Protesters briefly disrupt Palin speech
February 11th, 2012
07:32 PM ET
6 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. GOP = Greed Over People

    What a waste, the 2 words of wisdom that came out of the mouth of this wise, old sage were not heard.

    February 11, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Must have been a great show , Sarah knows how to work a croud .

    February 11, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. tedt

    Who cares what the quitter says. If its to hot get out of the heat that just what ms. Palin did.

    February 11, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  4. king

    All these right winters who loves to criticise government, but the first thing happens which most of time have nothing to do with government, they find a way to blame government. The over infatuation these right wingnuts have with government is unprecident. The government is smaller now than it was under bush, yet you never hear them crying out. Their trust for big corporations, and allowing them to regulate themselves and basically take the American people for a ride again, like they did back in the financial disaster is over welming. There is not one canfitate I see that have any concern of the American people future. All their concern is making our rich richer so they can trickle down 10 dollar an hour jobs, then move their businesses to China to get 6 times more customers than they would have get in America. Is this what the right winged zealots are preparing America to be abandoned by their corporations?

    February 11, 2012 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  5. Nwvotes

    Do you like Sarah Palin? Vote at

    February 11, 2012 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. tony

    99% of the population is "liberal"? I see a big difference between sharing ill gotten loot, and just wanting the taxpayers money being returned from whence it was stolen. It was the huge surplus from the cold war ending peace dividend that disappeared simultaneously with the Bush tax cuts. Capital gains dropped to absurd levels and zero on dividends. And they wanted zero estate tax for billionaires and nearly pulled that off too.

    February 11, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  7. John

    Everybody should tell Saran Palin to shut-up and go away. She Is nobody, A GOV that the People was trying to get rid of so she Quit In the middle of her term. John McCain pick her to be his VP and It cost him to lose. And beside that she has proven a lot of time just how big a Idiot she really Is.

    February 11, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. manhandler

    WHO CARES? WHO CARES? WHO CARES about this guy. Was he a former marine ready to do what? with hecklers from the occupy movement? Go to War? Beat the crap out of them? SIT DOWN RENNER!..Boy, the national media is REALLY hard up to make something out of NOTHING. Again. WHO CARES who this guy votes for and why should we be interested?

    February 11, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  9. Pips

    Yeah, protesters being a 'physical threat' – Those liberals sure are a tough bunch that beat people up between all the weed they're smoking and the peace symbols they're flashing. *rolls eyes* Whats funny is an *accountant* ran to confront them. One of many who sank this country. lols.

    February 11, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Bayousara

    So, apparently this Renner was going to beat the crap out of someone who was lawfully expressing their opinions, just not his.

    February 11, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. Big Ron

    Yeah escort the protesters out.No one in the tea party want to hear the truth about the looting of Americans.The Republicans are the protectors of the rich people that are looting America in the first place!

    February 11, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  12. migeli

    The country is being looted allright but not by the poor. Guys like Romney and others of his ilk are doig the lootng.They ought to thank their God that the poor have food stamps to buy those cheap product from China,you know the ones that say "bottled in the U.S.A."and in small print "made in China"Apple Juice"with other ingredients.Likee maybe formaldyhde.We buy all the junk produced by slave labor produced in countries where the wealthy created jobs with their tax cuts.They almost killed my dog with their unregulated garbage. Obama 4 more years.

    February 11, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  13. sick of republican phonies

    Huh? This is news? Who is this guy? Who cares? If we want to know what the people think we'll ask Joe the Plumber.

    February 11, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  14. Conrack

    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.”

    Yeah the words "mic check" certainly would apper to be a physical threat to a normal person.

    February 11, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  15. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    How many of the protesters were illegal immigrants? Why did the Republicans break their own rules and not card them, then force them to take drug tests?Why weren't the protesters pepper sprayed? Perhaps because they were impostors, hired by the Republicans to create a fake protest!

    February 11, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  16. mike check

    What no asking her what was on her palm?

    February 11, 2012 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  17. cassie mandrina

    who is renner? first cousin of the reporter?

    February 12, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  18. Buck

    Renner must be some kind of idiot loser to wanna waste his time listening to sara palin in the first place. What a joke of a story. Palin the biggest clown since BOZO. The face of the republican party. Lol

    February 12, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  19. Jilli

    Ms. Palin is totally irrelevant outside the cpac bubble.

    February 12, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  20. Four and The Door

    “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].”
    Well put. And of course Obama jumped on board with the Occupy movement right away. They were singing his song. He thought they would be his 2012 ticket. Then they caved in. He's still looking for his ticket. It doesn't exist.

    February 12, 2012 12:43 am at 12:43 am |
  21. Winning

    Hey everyone, look at that picture. She is using a teleprompter. I never want to hear her talk trash about Obama using them again. The main difference between Palin using them and Obama is that Obama is literate and can actually read them, whereas she is typical word-salad Palin with them.

    February 12, 2012 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  22. Jim

    She gave a hell of a speech.

    February 12, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  23. Rickey

    I just watched Sarah Palin's speech about the President's State of the Union address. I cannot believe people are actually buying into her rhetoric. I have yet to hear her present one single suggestion, idea, thought, that would cause me to rething my position or who I will support and vote for. This is one of my primary complaints about politics now. If you're going to say someone's idea's are crap, don't work, then present me with something more viable, another option that works. I will listen, I will keep an open mind. I could be mistaken but it appears that Sarah is only out for very lucrative speaking fee's she is currently recieving. I

    February 12, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  24. julien vergara

    How come she hated mitt romney. She like newt. Very poor choice

    February 12, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  25. Krejaton

    Just like a liberal in trying to silence opposition.

    February 12, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
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