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. Pamela

    The Republican Party is shooting itself in the foot the longer they pander to the Tea Party members. If the Tea Party has so much support, why don't they form their own party totally separate from the Republican Party?

    October 14, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  2. R68

    What's so sad and crazy about this is that people will actually follow nut cases like this and believe them. To make comments like that and actually be in the political arena and have people voting for you and others in that party shows the ignorance of so many. I hope that the majority of people are smarter than this. If they ruled this country it would be scary.

    October 14, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  3. Hadenuffyet

    He's no Muslim , and even if he was , there is that first amendment thing that these types are effectively ranting against. So who are the real anti-americans here?

    October 14, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  4. paddy11b

    A bunch of veterans protest the memorials being closed. Its not a tea party rally a republican rally or a democrat rally if they show up in the middle a veteran protest and start preaching.

    October 14, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  5. Richard

    So if we are making the assumption that Obama is a secret muslim should we also assume Senator Cruz is a Cuban or Canadian sleeper agent...it would make about as much sense. Keep it up up TP....every day you reconfirm what all decent people on both sides of the political fence know.

    October 14, 2013 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Career politicians need to go, this wasn't how our government was meant to be run, Every single one of them are spin doctors that tell their continuants whatever they want to hear, true or not, and we take it, hook line and sinker. Let real Americans run the country, vote all of these posers out!!!!!

    October 14, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  7. Villatoro

    I put all the blame on us, we are the ones feeding this animals with our support, as long as we have people supporting Idiots like Cruz, we are going to have a disfuctional governmet.

    October 14, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  8. Scott

    Good on them, Obama is the biggest danger to this country. Obama is selling this country down the river.

    October 14, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  9. DerpDerpDerp

    What does Obama's religion have to do with anything? Are these people completely bonkers? His religion has nothing to do with the debt ceiling or the budget. How can they not see that the House is as responsible for these closures as the President? Meanwhile, if one of these people got injured at a "closed" memorial they would be suing everyone including the Fed Gov for failing to provide staff to ensure safety. Idiocracy at its finest.

    October 14, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  10. Dave - Phx

    There is no logic for people supporting these idiots other than racism.

    October 14, 2013 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  11. Fr33d0mhawk

    Anyone who is capable of believing such a silly lie as Obama is a Kenyan born Muslim is dangerous, dangerous because they can easily swallow the lies in order to incite terrorism. Tim McVeigh is the poster child for the Teaparty, just like a Teapartier, McVeigh accused BIG GOVT of the burning at Waco, when it was obviously Koresh ordering his own people, his child rape victims included, burned to death by igniting gasoline. But Teaparty types insist that Koresh was a Messiah, and McVeigh was an artist, a patriot, but then after their love of McVeigh earned them
    most hatred group in America" the Teaparty types then accused McVeigh of being a dupe hired by Clinton to make Teaparty Talibanites the bad guys. Those veterans telling deliberate lies in order to foment insurrection are guilty of sedition during a time of war and they should be prosecuted thusly. If they have a real beef with Obama, then use the truth and don't resort to rabblerousing bigoted lies, don't resort to sedition, treason, you know, Teaparty Family Values.

    October 14, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  12. theJay

    The president didn't force the government shutdown, and he didn't close the national parks. The House caused this to happen by not approving the budget. It is actually against the law for any federal agency to spend federal money that hasn't been approved prior. Anyone found guilty of doing so faces a federal prison term, and a very large fine.

    So all directors of non-essential federal agencies shutdown, soley to protect themselves from persecution.

    If you want to blame someone, point your finger at the House, and those racist Tea Partiers.

    October 14, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  13. mjbrin

    some one said the veterans fought for the memorials they earned. I heard that i believe on NBC. No, veterans fought for all of us, not just themselves. I feel this is very odd for them to be more worried about the memorials than the health benefits for themselves, their families and the families of the nation.

    October 14, 2013 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    These pathetic idiots think Ted Cruz has same Charisma, and caliber as Pres. Pbama, but NO. VERY PATHETIC.
    PS: congress better work on tightening Immigration, reduce the number of all kinds of Visas, our benefits such as Medicare, SS are at risk. See the India crowd in major temples etc,. NY, NJ, Chicago, Raleigh, LA, Houstn, Dallas etc.

    October 14, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  15. Douglas

    Obama is a liar. He wasn't born in this country and he is an American.

    October 14, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  16. Markmax

    I hope he saw the signs "Impeach obama". How about an earily retirement, where is Joe when we need him?

    October 14, 2013 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  17. David Dolgin

    Back to the big lie about Obama being Muslim. When do they ask for his birth certificate again? These idiots can't even think of new hateful stuff, just the old Palin/Trump crap. Their real issue with Obama is not spoken overtly – he is STILL a mixed-race man.

    October 14, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  18. sogi gisom

    To all those people that say the Tea Party is an extremist radical group please give some examples of the Tea Party's stated policies or stated objectives that indicate they are indeed an extremist radical group. Do not just put statements and accusations without giving any evidence or example of radical policy. If you cannot give any actual evidence then it is really and truly the MSM agenda to try to destroy people or organization that the MSM feel uncomfortable with.

    October 14, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  19. Graymatr

    I've been a registered Republican for 50 years. I have no affiliation with the Tea Party and I wish they would go away. We DO NOT need far-right, religious fanaticism in politics (i.e., Muslim Brotherhood, Communist party, Socialist party, etc). We have the finest constitution in the world and we need to follow it. Term limits for EVERY elected official is desparately needed. I am embarassed at the bums representing us in DC; red-blue, liberal-conservative, male-female. We are a civil nation governed by the people and not religious fanatics. I am tired of hearing about progress being or not being made due to issues regarding abortion or birth control. If we have the right to bear arms, than a woman has the right to bear a child, or not.

    October 14, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  20. a veteran

    Don't any of you see what is actually happening here? The Tea Party called for the government to be shut down so they could fight against the ACA. Shutting down the gov means shutting down EVERYTHING the gov funds and controls – including our monuments. The Republicans, at the root of all of this, who cannot budge on the ACA in order to reopen our government and raise the debt ceiling so we don't default are the same people who caused the shutting down of the monuments they are now protesting at! And the worst part – they're doing this on purpose. They are tying, and succeeding, at distracting the American public from the real issues. So congratulations, they did it again. You're now all convinced that Obama is a Muslim (and who really freaking cares if he is??? HONESTLY??? Separation of Church and State. Look it up.) Finding God isn't going to help this country. Religion belongs in the home, not in Congress. But yes – please – keep talking about it. Keep making this a religious debate. Keep the focus off the real issues like the devastation of our economy and our standing in the world economy. Keep the focus off the issue of our nations failing education system and debt burdened higher education. Keep the focus off the millions of Americas in poverty. Yup. Let's argue about our President's religious practices and the closing of the monuments. It's safer, after all, to make this religious – if you only focus on the religious aspect of our government then you're not responsible for not coming up with a solution. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what is wrong with our nation.

    October 14, 2013 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. K.A. Reed

    These people have been drinking that funny tea. President Obama is a CHRISTIAN.

    October 14, 2013 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  22. wm Scot

    I see some hats from my Vietnam Veteran Brothers in the picture. Some are younger than the Iraq Vets. Even if they were I feel sorry for them that they would believe that the president is Muslim or not from this country because they are being fed a bunch of crap from the fringe media . I feel sorry for them that they have to be some sort of prop for Mr. Cruz and Ms. Palin who would use these brave guys for their bidding.
    We all know it is not the President that has the purse strings of this country but the congress .
    With the RNC polls dropping in the country this is a stupid stunt to get its base rallied up and sway the voters back into the crazy tent !

    October 14, 2013 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. OrganicManLives_N_anOraganicUNiverSE

    sad people ...very sad sad people. Larry Klayman go buy a clue.

    October 14, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  24. porichkid

    wait wasn't this country found on one of the principles freedom of religion ?well obama cant do anything right not even pray,we should all do what our fore fathers did and throw the tea partiers in the river and watch them sink most of them are that cheap no name tea anyway.

    October 14, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  25. Bruce

    Nothing worse than a tea partier...I mean the audacity to strive for a smaller government that pays it's bills...my god...the horror.

    October 14, 2013 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
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