October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
12 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. Willllburrrr

    Just when you think it couldn't get any crazier... or as my Pop used to say... 'and the band played on'...

    October 13, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  2. Name

    These tea party guys continually prove themselves to be the bottom of the gene pool.

    October 13, 2013 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  3. alan

    How sad. The tea party is turning into a bunch of thugs... Hitler's Brownshirts.

    October 13, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. sally

    This is purely a theatrical Tea Party event. It is totally hypocritical because the Tea Party is the cause of the closing of the memorial. These people are outrageous in their claims. Not only that, they are champion distorters and liars. Obama is a Christian and this Quran allegation is a complete fabrication.

    October 13, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  5. Tom Matthews

    Thomas Jefferson read the Quran and recognized Muslims as free to worship in the new nation. While the speaker made was making a dumb quip about the President alligences, most educated people have some fanilarity with the Bible, the Quran and other religous texts. The speaker is a boob and shouldn't be afforded press coverage.

    October 13, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Keith

    Well really, what did you expect from the tea party? They have been this insane the entire time, and yet the news keeps acting like they are a legitimate political movement. All they represent is the extreme racist right that is trying to push out the moderates of their party, and unfortunately, the GOP leadership for some reason is beholden to these people. They are more interested in short term political gain than making sure their party has a future. When 70% of the country has a negative viewpoint of the tea party, that tells you something.

    October 13, 2013 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. Kazuki

    The tea party mentality "his name is muslim so he must be muslim". Even though hes gone to a christian church for majority of his life he still some how reads of Quran. Id love to know what drugs the tea party member use to live in such a fantasy world, cause I want some of them.

    October 13, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  8. David L Laidig

    Whew..... I certainly hope that God, His Sons, and His Angels have something else to do for a while. We do NOT need another visit from Them while all this TP bull roar is going on. Can any of you imagine if Lord Jesus showed up to find out which nation was starting wars, handing out weapons to all manner of rogues all over the planet, not feeding the poor, and insisting that there be profit in health care?? Rapture indeed. One nation under God indeed.

    October 13, 2013 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. Scott Davis

    we are witnessing the end of the Republican Party. If you still ally with Republicans, I can only say I pity you. I used to be a Republican. I can never see that happening again. We will see the birth of a multi-party system similar to England, Germany, Italy and everywhere else due to this madness. Republicans live and vote for for corporations only. ONLY. They may plunge the world in to depression to stop health coverage in the US. Crazy!

    October 13, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. Nate

    Those racist people racist is on there blood they born with they will died with it

    October 13, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  11. BC

    Take a good look, this i what desperation looks like.

    October 13, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  12. Bill

    This shutdown is Ted Cruz' shutdown, so when you have a group of clowns trying to pin it on the president and not only do they not blame the imbecile from Texas, but they also invite him to that rally, the complete lack of credibility is laughable.

    October 13, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Rev Wright always said God Damn America, and Michelle was never proud to be an American,

    It is time to get even, with the slave traders.

    Rose up Black Power.

    October 13, 2013 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. Forbes

    I am a conservative independent. I am a veteran. Not a Tea Party Member. I take great offense at this article as it denigrates those, like me, that see this as an intentional ploy to force, not negotiate, a solution to the budget. It is a shame that the democrats can do no better. Open the memorials. Open the White House. Talk to Congress, not insult, actually talk. maybe it is not too late to end this on a note of solidarity. Maybe. Shame on the Democrats, Shame on CNN for forcing upon this nation something that never should have happened.

    October 13, 2013 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  15. conserve all

    Democrats are so mislead. U people believe whatever the news tells u. Have u not noticed how everything they say puts democrats on top and makes republicans and conservatives look like monsters. U people are very mislead and maybe u need to think about who the real monster is. I do not want my kids to think two men kissing is okay or that just because my 2 year old son is a white male he owes every other race an apology an apology. Think about who died to make this country and if they would still think it was this beautiful country u people talk about. I know its to late for this country but it still feels good to talk about it.

    October 13, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  16. Shartiblartfat

    I went to two Tea Party Rallies, the first one, in Fond du Lac, WI, had it's attendees bussed in in four large buses, which were parked around the town square, in front of the Courthouse. There were a few locals there, of course, but the noise and pathologies of the imported mob made for a "newsworthy event."

    The second event was a local rally in my home town. The attendees were a motley lot; but the promenently-featured guests were a crew of perhaps thirty apparently handicapped individuals parked in front of the speaker's stage, riding their electric wheelchairs, possibly paid for by Mediaid, who knows?

    These Tea Partiers are a dangerous pack of scoundrels, created by the Koch Brothers, supported by the Koch Brothers, and moved around or told to appear by the Koch Brothers. If you think these evil rascals are not already making plans to effect the outcome of the 2014 elections, you are fools!

    October 13, 2013 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  17. cody

    if the parks are "closed" and people still want to show up, are you expecting the employees to work for nothing? so no buildings are manned, no bathrooms are open, no medical staff ready to assist if anything happens. people need to think before they speak (or type).

    October 13, 2013 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  18. keyser

    Another reason why I don't vote Republican anymore.

    October 13, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Tim Scott

    Sad that you can't believe anything the cat whipped press tells us. They work with the government. Tell the people the truth. Not down play what's going on.

    October 13, 2013 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Matt

    Once I a while, and this is a great example, these people will tell you who they really are. When they do, believe them!

    October 13, 2013 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  21. Cam

    Pretty amazing that these tea party nuts can cause a Government shut down and then blame Obama because the memorials are closed. Wrap yourself in the flag or invoke God and a certain segment of the population will believe anything you say, no matter how stupid.

    October 13, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. John

    It amazes me that there are still insane people out there who insist Obama is a Muslim, and that that's grounds for impeachment.

    It also amazes me that these people are blaming this all on Obama when it's the Republicans who openly admitted if they got a house majority they'd intentionally shut down the government, and when they did so, walked out of congress with huge cheeky grins on their faces. But yet, here are their supporters, STILL blaming the democrats and the president exclusively.

    There's more than enough blame to go around here, but anyone who blames either side exclusively is missing a huge piece of the picture.

    October 13, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. Catherine

    Hahahahahahahahahaha way to go.................just make sure you have bodyguards bud!

    October 13, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. dontcaveO

    It was like watching a re-enactment of the Civil War. Rebel Flags and all...The Tea Party shutdown the government and is happy about it, since they can't de-fund Obama Care. I don't see why they are whining about all the effects of a shutdown when this was their plan. Everything Ted Cruz and Palin talk about is exactly what they are doing, politicizing the memorials, costing the nation billions of dollars in lost revenue due to the shutdown and subverting Democracy when the process doesn't get them the desired results.

    October 13, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  25. ryanwi

    Love the video of the guys with the confederate flags, in case you missed what this was really about.

    October 13, 2013 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
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