Protesters briefly disrupt Palin speech
February 11th, 2012
07:32 PM ET
3 years ago

Protesters briefly disrupt Palin speech

Washington (CNN) - Protesters chanting “mic check, mic check,” a calling card of the Occupy Wall Street movement, momentarily disrupted former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as she spoke to conservative activists gathered Saturday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Yelling, “Get out of here (expletive),” Christopher Renner, a 30 year old accountant from Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, leapt from his seat inside the main ballroom and ran in the general direction of the commotion.

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Although Renner identifies himself as a conservative, a supporter of the tea party movement, and, to a lesser extent, a Republican, he said his reaction was not driven by politics or ideology.

“I’m a veteran of the Marine Corps. I served in Iraq twice, deployed there,” Renner told CNN. "I don’t remember what I said in the next five seconds. I just saw something happening...and instinct took over.”

Renner said he was trying to get close to the commotion in case the protest became a physical altercation.

Renner said he was thinking, “If they are a physical threat to somebody else, I’m going to get in between them and whatever they’re doing.”

Earlier in the afternoon, Renner was in the audience in the same ballroom when a group of national tea party leaders participated in a panel discussion about how their movement differed from the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“I’ve tried to have a lot of sympathy for them,” Renner said of the liberal Occupy Wall Street movement.

“They have some valid points,” Renner said, talking about the recent government bailouts of various industries that have been perceived by many on Main Street as an injustice when many Americans are struggling.

Renner added, “Among anybody here who self-identifies with the tea party, I think you’ll find a lot of sympathy towards the Occupy movement.” But Renner added that “they lose us” by advocating for more government and for more entitlements. “We’re saying the country is being looted, let’s stop the looting. The Occupy movement is increasingly saying the country is being looted, we want some of the loot. And that’s where they’ve kind of diverged and lost [us].”

For the past few days, Occupy movement supporters have been protesting outside the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel where the CPAC meeting is being held in northwest Washington D.C. Several protestors made it inside the building on Friday and Saturday.

Renner said he arrived at the spot in the ballroom Saturday where the protesters had been “probably about five seconds” after they were escorted out by security.

When he realized the situation had been handled, he quickly returned to his seat in the ballroom and listened to the rest of Palin’s speech without incident. This is Renner’s third consecutive year attending the annual gathering of conservative activists.


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2012 • Sarah Palin
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Slightly Left of Center

    What?!?! Is that a teleprompter I see?

    February 11, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  2. GI Joe.

    I've never seen such a large gathering of paranoid people in all my life.

    Ooooooh. We're soooooo afraid.

    I'd rather not live at all than to have to live in the world they create in their minds.

    February 11, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  3. cobra

    The OWS are still a bunch of sc um that want a free handout from the government and want to steal anything else they can get thier hands on, not to mention how disgusting they are.

    February 11, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. tew

    Renner is a Fox news brain washed jack-@ss. He promotes less govt as long as it does not interfere with his post tramatic stress treatment which he clearly has.

    February 11, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. aldo

    who listens to this lady?

    February 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  6. Bye Bye Tea Party

    Tea Party considers Social Security "looting" the government. They lost me a long time ago.

    February 11, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  7. cali girl

    Renner has no idea what the occupy movement is about. Shut your trap and keep to your self. Occupy was there because they do not associate them selves with t baggers or the thugs from gop, they are there to make a statement. As for you Palin or pain in the axx, you made no sense in any part if your speech. That is likely why they put you on the last day.

    February 11, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  8. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    While I am no fan of Sarah, she, like any other person, deserves to have herself heard, especially when the group she is speaking to think she is God's gift to Conservatism.

    February 11, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  9. 60's survivor

    Hahaha. And so it goes!

    February 11, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Anybody remember the rants and screams of the Tea Party in 2009 and 2010 at Town Halls across the country? And yet Renner took offense when Occupy protesters sounded a mic check. But – but – but...

    Attendance to CPAC required registration and payment. That means, everyone in the room was checked prior to being admitted – correct? Entrance to the room was controlled – right? So how would anyone not properly registering / paying have gotten into said room if they had not been "vetted" previously via admission?

    Or were there so few genuine CPAC attendees in the room for Palin's speech that they had no choice but to open the doors to the protesters to fill the seats?

    February 11, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  11. KatieAnnieOakley

    Anybody remember the rants and screams of the Tea Party in 2009 and 2010 at Town Halls across the country? And yet... Renner took offense when Occupy protesters sounded a mic check. But – but – but...

    Attendance to CPAC required registration and payment. That means, everyone in the room was checked prior to being admitted – correct? Entrance to the room was controlled – right? So how would anyone not properly registering / paying have gotten into said room if they had not been "vetted" previously via admission?

    Or were there so few genuine CPAC attendees in the room for Palin's speech that they had no choice but to open the doors to the protesters to fill the seats?

    February 11, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. geggyg

    Im surprised that the Occupy protestors werent surrounded and pistol whipped by the gun loving tea party supporters. But guns were probaly banned at the event , they couldnt risk someone as important as Palin being injured by a gun accidentally going off. haha

    February 11, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. malabar

    Palin derangement syndrome in 1 . . 2 . . . 3 . . . Go!

    February 11, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. diridi

    I would not even attend these...o.k,

    February 11, 2012 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  15. MrManhattan

    We really need to have better PTS treatment for our vets.

    February 11, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  16. Blackrobe

    Wow... disrupting a public event... only liberals to that....

    And Congressman Joe Wilson...

    And most of the teabaggers who showed up at town hall meetings before Obamacare...

    I don't thing anybody should disrupt a peaceful gathering... but let's be clear that neither side has the moral high ground.

    February 11, 2012 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  17. Indy

    Well all is fair, Palin breifly disrupted common sense while she completely fleeced her supporters into sending her money while she pretended she might run for the most difficult job in the world so no harm in someone distrupting her so called speech or shall I say her screech.

    February 11, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. Fla Pete

    The marine responded to a commotion,Palins mouth opening up to spew more hypocrital verses.Her brain goes to nowhere,oops,I mean the road to her house.I hope Occupy people occupy every single Repub event,drowning out their meaningless speeches of political empowerment.They're not for the middle class,women rights,the poor,senior citizens and anyone,including children trying to get an education that get in their way of twisted agenda.Repubs want to be kings,poor,middle class as their serfs,with them we would take our country backward.A warning from one who saw their plan years ago,The Democrates..

    February 11, 2012 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  19. Hollowright

    This guy probably wins the biggest idiot of the night award.

    February 11, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    The difference in the movements lies in who's doing the looting. Is it the government? Or is it the corporations?

    I guarantee you, though, President Obama gets less compensation for his efforts than Lloyd Blankfein.

    February 11, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  21. David c.

    Of course Renner's actions where motivated by ideology: military ideology!

    February 11, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  22. Sorensen

    They really should let the woman speek. She has now reached the level, where most people feel sorry for her.
    Don't be cruel anymore. Let her have a little dignity. God knows, she needs it.

    February 11, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  23. Squigman

    How dare they do such a thing. Did she have them banished from the kingdom? Did she stamp her foot, and wag her finger? Did she click her thick, well fed tongue, and make unflattering remarks about the people who exercise they're right to freedom of speech? I'll bet she did. Those who believe freedoms have been lost in the past, will be amazed if her ilk get the chance to rule in the future. Be afraid, very afraid.

    February 11, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  24. Babe

    Why do you treat Palin as if she is a somebody when she belongs only on the entertainment pages, since she is a professional celebrity? You make her somebody! Otherwise she is no one, and I haven't even read this article, but quickly skimmed finding there is nothing to read. Why don't you people get to work? There is a world of real news out there that so many people hear nothing of unless they dig into other less known sources. Don't waste your space on this garbage. If you are really a news organization, report the news, don't deal in this flash and trash.

    February 11, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  25. hhuone

    Other than some emotion-stiring rhetoric, she did not have anything substantial. She is the cancer of this great country!

    February 11, 2012 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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