October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
6 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 (2,571 Responses)
  1. ken

    Wow. Really? I guess I shouldn't be surprised by now. A good 38% of our population are absolute morons.

    October 13, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. jedi night

    Tea party member don’t know anything they think by yelling and beating their chest they right, if they don’t get there way the will try to bully others, that might of work during the caveman years but not today; they also like to scare people instead of giving them facts for example is it had taken the United States more than 200 years to accumulate the first $1 trillion of national debt, it took only five years under Reagan to add the second one trillion dollars to the debt. By the end of the 12 years of the Reagan-Bush administrations, the national debt had quadrupled to $4 trillion!
    Reagan not Obama switched the federal government from what he critically called, a “tax and spend” policy, to a “borrow and spend” policy, where the government continued its heavy spending, but used borrowed money
    instead of tax revenue to pay the bills.

    October 13, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. john

    what a bunch of idiots. GO home nobody wants to hear all that rhetoric and nonsense.

    October 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. steve maghen

    is the tea party trying to persuade us that the earth is flat?

    October 13, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  5. Saxo Grammaticus

    Cruz is one of the Republicans who worked to turn out the lights. Now he complains about being in the dark.

    October 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. Mensaman

    By now I think everyone feels that Obama was wrong for the presidency. He's going to go down in history as a president who actually made matters worse, while well intentioned.
    The healthcare system is an inevitable fail. His foreign policy is reactive and almost non existent. China is calling for a de-Americanized world because of America's new rudderlessness which has occurred over the past 7 years.
    America needs a leader that can get it back to it's core values and get America working again. Obama is ideologically His administration has not been truthful or transparent. He's the Wizard of Oz exposed.

    October 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  7. walter wood

    You know this "shutdown" will end quickly when a few million Republicans don't get their Social Security checks or their disability payments.....Then even Teabaggers will cry foul to their Republican Representatives.They dispise Obama because they know deep in their black hearts he's more intelligent and well-spoken than the 'Tea Party'. Moreover he is on the right side of history.

    October 13, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  8. Reagan

    What's a Tea-Part-Like rally? That must be a rally of people who don't like Obama and must be painted as radical and demonized, isolated, diminished.

    October 13, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  9. He Makes Me...

    What makes all of you think this isn't what the democrates had in mind all along....?

    October 13, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  10. bob colt

    Obama is an obvious muslim

    October 13, 2013 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. nepawoods

    Another embarrassment to conservatives and the whoever is calling themselves the "tea party" this week.

    October 13, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  12. Jared-Lee D Futch

    Fitting title, considering the main reason he won the Nobel Peace Prize. All that fame must be nice to have back right about now I would think. As an OEF Disabled Veteran about to possibly consider my Post 911 GI benefits (my only source of income alongside my VA disability) being suspended I may be seeking a street corner to take up, only now I have to worry about my wife and unborn child. I realize the struggle and image but sometimes you really need to sit down and talk about removing something being federally funded that will still operate regardless of passing this or not. His health care act will still operate without the funding from the federal government, sure it may slow things down. That is great, maybe we shouldn't jump into that anyway. Enough anger, enough hate, just talk and budge and stop saying it's them when it is you.

    October 13, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  13. listenup

    I think our vets are trying to tell everyone something here,there are a lot of blind eyes amongst our politicians and the public alike.

    October 13, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Jim Crow.

    Look at that, not a black person, asian person, indian person, hispanic person, on stage.....and a total minority of women at best. What a joke.

    October 13, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  15. He Makes Me...

    Oh, one question. If all of the government employees out due to this shutdown will be paid retroactively why aren't they at work right now "earning" their pay!??

    October 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    These folks are so Innocent and don't have a brain on their own. These show that these ppl are so stupid and naive since they cannot think for themselves. Congress is task to make laws and approve budget, a President can't do nothing but A President can veto a low if President think it is not reasonable. These tea Party folks are a bunch of idiots. Do you think folks like to work for minimum wages? Every employers should pay a living wages with benefits and medical care. Without these hard workers these Rich ppl can't get rich.

    October 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  17. Ron -IN

    This just shows how IGNORANT and IMMATURE some of the American populous are. It also shows something that many Tea Party members don't like to acknowledge- a vein of racism in their group. The President has not done anything even slightly close to an impeachable offense. What he has done is shown the American public what happens when you SHUTDOWN THE GOVERNMENT. The Tea Party members are somewhat stunned at just how much of our everyday lives is impacted by government services. For some hard to explain reason, they thought if the government were to shut down, the only services that would stop, are the ones they don't support. Not very realistic at all, is it. I have stood firm with the President on keeping the government closed until a CLEAN C.R. is passed and the Debt Ceiling is raised without any conditions because I don't want future Presidents or the nation to go through this ridiculous exercise in futility in the future.
    Moderate AMERICANS both Democratic and Republican, you want to see the return of "normal budgetary processes'....VOTE...VOTE...VOTE..in both the Primaries and the General elections!! This is the only way to STOP the MADNESS!!!! Vote the unreasonable members of Congress out of office!!!

    October 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  18. American 69

    This kind of hate and racism, not to mention the religious bigotry seems to personify the tea Party and its hangers on. The anti-government hypocrits that want to control government while destroying government are the ugliest thing to emerge in poltics . Hatespeech as practiced by these jerks contradicts everything that our country stands for !

    October 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Jim Angone

    On so many levels this is despicable. When will someone in the Republican party muster up enough courage to tell these misguided, ill-informed, selfish, bigoted Tea Party people to take their whining somewhere else FAR AWAY!
    Heaven help us all if these people get any more say so in the future path of our great country.
    Every Tea Party person that I personally know is full of misguided, ill informed opinions on current events and their remedies are so lame its difficult to beleive they have even an 8th grade understanding of how our Democracy works.

    October 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. OrmondGeorge

    Are ALL of these people mentally handicapped?
    After this much time, this much information, this much opportunity for someone to effectively PROVE this preposterous stuff, there should not bee a single person left in America who believes this junk.
    The fact that there is tells me that they are either not educable or they are so invested in their extremist ideology that they have literally lost touch with reality.

    October 13, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  21. Adam

    Looks like hipokracy of tea party and conservatives as usual. Lies, lies and more lies.

    October 13, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  22. Larry

    The Tea Party ALWAYS finds enemies if you don't agree with them. They are UNamerican when different opinions are not allowed or discussed.

    October 13, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Conservacide NOW

    Pitiful, pitiful, people filled with greed anger and delusion....

    October 13, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Ezra

    The simple fact that they use baseless arguments should be enough for all people to adhere from listening or giving any credit to these people.

    October 13, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Mike Anderson

    This is disgraceful. Cruz and Palin should not be there and should be denouncing this type of hatred.

    October 13, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
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