October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
1 year 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. Joe

    Certain if it was a bunch of dirty occupy wall street hippies this story would be front page. Just a bunch of old white guys that want smaller government. Nothing to see here.

    Does anyone think for a moment that the answer to america's problems is MORE government bureaucrats telling people what to do? If no you ought to be SUPPORTING those who want LESS government and lower taxes.

    If you believe the tea party is wrong, you want more government and higher taxes. That is all there is to it.

    October 14, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  2. Kilroy

    Just shows how stupid these Tea Partyer's are. If you look at what Obama is for they are complete opposites of what the radical Muslims want.

    October 14, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  3. Pamela

    Wonder how many of those individuals are receiving government benefits in that group?

    October 14, 2013 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  4. Hogan's Goat

    What planet are these loons from? And when did it become necessary for so-called "Christians" to just jump up and lie to "protect Jesus?" This goes beyond political dissent and straight to treason. About time someone locked these nut cases up; how long before this fellow shoots someone?

    October 14, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  5. Common Sense

    Go to small town America where all the past actions by Congress has allowed the jobs to leave for foreign countries as manufacturers spent billions building factories in poor countries for cheap labor and allowed their older factories to shut down. From doing away with tariffs that allowed the foreign products to come here cheap to tax benefits that allowed companies to write off their investments in foreign countries Congress has screwed the average person to fight for business interests.

    October 14, 2013 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. Madu El Musa Bey

    News flash people... do your history... The Barbary States were the first to recognize and finance the United States as a country....

    From Yale Law School website...

    Treaty of Tripoli 1796
    ARTICLE 11.

    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    The first Amendment to the Constitution was made so that Christians would not be persecuted like they were in Europe...

    October 14, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  7. char

    It is time for the obama adminastration to stop the blame game. Wake up and be a leader. I wonder if this is bushes fault

    October 14, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  8. RC

    These so called Christians are the most Un-Christian like group I've ever seen!! Please vote the teabaggers out and get some people in there that are willing to live in this centuryand look at the reality of today and not a country of 100 years ago.

    Also get these lunatics some mental help becasue they are totally delusional!!

    October 14, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  9. Madu El Musa Bey

    News flash people... do your history... The Barbary States were the first to recognize and finance the United States as a country....

    From Yale Law School website...

    Treaty of Tripoli 1796
    ARTICLE 11.

    As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion,-as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

    The first Amendment to the Constitution was made so that Christians would not be persecuted like they were in Europe...

    October 14, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  10. Bob Head

    Jay Carney will go down in history as the most despised press secretary in the history of the presidency.

    October 14, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  11. raul c.

    Looks like the racists and their Tea Party nuts (Palin,Cruz.Lee) now came out of their fox holes to voice their fanatic right rhetoric. Agree... I don't see any diversity in the crowd which means these are outcasts and don't represent the majority of America. Bring it on nuts....

    October 14, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  12. John Hinge

    It is true, this President has a disdain for anyone who works hard and is not among the liberal elite or the dependency crowd. You know he had to be laughing when he passed the "tax on white people". A federal excise tax on tanning services in his first tax bill.

    October 14, 2013 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  13. Carl

    Is the President a radicak Black Panther member? Is he a radical black Baptiste who follows Wright? I have never seen someone participate in every radical group than President Obama. He is even a communist who is selling the government to Wallstreet.

    October 14, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  14. Deb

    Go ahead... let this Tea Party nut cases ruin the GOP.... It will make it much easier in the next elections for the Dem's to take over the house also..... I wish it were legal to sue these jerks for slander when lies are told. Then maybe we could get past the racism and name calling.

    October 14, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  15. cedaly1968

    And this is why the TEA Party is failing. An inability to persuade American's to their line of thinking so they spew racist, sexist, homophobic vitriol that appeals to fringe Americans who are unable to think for themselves and rationalize about the President of the United States. It's pathetic. It's anti-American. And it's wrong.

    October 14, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  16. John Hinge

    It is true, this President has a disdain for anyone who works hard and is not among the liberal elite or the dependency crowd. You know he had to be laughing when he passed the "tax on whyte people". A federal excise tax on tanning services in his first tax bill. Had to misspell to appease CNN

    October 14, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  17. patrick

    I wonder who is profiting from this shutdown. We see tons of stories about businesses and people losing money, but there has to be some fat cats who are profiting hand over fist from it. It happened during the Wall Street bailout, mideastern wars, etc. So we know it has to be happening now. I just hope that there will be articles about those victors forthcoming. Why do I suspect that nearly all will be rich Republican supporters/Tea Party shills?

    October 14, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  18. Christian Grey

    The Kansas City Chiefs are 6 & 0 and Arrow Head Stadium is the loudest outdoor venue in the world. You see shutting down the government is not so important HAHAHAA and this article was published to do nothing but foster hate. Listen to all of you. And you spew out your venom at the tea party. SMH

    October 14, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  19. MasterBlaster

    Why are the politicians closing our state parks? Just lay the Rangers off, keep the gates open. Is our government afraid somebody might fill up the Grand Canyon with Arizona sand, or maybe someone will bath in the waters of Old Faithful? Do they (government) think somebody will flatten the Smokey Mountains. All the times I've been to a Federal Park, I've never needed "help or advice" from a employee. Most of us outdoors people go at our own pace.
    Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, I want to see the leaves change in the Smokeys, like my family has for twenty years! Why don't these worthless politicians just go home! Let's barricade congress' offices (nothing good has happened there in 15 years!
    Next elections do the RIGHT THING;
    VOTE THEM ALL OUT, and SAVE AMERICA!

    October 14, 2013 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  20. BOLAJI

    come on!
    are we still on this birther , quran black mumbo jumbo, its really not fair and scary that we cant differentiate moderate republicans from tea party nut cases. I believe that this is going too far, i america a free country with diversity and opportunity or does it have a racist elite that would rather have america burn than a successful black person. I have certain republican values but because of these nutcases ill NEVER VOTE FOR THEM

    October 14, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  21. Wake up People!

    So I guess this rude man will be the next Tea Party member in Congress. No faster way to rise up in the ranks of todays GOP than disrespecting THIS POTUS.

    October 14, 2013 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  22. chiz3914

    Mullah Cruz and the Taliban Tea party

    October 14, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  23. nickiead

    The fearful are always so easily manipulated and look for answers that conveniently assuage their fears. It's the manipulators who based on self interest are the true criminals.They know who they are and are rarely outed because they have created story lines that insulate them criticism such as 'I am concerned about our children and grandchildren.' Yeah, who gives a hell about people suffering now....let's worry about the invisible people we will screw over in the future.Hypocrisy driven by greed...the truth. Please gullible people use your brains intelligently for once....wake up.

    October 14, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    one protester yelling out "punk" to describe the president and one speaker saying Obama is not the president of "the" people but "his" people
    -------------------------------------------------
    Such shameful, shameful behaviour.
    I try my best to play it off, shrug it off, cuss it off.
    The reality is that it seeps into me and breaks my heart.

    October 14, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  25. Michael

    The shutdown happened because the BOP/TP demanded that a budget item be tied to the CR. The Constitution of the United States dearly defines how bills become law and the avenue used to change or recind said laws. The tactic of holding the country hostage in a vain attempt to defund the ACA is unconstitutional and amounts to ideological terrorism. If these people spent as much time on trying to solve issues facing all Americans as they do obstructing Congress and putting their sick mug on TV, we wouldn't be in this position. Get this stright, America, the upcoming debt limit deals with money already spent, not future spending. If the US does not honor the financial obligations already in place, the global economy will tank, as will the credit rating of the US. People will lose their jobs thereby inflating unemployment, food stamps, et al, which are the very programs that the GOP/TP want to cut to the bone. WHERE ARE THE JOBS?? Put America back to work and many of these economic woes will become moot.

    October 14, 2013 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
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