eager to get attention. Sounds like McCain handled it well.

    June 28, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. ray

    If you vote McWar you get more of McSame

    BO 08 !

    June 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. Just John

    I find it funny when peace protestors try to pick fights. These kind of people are just as bad as the religous wackos who stand on college campus's yelling to everyone that they are going to hades. They are all more interested in bringing attention to themselves instead of working to actually get something done.

    June 28, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Suziku

    I heartily agree with the protesters! mcbush/mcsame=WAR and more of the same!!!!

    June 28, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Paul

    McCain roots for terrorist attacks on US soil so he can reap a political gain. This man is sick and should be heckled out of the country.

    June 28, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. NJ for Obama

    After all the women are not voting for McCain .....ahhh McWar/McBush????

    June 28, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. Dan

    I don´t agree with many of the stances that John Mc Cain has taken recently and will not support him for president, but I find it very troubling that people are so rude to a heckle a candidate for having different opinions. People have a right to voice their opinions in a civilzed manner. He was given a format in which to speak and voice those opinions and so have others who have opposing ones. It is not imperative to drown out another opinion with your own. If both arguments are given equal time and respect, the better opinion will always win out. It is my hope that my fellow countrymen and women as well as CNN will bring back some civility and honor to politics. This is not a sporting event; treating politics in this manner only cheapens and distorts our democracy.

    June 28, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  23. Willy

    Liberals: No facts just shouting dopey talking points. Shame she had the chance to ask an educated question to the next POTUS,

    June 28, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  24. Kim

    Obamabots just trying to cause trouble for old McCain. Bet any one that they were really dissapointed that he didn't respond. See the Obama nut jobs are scared and they use dishonorable tatics to try and cause problems.

    McCain '08

    June 28, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    All I can say is, good for those hecklers. Wish I could have been there to help them out, but I am with them in spirit.

    June 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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