October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
10 months ago

Rallier tells Obama to 'put the Quran down'

Updated 3:37 p.m. ET, 10/13/2013

Washington (CNN) - Angered by the closure of national landmarks due to the partial government shutdown, a crowd of conservatives removed barricades Sunday at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial as they rallied against President Barack Obama and Democrats for their role in the ongoing stalemate.

High-profile speakers with close ties to the tea party appeared at the event, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

The rally, billed as the "Million Vet March on the Memorials," drew far fewer than a million people and evolved into a protest that resembled familiar tea party events from 2009, with yellow "Don't Tread On Me" flags throughout the crowd and strong anti-Obama language from the podium and the audience.

One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim and separately urged the crowd of hundreds to initiate a peaceful uprising.

"I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up," said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.

Shutdown drags on: 'It's taken far too long'

On the first day of the government shutdown, October 1, a group of World War II veterans was barred from entering the open-air memorial. But with the help of a few Republican members of Congress, the veterans removed the barricades and streamed onto the site, as security guards stood aside.

The Department of Interior has since said that veterans with the Honor Flight program will be permitted to visit the memorial as part of their First Amendment rights, but otherwise the site is closed to the general public until the government reopens.

Veterans groups to push to end government shutdown

Cruz, the senator who's become the face of the Republican stance in the shutdown, attacked the Obama administration for fencing off the memorial and other national monuments, saying the closures were nothing but a political ploy.

"This is the people's memorial. Let me ask a simple question. Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?" he asked. "Our veterans should be above politics. Enough games."

Demonstrators removed the barricades Sunday at the rally, tossing them into a pile nearby. After the speeches, the crowd wandered down to the nearby Lincoln Memorial and removed its barriers as well. When some officers tried to put them back up, protesters took them from the officers' hands and carried them away from the memorial.

"You look around though and you see these barricades and you have to ask yourself, is this any way that a commander in chief would show his respect, his gratitude to our military? This is a matter of shutdown priorities," Palin said.

RNC offers to pay for WWII memorial guards

Anti-Obama sentiments echoed throughout the crowd Sunday, with one protester yelling out "punk" to describe the president and one speaker saying Obama is not the president of "the" people but "his" people. Multiple signs read "Impeach Obama."

Asked last week whether the White House had any say in the closure of the World War II Memorial, spokesman Jay Carney said Republicans were at fault.

"Every House Republican who has decried any impact from this shutdown, as if they were surprised that it would happen, clearly didn't pay attention when every agency of the federal government posted on their websites ... what would happen if the government were shut down, including the closing of national memorials and national parks," he said at a press briefing.

"If any member of Congress who got in front of a television camera to try to get some attention on this issue spent half that time on the floor of the House voting to open the government, we wouldn't have a problem," he added.

Photo by Brian Rokus

Later on Sunday, some people from the rally walked over to Pennsylvania Avenue carrying the barricades and dumped them in front of the White House. While they gathered peacefully for the most part, some were more vocal and shouted at police on horseback. "You work for us," some chanted.

At one point, some pushing and shoving took place as police in riot gear began to put up some barricades in front of part of the White House fence.

Tourists were also among the mix Sunday, taking pictures as normal, while others simply came out of curiosity.

Ashley Killough wrote; Shannon Travis and Brian Rokus reported from the National Mall and the White House. CNN's Jim Acosta also contributed from the White House.


Filed under: President Obama • Tea Party • Washington
soundoff (2,570 Responses)
  1. Danny

    You would think that at some point the Republican party would start to feel bad about taking advantage of such ignorant people who will believe anything Fox News feeds them. The Republican party is a total disgrace to all Americans. It's just sick how they'll not only feed off and allow, but genuinely support the use of such blatant lies to meet their political needs.

    October 13, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  2. Justin

    I wish Obama really was a Muslim. Then we could see just how in defense of the Constitution these tea partiers really are.

    October 13, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  3. Guest

    I've been called a RINO by the tea party and strongly resented it.

    Having payed attention to their nonsense over the past weeks leaves me 100% convinced, they are not members of any party I can suppert. Until they are entirely removed from any positions in congress, I have no choice but to vote strictly for Democrats. mind you that I don't like the idea of one party having total control, but having all Democrats is much less destructive than putting even one of these morons in power.

    October 13, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  4. Noneya

    Barry Soetoro aka Barack Obama could have chosen a nice Christian middle name but instead chose Hussein. Curious how that does not raise your eyebrow just a little.

    October 13, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. GARY

    Most veterans aren't Tea Party, Thank God, But these Fox watchers have no idea what the intentions of the tea part are, and how they are being used by the fringe of the right wing not to make this a better country , but to protect themselves against paying taxes to a country that has allowed them to make their money.

    October 13, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Mitch

    Seriously? People are LISTENING to this rhetoric?? THIS is what scares me about this country... people believe the propaganda without checking some FACTS.

    Here's a FACT (specifically aimed towards Tommy and Patricia) – this shutdown is COMPLETELY the fault of 40 House Tea-party Republicans, bought and paid for by the Koch brothers, who have a plan to get their way, no matter WHAT the elections or the majority say!! THEY are the ONLY ones who are responsible for shutting down the monuments and furloughing hundreds of thousands of people, NOT Obama – he doesn't even have the power to DO that!! Face it... your Tea-Party thugs are having a MASSIVE five-year-old tantrum, and are holding America hostage in an attempt to get their way. If you would get your head out of Faux "News" butt, you'd maybe to a little research and get to the truth. This is extortion, plain and simple. And they're changing their tune now... it started off being about defunding the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare, but which shows lower popularity than it's REAL name – and which is based on Romney's plan, which has been in place – SUCCESSFULLY – for 6 years), but NOW is about cutting Social Security (which is self-sustaining, and could be fixed if they simply raise the income limit on it) and Medicaid, which will cut off MILLIONS of seniors – even YOU and YOUR FAMILY!!

    So please, for the good of ALL AMERICAN PEOPLE – do a little research before you start calling names and blaming the WRONG PEOPLE!!

    October 13, 2013 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. denrocbmd

    How much more silly can the Tea Party get? I don't know how many people were at this rally, but it doesn't look like many from the pictures. Mr. Speaker in the video, you have the right to say anything you want, but as for me, you take your call "for non-violent revolution, your call for Obama to put the Quran down and get off his knees and come out with his hands up," and go crawl in a hole. You are a disgrace! Try assembling more than a couple thousand people who believe what you do, and maybe – just maybe – I might give you the time of day. But I doubt it. I'd rather move to Canada than be associated with a country that supports your beliefs.

    October 13, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  8. Vicki

    The rabid extremism of the deceitful tea party of hate for our President is anti-American and unpatriotic. The demonic lies that roll out of these wacko tea party fiends is beyond sane. President Obama is the Christian who stands for our great democracy. He is fighting for all Americans even the lunatics deluded by fox and fiends of that ilk.

    October 13, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  9. polischticks

    Well if you can't get people to agree with you at the ballot box...

    October 13, 2013 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  10. Able to reason

    Again how politics and religion and the two main causes of a non peaceful world. Screw all who take either as the sole way of living!

    October 13, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. muhamedisdog

    Don't you know democratic leader, Harry Reid is nothing but brainless boxer. Obama is nothing other than a socialist who does not understand Basic math. These two nonsense men are bringing this country down this country to become like north Korea (socialism).

    October 13, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Is it me, or does that guy look like Jerry Springer lol

    October 13, 2013 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. lyn

    hmmm. Put the Quran down. Well, I am Muslim, and I keep telling people this, but Obama is NOT, i repeat NOT a practicing Muslim, but if he is, he would still have the right to practice a religion that millions practice world wide. I thought we as American believed in separation of Church /Mosque and state, but the longer I live, I realize that people just love to hate. They can't be bothered with Christianity, because if they were true Christians, they wouldn't hate Muslims... So, they just want to hate, I've concluded and Obama's father was Muslim, and even though he probably wasn't a practicing Muslim (doesn't seem so from all I've read) he nevertheless has gained notariety from it - if only posthumously. SAD. America is a land for many, and not just a few, and there are MANY practicing Muslims. It is this clown who needs to "give up." Obama was elected, thank God, by the majority in this country.

    October 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    Unbelievably disgusting tea party. It's a shame to see how these extremists are bringing the country down.

    October 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  15. Rmblin man

    Tin Foil Crowd at it again!!!

    October 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Stephen

    Please tell me Americans are. A well reasoned civil lot , and not the inbred rednecks I'm currently seeing

    October 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  17. jim

    Muslim has become the new scapegoat for the country's problems.
    Will these people paint crescent moons on stores owned by Muslims?

    October 13, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. jstan442

    since you are comparing how many ppl show up for events?how many showed up for the slap in americas face 'million muslim march'??20??americans are sick of this putrid president and his pitting one group over another–'if i had a son...' or 'the police acted stupidly'...he is a narcissistic me or the high way divider–illegals-okay to be on the mall–veterans-(those who fought for his right to be an ignorant bully) -no we can't show them any due respect–give to the muslims(you do know they do not have to pay for healthcare don't you?)-buy votes (cornhusker kickback anyone?)

    October 13, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  19. Michael

    I am also a vet, Marine with 19 months in Viet Nam. For these people to claim that they are representative of all veterans is sick, egotistical, and lame. My disappointments with the President is that he has caved too much to these tea pottiers. They use a "ratchet effect" to pull us closer and closer to the edge of the cliff. When it all falls apart, they want to pick up the pieces and put it back together to suit themselves. The rest of us don't matter.

    October 13, 2013 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  20. Ryan

    Two things:

    First of all, regardless of how Republicans try to spin it- Obama is NOT the one who set the shutdown in motion. Ted Cruz, the Tea Party, and the lack of action by senior Republicans are responsible. Its astounding the level of boldness the Tea Party has, to do something so blatant, shut down the govt, and then boldly try and blame the Democrats. Ultimately to tarnish the Obama administration and defund Obamacare. Obamacare is Obamas crowning achievement and the Republicans see it as "losing" if the law is funded. I pray the Tea Party loses favor and is disbanded, because I think they are willing to hurt the country in even more extreme ways "in the name of the American people".

    Second- thank God the majority of the people on this message board realize the Tea Party are lunatics and are responsible for this shutdown.

    October 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. denrocbmd

    How much more silly can the Tea Party get? I don't know how many people were at this rally, but it doesn't look like many from the pictures. Mr. Speaker In The Video, you have the right to say anything you want, but as for me, I believe you are a disgrace to this great country. Try assembling more than a couple thousand people who believe what you do, and maybe – just maybe – I might give you the time of day. But I doubt it. I'd rather move to Canada than be associated with a country that supports your beliefs.

    October 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. George

    This WASN'T a Tea Party rally. This was a group of US Veterans reminding those in government that they haven't forsaken the oaths they took to defend the Constitution.

    October 13, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. TiredofBush

    These are really really nuts. First they call President Obama a foreigner, yet they embrace Cruz – a Cuban born Canadain

    October 13, 2013 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  24. Kings on the back row...

    ..
    ...PROGRESS will go FORWARD for the U.S. when the tea party tail stops wagging the gop dog....
    ..

    October 13, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. Jazzophile

    If Ted Cruz really means what he says when he states that "Our veterans should be above politics", then let's see him demand that ALL veterans in congress resign their office, starting with Senator John McCain, for example. Now Mr Cruz is not about to do this, because he's just blowing smoke out his -, as usual. Why are you still quoting him in these articles?

    October 13, 2013 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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