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. dan

    CNN is trying to lump everyone who disagrees with Obama into the Tea Party...get a grip CNN and quit being the mouth piece of Obama

    October 14, 2013 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  2. LeeAT

    This feigned outrage would be comical, if it wasn't so hypocritical. Everything would be open if the government wasn't shut down and the House could open the government back up if they wanted to. The GOP couldn't win the White House so they retaliate by shutting down government and damage the country. What a bunch of village idiots.

    October 14, 2013 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  3. An actual American

    Yet again we see thesefrothing-at-the-mouth tea partiers spout off more garbage in a pathetic maneuver to get ignorant people angry. They call themselves "Patriots" then shutdown the government. At this point nearly all my friends who are Republicans have distanced themselves from the Tea Party. I hope America does the same.

    October 14, 2013 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  4. Pat Carr

    my wife is also furloughed as a result of these tea party cretins. now it's shutdown like they wanted and they complain? even worse to say that obama should put down "the koran". I have issues with obama but these people are such trash, i cannot even describe

    October 14, 2013 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  5. Name scot

    These people are so inflamed with the lies they have been sold and the frustration inherent in having little understanding or control of their lives that they are reaching the level of mob behavior.

    People like Cruz and this clown are guilty of incitement.

    The GOP is ultimately responsible for deeply damaging our country and civil society.

    Fortunately they are a small - if virulent - minority.

    GOP leaders and their supporters need ti turn this insanity around. They are ajready approaching a kind of social red zone.

    October 14, 2013 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  6. Todd

    Every post I read from the tea-gang is the same.
    So now we should all be outraged because Obama _________ ! (<– insert your preferred BS here)
    They should spend less time rallying, and more time reading.
    Starting with "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."

    October 14, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  7. SgtRock101

    Another shameful display by ignorant and fanatical people. The tea party christian Taliban zealots are using ignorant veterans, who by the way DO NOT speak for me, a combat veteran from Vietnam, for their own anti government anarchist purposes. Despicable, absolutely despicable. It is only the tolerance of a otherwise grateful nation that allows this event to occur. However, there is a limit to my tolerance.

    October 14, 2013 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  8. Don

    So nice Sarah, Ted, and the other tea partiers could have one last rally over some made-up crisis before the whole thing fades away and becomes a small paragraph in the history books. They finally went all-in and will have to leave the table.

    October 14, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  9. Name

    The GOP has tried 40 times to repeal Obamacare – which was enacted by a democratic process, and upheld by the Supreme Court. In their last ditch effort to block it, they decided not to fund it, and to tie it to the debt ceiling negotiations. So, the GOP says it will fund certain government programs, but not others (Obamacare). The white house has repeatedly stated that it will not negotiate over the debt ceiling, because the consequences of not paying our debt would be catastrophic. Obama has said he will not negotiate piecemeal. So, all non essential federal programs shutdown. Since national landmarks are not essential, they shutdown, and then Obama is called unamerican and a Muslim. Basically, the GOP thinks the American people are too dumb to see through its political spin, and hopes that we will forget that they created this mess to begin with, because of their refusal to fund a democratically enacted program! It's embarrassing that we have a bunch of spoiled children running the House. Our allies are bewildered by our governance, and our enemies are laughing at us! If the GOP would focus on debt reduction, in general, I would side with them. But, their push to focus debt negotiations solely on Obamacare, leads me to believe that their opposition has more to do with philosophical differences than anything else. And, shutting down the government because of philosophical differences borders on the absurd.

    October 14, 2013 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  10. Skibum624

    Are these writers serious? This is what they choose to report? Attempting to belittle a veterans march in making them look crazy or sound like loose cannons? Come on. You should be ashamed of yourselves for writing such a pathetic and disrespectful political hack piece. We will see how you feel when your freedom comes into question one day...and it will if we continue down this reckless path Obama has us on. Shame on CNN for even publishing this garbage.

    October 14, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  11. Logic N LA

    6100+ national parks and monuments in this country and these idiots think they targeted the Vet's memorial for closure.
    They of course will be the first to cry where's the park personnel if someone get hurt...and blame Obama for that too.
    I liked Reagan. I just wish he had left the silent majority silent.

    October 14, 2013 12:41 am at 12:41 am |
  12. DemocratsCausedShutdown

    The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going — except for ObamaCare.

    This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

    As for the House of Representatives’ right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

    Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

    The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a “clean” bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word “clean” like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

    If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

    October 14, 2013 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  13. T D

    When the GOP refused to fund the Government they shut down the Memorials. and the Barricades are in place so no idiot defaces them costing a pile of money. The Veterans should be Mad at the GOP as the GOP refuses to abide by the rule of Law and Democracy that these people fought for. The GOP pissed off they have been getting their ass kicked in eveyr election and is trying everything to stop what the people want. The People Voted President Obama into office 2 times. The Democrats won the Senate 2 times and even gained seats in the House on the last election. The People have spoken they want this President and his mandate. The idiocy and hate spouted byt these idiots defending this nonsense and blaming the President is ludicris. The ACA is a LAW not a bil a LAW which was upheld by the Supreme court. The Presidne should not under any circumstance negotiate with these idiots and the result will be the undoing of the Tea party and the GOP

    October 14, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  14. Anonymous

    So....the teapartiers are protesting themselves?

    October 14, 2013 12:45 am at 12:45 am |
  15. my10cents

    Thank you GOP! Here is a perfect example of the candidates, spokespeople, and supporters with which the GOP hopes to turn their brand and party around. If there was any possibility that the GOP could work out a compromise to solve the government closure or the potential debt ceiling default this exhibition of clear and rational thinkers certainly dispels any hope. I'm not sure what the next few days will bring as far as the future of this country but I do believe what was exhibited at the memorial is the future of the GOP unless they chose NOW to stop the chaos, end the denial of facts, and cut these fools loose to wallow in their own ignorance and stupidity.

    October 14, 2013 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  16. Behjat

    The tea party members may be wealthy and an elite group, but when it comes to brain, they have non. Most of these people are motivated by hate and are nothing but racist who like to use every ocasion to spread their venome . They hate Obama not because he is democrat, but he is African American and democrat. They are sore that he was elected not only once, but a second term also. They are rude and disrespectful and follow anyone who is against Obama, not because they have anything constructive to offer. Go home and get a life, president Obama is here to stay. Use your money and energy on something good and worthwhile .

    October 14, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  17. jethro

    CNN is the biggest government funded communist network.. Duh...they were there for 20 minutes and of course dont report they only know how to opionate. Keep watching this crap and carry on....

    October 14, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  18. Jim

    If any of these people honestly believe that this country would be doing better with Mitt Romney as our president they are completely brain dead. The president is no more the leader of this country than the Queen is in England. Business interest and lobbies control social policy, private banks control our economy, and the military industrial complex dictates who we bomb, The POTUS is a joke.

    October 14, 2013 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  19. Tim

    Are you paying attention Obama and Reid? America is fed up with your nonsense. Stop blocking progress and holding America hostage to try and fund your pet pork projects.

    October 14, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  20. Overcast

    Wow... lol, you people really 'think for yourselves' here – don't you?

    October 14, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  21. VETERAN OF FOREIGN WAR

    so these are the people that voted Ted Cruz in smh gerrymandering exposed the poison of America

    October 14, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  22. peter Nguyen

    fox news invented these wackos

    October 14, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  23. Anonymous

    need to get rid of the tea party, nothing but trouble from the day they came on to the scene

    October 14, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  24. Lester maxwell

    What you don't mention is the hundreds of other protest around the country but this is nothing new this organization is obvious supporters of the democrats, the republicans can do no right your job is to report the news not take sodes

    October 14, 2013 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  25. Linda Gruizenga

    CNN: You are a DISGRACE to journalism. Washington DC was filled today with PEACEFUL American CITIZENS there to express their first amendment right. Vets were there; Vets that gave you the freedom to write this & citizens were there to HONOR them. Why did you not show what the honking sound was in this video clip?? The honking was hundreds of truckers, hard-working TAX PAYERS, there to show their disgust for what is going on in the government; a government that by definition of the Constitution is WE THE PEOPLE…I pray daily for our government. I pray, trust, & KNOW that the great I AM has a plan. But I will not be silenced. I have great concern for generations that come after me. YOU are not doing a service to the CITIZENS of this great nation with the journalism displayed in this story. I was taught that news media was to be unbiased. I sadly do not see that quality in much of the material generated by CNN.

    October 14, 2013 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
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