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. Fed up with the lies

    I support Sen. Obama but the hecklers were way out of line. This is a guy that gave above and beyond to his country in Viet Nam. To call him a war criminal is idiotic. I hope none of the three are from Oregon. We already have Tonya Harding and Lars Larson, and don't need any further embarrasing people here.

    June 28, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    The rad babes of Code Pink have _no_ cred at all, and their "demonstrations" are counterproductive for whatever cause they embrace.

    June 28, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. caribbean admirer of OBAMA

    Probably Repugs and other HRC (no Obama) voters who tries to make it appear as if they are Obama supporters. Although I do agree with their point of view.

    Go Obama'08

    June 28, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Jason N.

    Glad to see people already starting to Mess with John McCain. I hope there is more to come. We all appreciate the interruptions that were brought when McCain was talking. What's wrong with people speaking the truth?

    June 28, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Stéphane Ehouman

    Say no to War, Say no to Mccain!

    June 28, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. monica

    Good for them! Heckle away!

    June 28, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Puffin

    I do hope Gloria Arroyo, President of the Philippines will convince McCain that biofuels are a good thing. She is a strong supporter of jathropa based ethanol while McCain is against any subsidies or tax breaks for biofuels, so far.

    June 28, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. Roger

    They were nothing but Obama supporters. Why dosn't CNN just come out and say it. They actually did the same stunts during Hillary's campaigns. Someone should go to Obama's campaigns and yell "Shut up fool! Your a liar and a conman. You are a muslim and you deny it. You was a member of a racist, anti-American church for twenty years." What else is there that we will learn about Obama that is reason not to vote for him. How can his supporters be so blind? Vote for McCain for 100 years of war? He has a son in the war. Don't you think that he dosn't want to be in war. McCain will raise gas prices to $10? McCain was the first to suggest lower gas prices over the holidays. He is the one who is promoting more fuel efficient vehicles and less dependance on foreign oil. What's Obama going to do about the gas prices? I would like to see him walk on water before he gets my vote.

    June 28, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  9. Jon

    And just think of what would happened if that were BHO up there. I'm sure the conservative hecklers would be tasered and called racist.

    June 28, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  10. David Peter

    McBush is a war pig. DUH!

    June 28, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  11. Franky

    Well, that's what you call getting in on the action. I feel bad for the Senator because of his health and hopefully he doesn't snap but since this is the game of politics, you gotta get ready for anything...

    June 28, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. CE

    I have been watching Senator McCain for several months now. He has made many efforts to reach out to groups other than his core supporters.

    He is living up to his reputation for working across party lines for the good of this country.

    One more reason that I am a Democrat who will be voting for McCain.

    June 28, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. David Goldman for OBAMA







    June 28, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  14. Marie

    Gets what he deserves.

    June 28, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Marty FL

    I wish McCain would follow his own advice and lead by example when he says, "...respecting the dignity and rights of citizens..." His remarks towards former President Carter were hardly what many Americans would consider dignified or respectful for a person seeking the highest office in this nation.

    When Obama makes a point, he at least conducts himself as a statesman by agreeing to disagree.

    Here is an example: I can understand the frustration these protesters were feeling towards the war; however, heckling someone during a speech is not the most constructive way to handle it.

    I believe Obama has a responsible approach to bringing the Iraq war to an end so that we can use our resources more constructively going after the ones who attacked us and controlling threats where they originate in Afghanistan.

    Si se puede

    June 28, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Chiswald

    Most Americans are against this war, so when the pro war candidate is heckled, it deserves news coverage.

    June 28, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  17. JustADude

    Well.....thats what happens when you support a War nobody wants.

    June 28, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. David O

    As disrespectful as the protesters might have been, and they were, it dosen't take from the fact that this McCain guy is a warmonger and will lead us to many more wars.

    June 28, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  19. I Used To Be A Democrat

    If protesters do this to Obama, will they be labeled racists?

    June 28, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  20. Obama - Nation

    Old man Mustard.......

    June 28, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. J. Williams

    Tell us more about how much civil political discourse matters, John. How much discourse was there, when Bush sent our troops to Iraq to find nonexistent WMD, and decided to *keep us there* regardless? Or when Bush decided the Constitution didn't mean much, and that it would be just fine to data-mine our phone calls? Or when Bush, Gonzales and Rove thought it a prudent practice to fire attorneys for the sheer fact that they were democrats, or elected by democrats? Or when FEMA houses disaster survivors in FORMALDEHYDE TRAILERS? They can't even store ICE right! Where did civil political discourse get us then?

    Please, someone tell me more about how effective political discourse is.

    June 28, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  22. Texas Trail Dog


    June 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Georgia for Obama

    Democrats Unite! End the War.

    Obama 08

    June 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. jeff

    oh....boy! seems like a grand...pa is getting into trouble.

    June 28, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Bishop

    Haven't seen anyone heckling Obama....hmmmmm...does that mean that McCain really isn't the best candidate for the job....

    June 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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