June 15th, 2012
02:28 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama to interrupter: 'I didn't ask for an argument'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama did not respond kindly Friday to an interruption during his Rose Garden announcement of new immigration rules, telling the man shouting that it was neither the time nor the place to field questions.

The reporter, who was wearing a temporary press badge, was identified as Neil Munro from the conservative website the Daily Caller. He later told CNN, "I have to ask the questions you all won't ask," referring to the reporters gathered who regularly cover the White House.

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"Excuse me sir, it is not the right time for questions sir," Obama said as Munro shouted questions. "Not while I'm speaking."

"The next time I prefer you let me finish my statements before you ask your question," Obama said later in his remarks. "I didn't ask for an argument, I'm answering your question."

Munro asked Obama, "What about American workers who are unemployed while you employ foreigners," suggesting the policy change would lead to the employment of illegal immigrants.

Immigration shift sparks reaction from both sides

"Here's the reason: because these young people are going to make extraordinary contributions, and are already making contributions to our society," Obama replied at the end of his remarks. "I've got a young person who is serving in our military, protecting us and our freedom. The notion that in some ways we would treat them as expendable makes no sense. If there is a young person here who has grown up here and wants to contribute to this society, wants to maybe start a business that will create jobs for other folks who are looking for work, that's the right thing to do."

When the president finished his comments, he turned and headed back into the Oval Office ignoring any further questions.

In statements published together, representatives for the Daily Caller portrayed the incident in several ways. Munro wrote that he miscalculated the ending of Obama's speech, while the site's editor-in-chief and publisher praised their reporter for his dogged attempt at an answer.

Romney: Obama immigration move makes long term fix harder

"I always go to the White House prepared with questions for our president," Munro wrote. "I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States. I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions."

Tucker Carlson, the conservative cable news pundit who in the Daily Caller's editor-in-chief, said his organization was proud of Munro.

"A reporter's job is to ask questions and get answers. Our job is to find out what the federal government is up to. Politicians often don't want to tell us. A good reporter gets the story. We're proud of Neil Munro," Carlson wrote.

Obama interrupted: Disrespectful or latest in 'era of incivility'?

The Daily Caller's publisher said Munro's questioning was not intended to be "heckling."

"The President today announced a very controversial policy and does not want to answer tough questions about it," Neil Patel wrote. "Neil Munro is a veteran Washington reporter who today tried his best to time his question to be first as the President was wrapping up his remarks. He in no way meant to heckle the President of the United States."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. chuck weidemann

    No respect rules the opposition party! Respect the office...if not the man. Your momma raised a brat....class can't be bought no matter how much money you make or are given!!!!

    June 15, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. D. Gaston

    I am outraged that the President is imposing thid policy. There are millions of americans in need of jobs, that are indeed americans who fore fathers have made this country what it is today. These illegal immigrants takes away from the economy with billions of dollars sent back to there countries. That's billions of dollars that is not in circulation in the US, less taxes collected, less sales for stores and less american workers with jobs. How is that a non citizen can serv in the military? When you have able body americans who are denied entry into the military.

    June 15, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Pedro

    Some people have no idea of good matters.

    June 15, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. I_Luv_America

    Appalling!! It's sad that it comes down to this that the truly hateful so called conservative stupidity can show up even as someone part of press. It's disgusting, and I'm confident that none of the repub thugs including Mitt is going to admonish this guy! Whoever that person who interruped the president during an historical announcement is a pathetic scum bag.

    I'm proud to be a democrat and seeing all this will always be a democrat. That daily caller rat is also either an immigrant or his roots are. Shameful.

    June 15, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    That picture looks a lot like Sean Hannity, or even his son if he has one.

    June 15, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. doc111

    How rude!! I bet this guy won't get back in. Hopefully he tripped and bumped his head on the way out as he must have done so on the way in.

    June 15, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. TomInRochNY

    Don't they bother credentialing these people anymore?

    June 15, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. Tired of republican lies

    Good on you Mr.President!!!! I'm glad you put that guy in his place...There is no need to be disrespectful...All that jerk had to do was wait until the remarks were over to ask his question.

    June 15, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Bob

    Way to put that right wing plant in his place, President Obama.

    June 15, 2012 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  10. I_Luv_America

    Appalling!! It's sad that it comes down to this that the truly hateful so called conservative stupidity can show up even as someone as part of press. It's disgusting, and I'm confident that none of the repub thugs including Mitt is going to admonish this guy! Whoever that person who interruped the president during an historical announcement is a pathetic loser.

    I'm proud to be a democrat and seeing all this will always be a democrat. That daily caller rat is also either an immigrant or his roots are at some point in his life or someone in his ancestry. Shameful.

    June 15, 2012 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    It appears we have a lot of "bloviating ignormus" people in the press who have no respect for this President and whoever he works for he ought to be fired; he doesn't represent his employer well at all.

    June 15, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    @ D. Gaston
    Arizona and Alabama passed immigration law, the fact it didn’t create any jobs its created more mess, they arrested the job creators

    June 15, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Kishman

    This fool works at Daily Caller. That's what the GOP has become; needless to say more.

    June 15, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. D. Gaston

    You are allowing illegal immigrants to stay competes with legalized americans. You cannot say that this is good for the economy. The fact is that americans need jobs and to say you are going to allow illegal immigrants to stay is a blow to any american. The fact is that they have already damaged the economy by being here illegal. School disctricts have had to build more schools prematurally. Financial aid given to illegals have impacted the available funds to true americans. We all know that social security fund pays for many social programs i.e. public aid, food stamps, housing, which many illegal immigrants have used and this has costed america because there was not enough monies. My grands, mother, father, aunts, uncles and cousins paid taxes that americans we have a better, not to support illegal immigrations.

    June 15, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. vic , nashville ,tn

    Tucker Carlson owes apology to white house

    June 15, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Bob

    "Neil Munro from the conservative website the Daily Caller"

    Just another disrespectful Reich Wing shill.

    June 15, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  17. Chipster

    Munro wasn't just rude to the President, he was rude to everyone in the room who wanted to hear the President's comments prior to asking their questions. Perhaps Munro got his training at FoxNews. They always interrupt any speaker who isn't saying what they want to hear. That's when I just change the channel. I have no patience for 2 or more people trying to talk over each other. You can't understand any of them so what's the point in staying on the station? I'm guessing that Munro's employer will be asked to send someone else next time and make sure they have some "listening" skills before asking their questions.

    June 15, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. george_w_tush

    Obama heckler Neil Munro is Irish-born and thus an immigrant to America himself. Oh dear lord. Send him back (he'd like that phrase)

    June 15, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Republican Latino

    oohhh Please !!! As if Democrats did not do the same. "hateful" what a bunch of stupid Democrats writing here ... I just wanna move out of this country before you all take over and destroy everything. We the minority know our faults and don't put everything in a leveled playing field.

    June 15, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. California

    Democrats could never learn from history anyways.

    June 15, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Gary, Hunt Valley, Md.

    BY FAR, Barack Obama is the most DISRESPECTED president in history. Between the finger-pointing by the crazy Arizona governor, the "You Lie!" from the South Carolina bird brain, the 30-something interruptions by Bill O'Reilly during the President's sit-down on FOX "News" and now this. Now hear this right wing brats. Respect the office, even is there is a bi-racial man representing it whose character you continue to fictionalize.

    June 15, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. The GOP needs to pack up and leave

    The GOP have no respect for the office of the president.

    June 15, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. California

    Did they even resolve any of the problems that lead to this to begin with? NO

    Stupidity at it's best.

    June 15, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Republican Latino

    Here is the word that people don't pay attention too: "illegal". There is a way to come to this country legally. Its hard because of illegal immigration, but there is still a path.

    June 15, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. November 2012 -- IMPEACH OBAMA, the lawless leftist dictator that violates his oath of office EVERY DAY

    All Obama does is hold completely scripted events with his rear kissing LSM in full obedience. The American people aren't going to let him get away with jamming THIS one down our throats without a fight. You have really put your foot in it this time Obama.

    June 15, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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