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. Christy

    How come every time someone disagrees with our narcissistic, self-righteous, game-playing president the liberals say it's because we're racist and hate the poor. I guess that's the only defense they have left – it has to be exhausting to keep defending this incompetent man. And really, do you think the veterans that they're standing up for are all white, wealthy men. Last time I checked our veterans came in all colors and only the ones who go into politics get wealthy.

    October 14, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  2. Mike

    I used to wonder where the term libtard came from. After reading here, I no longer wonder about that. I can see the answer right in front of me time and time again.

    October 14, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  3. carlos

    People with weak minds, unable to think for themselves usually fall victim and pray to people like T party leaders who feed them untruths and fill their weak minds with garbage. I feel sorry for this people – I wish they would pick up a book or something or at a minimum a newspaper to gain some knowledge on their own. I guess laziness does have a prize after all.

    October 14, 2013 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  4. ERIC MATTHEWS

    The behavior of these "Americans" is simply disgraceful.

    October 14, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  5. Hogan's Goat

    Well, there went Cruz's "presidential ambitions," right down the toilet. I can see the ads now: "And he stood by and smiled while this insane person told Obama to put down the Quran." Even Grampaw McCain knew better than to let that kind of stuff go by unchallenged; Cruz is really a rookie.

    October 14, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  6. Humanity4All

    The most dumb and sick kind = the republicans

    October 14, 2013 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. Robert Simms

    A Canadian, A Quitter, and a Con Artist masquerading as a lawyer.
    All joining together for a photo op, desperately trying to look and sound like patriots.
    Trying to con whomever is watching into thinking( and it seems quite a few bit) that they care about the plight of veterans.
    If you believe anything they say.
    Then you deserve what you get.
    And based on their history.
    It will be nothing more than your wallet being emptied.

    October 14, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  8. Obamaisasocialist

    Well, Obama did side with Islamic fundamentalist group the MUSLIM BORTHERHOOD in Egypt. So, there is that........

    October 14, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  9. Joe Texan

    I'm hearted to see posts that are 10 to 1 against these tea party lunatics. Obviously, they do not support democracy and believe they should be allowed to control the majority. I just wish we could attack them the same as the Taliban, with missiles.

    October 14, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  10. Dude

    It's amazing how many of you point the finger of HATE while spewing HATE at the same time. Hypocrisy much? Many of you would have no problem with the protests in the 60's (civil rights and Vietnam) and claim that the police with their hoses, riot gear, and tear gas were overly-aggressive towards members of our society expressing their 1st amendment rights back then. But when a group of veterans who laid their lives on the line for your freedoms gather to voice their opinions (peacefully) you want them wiped out like a scene from a genocide. You spew awful vitrol towards them; worse in my opinion than anything they're even saying about the President. My how we have fallen...
    Meanwhile, when the Tea Party rose up during the Bush administration to question his actions/motives, many democrats supported and praised the Tea Party. They're simply holding this current administration to the same Constitutional standards, but because you voted for Obama your shallow egos are hurt, so you must lash out like children. I see nothing but the great hypocrisy that runs deep within the bowels of Lenin and Marx. Way to turn on your patriotic veterans and Constitutional Americans. The extremism within your party is so very proud.

    October 14, 2013 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  11. ktown8

    Leave it to CNN and Liberals to focus on a small section of the crowd during these protests. This protest was about the Veterans being shut out of their own memorials while illegals are given an exception to march at the National Mall. That's why everyone is pissed off. We disrespect and dishonor our veterans who fought for our freedoms and allow illegals to have a voice and give them exceptions. Obama knows what he's doing. He's tearing this country apart from the inside-out.......which has been the plan of the far left from the very beginning. Socialists are now masacarading as "Liberals" and "Progressives". They are anti-America, and it shines through.

    October 14, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  12. MAXIE ELLISON

    A protest led by flaming idiots

    October 14, 2013 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. opinionguru

    King George III and the rest of Britain thought the same of 'The Colonies' as liberals think of conservatives and Christians. I wonder if the outcome will be the same? "...Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it" ~George Santayana

    October 14, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  14. ronald raygun

    you cant have a tea party without fruitcakes and nuts

    October 14, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  15. 13Directors

    Just another example of their self-seeking ways. Head start programs that serve our youth are closed and this is what pisses them off most. Very telling.

    October 14, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. ktown8

    I also love how people bash the Tea Partiers, but praise the actually terrorists and anarchists that is/was the Occupy Movement. Unbelievable that protesters that assembly peacefully and want nothing more than a smaller, more fiscally responsible government can be labeled they way they are. Just goes to show you the power of the Liberal media.

    October 14, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. manyote

    "Tea Party 'Patriots'? More like the Tea Party Idiots.

    October 14, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. ellid

    These people aren't crazy. They're subversive, and should be treated as such – one was flying a Confederate flag! Shame on Palin for going anywhere near them

    October 14, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  19. Charles

    Speaking as a retired U.S. Navy veteran I say I support our President. Under his administration veterans have the most generous G.I. Bill in it's history. If you care to recall a lot of Republicans voted against this as being too expensive, but it passed with Democratic sponsorship. As for Ted Cruz, he is in favor of the shutdown and has a great deal of responsibility for it. Now he is out and about looking for a photo opportunity saying that the government is shutting out veterans. As for Palin, she should quit while she is ahead.

    October 14, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  20. ManWiththe1000PoundBrain

    The Taxman said: "Cannot believe Jay Carney and his Obama rhetoric. Of course it was Obama and his cronies that shut down the government and are threatening us with the debt ceiling. The speaker is pretty correct on the Muslim in the White House as Obama surely is not an American. God Bless all those who have served our country in the military and guard."

    Oh, is that why the GOP and the Tea Party have an all time low approval rating (from multiple polls, to include one's conducted by republicans)? And is that why the vast majority of Americans blame the Tea Party for the shut down? People like YOU are to blame and you are an embarrassment to the country. When you say that Obama is a Muslim, who is NOT and has never been Muslim and who is also an American, you just totally discredit yourself and the Tea Party. Most of the country thinks you people are nothing but a bunch of wackos.

    October 14, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  21. MNClownfactory

    Wow, these guy's never stop on the hate, they are birthers and muslim haters trying to pin nonsensical stuff on Obama. They lost the election and will not accept responsibility for being the VERY same people that have shut down the governemnt. Where is the accountablity with these Tea Publicans? This weekened I read whre they were blaming the sequester cuts on Obama also? what kind of sick twisted reality do these middle aged white retired folks live in?

    October 14, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  22. bill

    "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,"

    This is what the GOP has devolved into.

    October 14, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  23. CHUCK

    What a bunch of freaks..

    October 14, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  24. the one true god

    These people are just willfully ignorant. It is like watching a bad British parody of stupid, spiteful, fanatical Americans. You would think that these Tea Party/birther/theocratic rednecks would sober up and have the decency to be embarrassed.

    October 14, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  25. Huma

    If you are playing the R vs. L game you are wrong.

    October 14, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
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