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. Ian M

    Gonna go down in flames in November...

    June 28, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. lightbulb

    Prosperity follows when war ends, during war it's death, destruction, poverty, crime and almost every other evil you can think of. No more wars John, we've had enough. You follow the path of the worst president in the history of this country and you want our support. Time for you to retire. As for your comment about serving our country for a long time, I would respect that if you did it gratis and took no money or other gratuity for your service.....but you didn't, you were well paid...very well paid, I wish I had the opportunity "to serve" in our government like you have. I can vote on bills too or follow the party line. We may never return to the honorable position this country held in the world before the invasion of Iraq so we've done ourselves a disservice there. In addition, with all the miles and miles of concrete barriers and checkpoints in Baghdad and other parts of Iraq how can these people ever feel free?? It's time for change, and you won't be a part of it. Accept that fact and you'll be a lot better off for it.

    June 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  3. Concerned

    John McCain is trying his very best at pretending that he is about change. John McCain needs to come up with his own campaign platform and stop riding on Obama's coat tail.

    McCain wants this sooooo bad that he is willing to do and say anything to get elected.

    John George McCain Bush is what we as American will get if they get elected.

    VOTE for John George McCain Bush if you want many more years of living like we're a third world country.

    June 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Vaughn

    Weekends off? Hiding from the voters, John? Guess you don't really want to hear from young men and women, their parents, their kids, and their friends about the prospect of endless war. Or from veterans who you refuse to help in their attempt to go back to school.

    It's so nice when you can kick back on Saturdays and Sundays and plan how you're going to turn other peoples' lives into chaos, in the peace and quiet of your own vacation retreat.

    June 28, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Last Honest man

    Bring back the Sedition Act and Alien Act. We are at war. Unpopular as that is..........we are.

    June 28, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  6. Charles

    I'm an Obama supporter, but Senator McCain is absolutely right about this, political discourse in this country has devolved into two sides yelling past each other. Slogans and sound bites don't amount to debate, we need a civilized discussion about the issues if this country is going to move forward.

    June 28, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  7. Herman in LA

    Oh well... it is what it is... and he want's to keep this war going...

    June 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  8. DrMan

    Good thing this didn't happen at a rally for B. Hussein Obama. They'd immediately be called racist.

    June 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  9. Richard Joseph

    That's McCain for you. He has the guts to stand up in front of anyone, including people that disagree with him, and try to work out the issues. But, that's CNN for you, they instead choose to carry "MCain speach disrupted by hecklers" in their title, instead of "McCain receives standing ovation". Meantime, the press is covering the fact that Obama's tie matches Hillary's outfit as they both pay each other off.

    Independent in NH

    June 28, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  10. Herman in LA

    Oh well... it is what it is... and he want's to keep this war going...

    June 28, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. La Mambisa

    I'm proud of my Latina sisters calling McBush to account for his war stance. We do need a peace candidate and McCain does = war.

    June 28, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Steve

    Hang in there, John! You're a good man and a solid, experienced candidate. You're plain-spoken, no fancy empty rhetoric, and since you say it the way it is, you are often criticized. It's just like with Hillary, so many Obama supporters never heard what she had to say or understood her record. They simply denigrated her to help build up their candidate. It's a sad state of affairs, but. . .please keep getting your message out (and let us see some more of that sense of humor once in a while).

    June 28, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. ulet alexander

    if abama was heckled there would be a video. see obama is not liked by the public, it would say.

    June 28, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  14. Republican for Obama

    It takes real courage to understand that the war in Iraq is crippling our American economy. It takes real courage to set deadlines, and to see America from a different perspective. I don't want John McCain as my president. The world can't withstand another four years of McBush policies. It just can't!

    Social security works! Don't touch my social security. Some can't rely on grandma from cashing out her social security and taking it to the casino!!!

    June 28, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  15. john vines Florida

    McCain is out of step and out of touch,,,he could care less about the struggles of the average American.He knows he will never have worry about the price of a gallon of gas,or the cost of a loaf of bread,and he and his family have a lifetime health care plan.What do you and i have?

    June 28, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. go away mongers- Ventura ca

    The Latino vote is very important- and the Latino community KNOWS they don't have a friend in McSame.

    June 28, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  17. J.C.

    McCain will do everything he can to prevent a war. He was extremely anti-waterboarding, because he had suffered from tortures for more than five years. He has the first hand experience in the cruelty of what one human being can do to others. He will be the only president in decades that knows what wars are. He will not send our men and women in harm's way if it's not absolutely necessary.

    I may disagree with him on some issues, but Senator McCain is not for wars.

    June 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. RepublicansContinue

    And he wants to give these people amnesty.

    Speak english, come here legaly or GET OUT!

    McCain, I am a republican and to tell you the truth my big issue is ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, you sir are a joke about this. You want to praise these criminals with giving them citizenship the easy way. Send them back home and make them earn it like every other LEGAL immigrant.

    My vote will be going to Barr because he is the true Republican in this election. I will vote for whoever is going to oppose illegal immigration. McCain and Obama are both a joke on this issue.

    June 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Let People be People

    I may not care for the politics of McCain, but he as we should be allowed to voice his position without interruptions. That being said, the war in Iraq that wants to continue has already been lost. We will never be able to replace the 4000 American lives. I for the life of me can't understand why anyone would put faith and trust in an individual who wants to continue policies that have led to where we are now. Misled into a war that has killed thousands of God's children, deregulation that has allowed gas prices to skyrocket and add more harm to the poorest of us, deregulation that has caused the housing crisis........etc

    This is a very dismal time for us.....who can deliver us from ourselves?

    June 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. Raymond Wikert

    Shouting down a political candidate. These left wingers are using the same tactic the Nazis used to get Hitler "elected" to lead Germany. See how well that worked out.

    June 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. Jennie L

    Finally a story about McCain...and look here...no picture of Obama....

    June 28, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. Archie H.

    Just goes to show you what kind of people who would force their mantra on the rest of us! Liberal ideology is one of belittling hate and and our way is the only way! No manners no discussion just get out our plans for you underlings!

    June 28, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. Okon

    This is just the beginning

    Obama 08, 12

    June 28, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Hispanic For McCain

    Hispanic for John McCain. The Hispanic community in New York mainly the Puertorican Nation will support John McCain. They are serveral puertorican supporting OBAMA Like Congressman Jose Serrano and a couple more, but the majority of the Puerto Rican will support Jon McCain. Just ask the folks in the Bronx, they do not trust OBAMA and that OBAMA all he did was take all the money and run! The Cuban in FL will go to McCain, the Mexican in AR will go to McCain, the mexican in CA, TX, NV, NM, CO. will all go to John McCain. The media and the Democrate Liberal all they want is to start a war between Blacks and Hispanic. This election 2008 latinos will support John McCain, because he bring better issues to this great country of ours. Many of Clinton supported amoung the Hispanic will vote for John McCain!!!!!!! not OBAMA!!! He present the the liberals.

    Michigan, Florida, Ohio, will go to John McCain REMEMBER Count the Votes and OBAMA did not wanted to count the votes.

    John McCain for President NOT OBAMA

    June 28, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. Matthew

    I am suprised that there were not more protestors in there. McCain has stood side by side with Bush on 95% of his votes this year and 100% last year. He is a flip flooper and has not really released too much substance on his 5 1/2 years as a POW. The son of a Navy Admiral is captured after he crashes a 5th naval plane. The Vietnamese knew who they had and I believe that he was not tortured nearly as bad as the unknown, unpoliticsized POW was.

    June 28, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
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