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. Vivienne

    Oh good. Hopefully we are getting ready to discuss our "illegal" problem... It needs to be discussed. Nothing unresolved in America is ever good for her.

    June 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. Rob indetroit

    who want's to hear a nutcase like John Mccain talk the man needs a diaper chang.

    June 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. landi

    For a while old john almost lost his temper.

    June 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. nate

    Code Pink are nuts but McCain is an awful candidate. The Repub party knows they have no shot due to Bush and they are throwing him to the dogs.

    June 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  5. lil

    DrMan, Everyone knows Obamas name middle is Hussein, but nobody cares.
    Most people only care about the price of gas, Not losing there home to
    forecloser, their jobs to layoff or cut backs,and being able to buy food to feed their family and health care for their children and themselves.
    I dont think most working people care about a name at this time.
    As far as racism is concerned you dont know the meaning of it.

    June 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Bishop

    ...and just look at that face. He like: "I thought that coming out on a Saturday would be the best way to lose her..."

    June 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Roger

    Hmm deja vu. When I read these posts and hear about Obama's supporters insulting McCain, I am reminded of how they treated Hillary during her campaign. I don't think that I will ever be able to vote for Obama. Every ounce of my soul tells me to vote for McCain.

    June 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Robbie

    We SHOULD be demanding peace from these criminals!

    June 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. Bob G.

    Barry for "Emperor of the Universe" and John for "President of the God Bless the USA".

    June 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. linchristi

    Honestly, do you think Obama is going in there and the war is over just like that..Please, i would trust someone to be there and end the war correctly than go with someone who has NO idea what to do but just bank on change..

    We had inexperience for 8 years, and I wouldnt take that chance again with another inexperienced guy..

    Bush hadnt even visited Europe, Middle East or Asia until started running for President. Sounds like Obama, as an adult he hasnt left the states..Another inexperienced guy!

    June 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Brian

    McCain's campaign is PUBLICLY funded so these hecklers have EVERY right to state their opinions on his stands.... WE ALL are funding his campaign HE has to listen to us!

    June 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. fred

    Wait...........Why is it that when liberals call McCain names, there's nothing wrong with it, but if anyone says anything about Obama, they are "playing childish name-calling games." Liberals need to grow up.

    June 28, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Harry C

    The heckles had it right! How many more American's must die before McCain gets the picture???

    June 28, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. susie

    Obama should not send hecklers to McCain's events.

    June 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Molly

    Obama even PAYS hecklers – we all know he PAYS for pro-obama blogs – NOW to attend events!!!! – NOT at all surprised!
    Anyone who dares to BOO – the BO – is called a Racist!
    Obama and his "group" are FRAUDS! Too bad you have to pay people to boo – the real QUALIFIED candidates.
    At lease McCain can talk – actually answer direct questions – without a prepared speech. Where is the Obama Debate??????

    June 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Wisconsin

    Look McCain and his cronies are the ones pushing the yelling anything at people politics


    June 28, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  17. 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 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  18. Jags

    McCain=War? McCain wants the war done as much as we all do but he also wants to make sure that we dont ruin what has already been achieved. Obama says he can have the troops out in 16 months. Admirable, no doubt there. But shortsighted. The violence will increase as troops are withdrawn and without the backup of the troops that have been taken out, more troops will die resulting in a faster withdrawl leaving a country of violence and a government without the strength to stop it. We will see even more attacks on the US and less stability in the middle east if this happens. Then war will really happen, then Obama will have no choice but to send them back in after promising to remove them and he will be called a liar for doing such. Maybe going over there was wrong in the first place, but I agree that we do need to make sure it doesnt become worse by turning tail and running.

    June 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  19. Fella from Chicago

    First of all it's Senator John McCain, not McBush. Otherwise we might have to start referring to Senator Obama as CarBama after the most spineless President who ever sat in the White House; the Democrat Jimmy Carter. I've noticed no protrusion where a spine should be in Obama. Lastly, did anyone check if these three heckler's had green cards or not? The Democratic Congress which has the lowest rating in US history hasn't secured our borders as promised and many illegals are finding themselves able to cross and apparently infiltrating these conferences with ease.

    June 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  20. ELLIOT

    These hecklers are no better then the demonstrators who stopped the FL recount in 2000 (by banging on the doors of the counting station). Why must our country go from one extreme to the other? These hecklers disgraced their cause and country.

    June 28, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. JohnLee

    We do have freedom of speech. If politicians would actually listen to the citizens of America, than maybe people wouldn't have to resort to things like this. If you're going to stand up for the rights of all citizens, this type of action is just as valid as McBush trying to speak!

    June 28, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Bien

    Barack Hussein Obama has no guts to confront this hecklers with dignity and will cry baby of racist.

    Barack Hussein Obama is not worth to be a President of this great country. He is not patriotic, not proud of this country, no respect with the men and women of the uniform and not guts to face terrorist.

    John McCain for President 2008!!!!!

    June 28, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Montana is Obama Country

    watch CSpan for the complete coverage of the canadidate speeches..

    I watched Barack's today and he was great.. !!1 & no hecklers..just a lot of clapping... go latinO voters.... and a standing O...

    I will watch Mchecklers later today...

    Let the games begin....

    June 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  24. Pepou

    100 years in Iraq and he worries about hecklers. He has surprises coming, old McSame.

    June 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  25. charles

    thank God for the hecklers. they represent most of our feelings. shame on you grandpa.

    June 28, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
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