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.”