September 4th, 2008
10:40 PM ET
3 years ago

'U.S.A.' chant is code to drown out protesters

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McCain worked to calm the crowd after protestors interupted Thursday night.
McCain worked to calm the crowd after protestors interupted Thursday night.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) – In response to early rumors that demonstrators might try to interrupt Republican presidential nominee John McCain's acceptance speech Thursday night, a number of delegations agreed to chant "U.S.A." in order to quell the sound of protesters.

"There's word of a possible demonstration coming. If it does, the chant is 'USA, USA'," a floor whip was overheard telling members in the New York delegation.

Similar whispers were heard from the Alaska delegation clear across to the Louisiana delegation on the other side of the hall only moments before McCain began speaking.

On at least three occasions during the early part of his speech, members of the audience began chanting "U.S.A." in response to protesters, who were then escorted out of the hall.

In one such case, McCain weighed in telling the crowd not to be distracted “by the static…Americans want us to stop yelling at each other.”

soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. David

    Wonder what they would've chanted when the protesters were throwing tea into Boston Harbor.

    Sometimes, protest is the most precious act of patriotism.

    September 4, 2008 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  2. Matt

    The desire for true change in this country is hard to SQUELCH. And spilling into the viper's den itself.

    September 4, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  3. Enough!!!

    McBush is stealing from Obama's plan. Obama has been saying these same things all along. Truth.

    September 4, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  4. Tyler in Raleigh

    Yep, they want to get ignored instead because those pesky people "across the aisle" you want to work with are "static".

    Nice how you dont want to yell at them, you say you want to work with them..... but then you choose to ignore them.

    September 4, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. Karl

    Remember, one of the protester was a iraqi VETERAN with a sign that said "McCain voted against veterans" because he voted against the new GI bill.

    Just remember that at a convention thats supposed to be about military service they shout down a veteran just because they don't believe his message.

    September 4, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  6. Scoti

    I don't understand how the protestors were able to get in and begin to disrupt McCain's speech. I think it broke the mood he was trying to set, but he still talking. How long is this speech going to be?

    September 4, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  7. Obama/Biden 2008 from Nebraska

    I'm a Democrat, but come on...have a little respect. This man has done a lot for America. Let him talk....this is a historic election. I was very upset with the people who tried to interrupt his speech. Even though McCain will not get my vote, he will always have my respect.

    September 4, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  8. Enough!!!

    McBush is plagiarizing Obama's ideas

    September 4, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. Cecil

    Go To Bed Sen. McCain That Was A Weak Showing!

    September 4, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  10. Brian

    Funny...the GOP wants us to believe that they can keep us safe. They can't even keep protesters out of their convention!

    I can't vote for them

    September 4, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  11. No Hillary = No Obama

    And so is the tear gas being used outside the convention center – so what? Boo to CNN and it's propaganda reporting.

    September 4, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  12. matthew

    American's want to use their first amendment rights to speak out against McCain. They may have done that at the Obama speech, but he was surrounded by 80000 average Americans.

    McCain was in a room of delegates. 51% of whom make over $500,000 a year.

    gObama!

    September 4, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. Kerry Chapman

    Well, Democratic Convention Didnt worry about that did they? Because the Jesus Christ Superstar and Woodstock remake
    overwhelmed the demonstrators I suppose. Besides, the
    Rock and Roll was good according to Wolf Blitzer....I don't
    know how many times he brought that out. But like all things
    OBAMA HALO STAR tends show he is just another celeberty.
    He certainly hasnt done anything else in his live, even as
    a senator.

    September 4, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  14. Cheryl Swaim

    Who cares. Power to the people. Run Cynthia run!
    McKinney '08

    September 4, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  15. Pat_Pinehurst NC

    The Republicans seem to be refusing to see a lot of truths. I am starting to agree with the guy who said this convention looks like a neo nazi rally. Where are the Asians, Latinos, Blacks, young people? And why is the Christian right screaming "Country First"? Isn't it "God, family, and then country"?

    September 4, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  16. Reform? or Conform?

    CNN please do a fact check on all the 'accusations' made by McCain, Palin, and others. I know one article on the Huffington post already has done one on Palin's experience and found that she deeply exaggerated quite a bit on her record as a "reformist"..

    McCain is more of the same. To reform Washington to become more conservative is akin to making America step back one century. As an African-American and a woman, I really don't want that to happen.

    To boot, Sarah Palin wants to bring back censorship when it comes to library books! Haven't we crossed that path a long time ago? How is this reform?
    The end of days...

    September 4, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  17. Jenny

    Pretty ridiculous – I mean come on – Democrat or Republican – each canidate should have the opportunity to speak without interuption of some crazy person running around trying to attract attention – have some respect! FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS ONE THING BUT WAIT YOUR TURN! TAKE TURNS! RESPECT EACH OTHER! I don't care how strong you feel about issues – protest outside, sign your petitioins, but really – what are you gaining by trying to interupt the speech by running up and down the stairs with a message we can barely read scribbled on your shirt – fools – what message are you getting across? I have a strong feeling that if this was Obama and Republicans tried to pull this – we would be ridiculed! Oh that's right, that would never happen because regardless of politics – we have more respect than to pull stunts like that. It's one thing to disagree, it's another to disrespect and make fools out of yourself. America, whether Democract or Republican, needs to get back to basics – respect for one another, personal responsibility, and hard work!

    September 4, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. McCain Voted Against Vets

    I hope there's more to come. McCain is a liar. Are you listening to this speech?? Are you kidding me? This guy is a PUPPET.

    September 4, 2008 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  19. CC Atlanta

    How is this different from China? What sort of freedom are we fighting for?

    September 4, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  20. Antoine

    They have been chanting USA all week, as if we were at the Olympics. We are all Americans voting for an American President. They can use this excuse if they want to, but this is a sad display of the "Good Ol Party" at its best.

    September 4, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  21. Teddy

    i am sure this will not be printed...

    This shows America is truly tired of this party and it's one sided policies... You didn't see any of this in Denver. People are tired of this foolishness and this attempt to appear right and grand on TV. I applaud the protesters inside and outside. They represent the America's who sit at Kitchen tables wondering how they will pay their bills. As McCain address this "true friends" my friends, we will not fall victum to this mess again.

    Obama= President
    Biden= Vice President
    Clinton= Secretary of State

    September 4, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  22. Jatovi, NC

    The DNC 80,000 at one point and no disruptions, yet the RNC is struggling with less than 20,000.

    September 4, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  23. kriss g

    I find it interesting that the speaking hall isn't full, yet they couldn't control protesters??

    September 4, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  24. CM

    Static?

    They're protesting because they have an issue with your platform. Ignoring them doesn't make the issue go away.

    The vote will be their weapon come Nov. You and your gestapo Palin's time are up.

    September 4, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  25. Gregg

    Obama, Obama, Obama, Obama

    Funny that one man brings the majority together..holding hands siging, trying to find solutions to problems

    then we have the NEGATIVTY PARTY...The Nazi party which translates to the Republican Party. The Party that divides and says to heck with you! The party that gives to the rich and keeps on giving! Hey McSame, did you know that Reganomics and Trickle down does not work? ITS A PROVEN FACT...

    September 4, 2008 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
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