October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
12 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 (2,570 Responses)
  1. wilber

    He should be impeached. He has no leadership skills. Only a party agenda. He is suppose to work for us. Not himself.

    October 14, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. wwleslie

    If Rallier were just an idiot (like Michelle Bachmann), I would call him misguided. But I think he knows he's lying about Obama; that makes him a demagogue.

    October 14, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. weezer

    Saw an interesting note comparing the Tea Party to the Nazi Party in 1930 Germany, and how the Nazis used fear mongering and character assassination to shame the populace into voting them in:

    "There are striking similarities between the Nazis and the tea party. Both arose out of economic discontent, both are racist to the core, both held extreme religious views, both had/have a famous voice appealing to their followers leading the charge-Palin is beloved by her narrow band of followers as Hitler was by his – and both preyed on people's fears in an attempt to gain power. Oh yeah, I forgot, both are/were fascists as well."

    The Nazis got in with 33% of the vote because the rest of the populace was apathetic. Think it can't happen again? Get ready for the Brown Shirts.

    October 14, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. Bob Hope's Ghost

    notice the lack of trash and dirtyness compared to the liberal rallys?

    October 14, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. SoSad

    Linda Gruizenga, really a confederate flag! Yes, express your opinions, not the fabricated BS, by the Canadian Cruz.

    By the way, he looks more like Bill Murrays illegitimate son? Just saying.

    October 14, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Derek

    Funny that the Tea Party rally against the closure of a socialistic program...

    October 14, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  7. quinLee

    this beast was sought and supported by GOP back in 2008 for political gain. Now it has turned and eaten their party alive and is threatening the stability of our nation, and by extension the world economy. Imagine that, all this from a loud minority group that is bankrupted on facts and broad understanding but surplussed in ignorance, fear and hatred.

    October 14, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  8. thatsjackedup

    The 'teaparty" are what used to be 'white supremist'. They reinvented themselves and now parade around as Tea party members. They are dangerous and are infilterating our government like worms.

    October 14, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Fred Flintstone

    I personally could care less what faith a president practices.. as long as he isn't a complete fraud and a liar.

    October 14, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. Jimmy

    Our President Obama created the TEA party.
    The TEA party came into existence because of the his left wing agena.
    Our President promised to bring us together.
    Instead he has driven us further apart by NOT governing from the middle.

    October 14, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  11. AB

    We elected this president not once but twice. Larry Klayman is the one who needs to pack his bag and leave for wherever he or his parents migrated from. We don't need bullies like him who are non-tolerant of others. He is clearly unable to live in a changing world where non-white people will continue to be in powerful positions. Mr. Klayman, you should leave this great country if you cannot honor a dully elected president. Trying to force an elected president does not resolve any problem – it will just create more.

    October 14, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. freedom

    What's different about this than Obama saying "they cling to their guns and Bibles." Just as offensive. Stop with the double standards – just because he's the first black president? He happens to be doing great harm to this country – doesn't matter what color he is or what religion he is.

    October 14, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. drdata921

    Anytime I hear Palin, Cruz or the other Tea Partiers talk I have an irrepressible urge to hum the tune "Bring in the Clowns." Do these people really believe that any one takes them seriously?

    October 14, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  14. Dave

    The President took an oath to protect this country from all enemy's foreign and (domestic). The president has the right to save the country from sabotage, and should place Ted Cruz under house arrest to set an example.

    October 14, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  15. mary

    Sarah Palin and the new GOP that think like her are a frightening scourge..Crazy extremists with a crazy extreme agenda.. Much like the Nazi's... Scary... really really scary.

    October 14, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  16. cedar rapids

    ‘Put down the Quran
    “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.” – Barack Hussein Obama.
    Two weeks ago the Islamic terrorist organization Boko Haram (western education is bad), entered a college dormitory and slaughtered 50 sleeping students.
    Obama, put down the Quran.’
    .......................................................................

    ‘"Over the past month, Muslims have fasted, taking no food or water during daylight hours, in order to refocus their minds on faith and redirect their hearts to charity. Muslims worldwide have stretched out a hand of mercy to those in need. Charity tables at which the poor can break their fast line the streets of cities and towns. And gifts of food and clothing and money are distributed to ensure that all share in God's abundance. Muslims often invite members of other families to their evening iftar meals, demonstrating a spirit of tolerance."
    "America treasures the relationship we have with our many Muslim friends, and we respect the vibrant faith of Islam which inspires countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality.
    Bush December 5, 2002

    "Islam brings hope and comfort to millions of people in my country, and to more than a billion people worldwide. Ramadan is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind."’
    Bush, December 4, 2002

    "Some of the comments that have been uttered about Islam do not reflect the sentiments of my government or the sentiments of most Americans. Islam, as practiced by the vast majority of people, is a peaceful religion, a religion that respects others’
    Bush, November 13, 2002

    ……and on and on.

    Did you once, ever, say 'Bush, put down the quran'?

    October 14, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. TruthandConsequence

    While his cause is just, this fellow is a kook. Politics on either end of the spectrum draws out wierdos and numbskulls who do their cause no good.

    October 14, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Sami

    Two (2) things to note here: 1) so what if our President was a Muslim. There is nothing illegal, unethical or wrong about being a Muslim!; 2) open your eyes and ears, our President is and has beena Christian. Such a glorious display of both ignorance and arrogance courtesy of Mr. Larry Klayman and others whom agree and sympathize whith those sentiments/statements!

    October 14, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  19. Maria Delaluz

    Obama himself has said he reads from the Quran. So what's the big deal if this guy said Mr. Prez put the Quran down. You liberal loving CNN journalists (and I use the term loosely) make it sound as if reading the Quran is something bad.
    Too, amazing when the crazy Occupy movement was going on none of the hateful, outrageous things they said or did hardly ever made it to print or the news. Bisas much CNN (Corrupt News Network)? I don't think Obama is a Muslim, but he is as much a Christian as I am as rich as The Donald. Obama a Christian – HA!

    October 14, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Godly Man

    Its really sad to see and hear these kind of Americans speaking the way they do against our American President....they actually think is his fault.....and to relate to Quran another degrading statement. Its embarassing to see Soldiers aline themselves with these TeaParty racist people....especially when it may have been a black man or latino man or asian man that saved their lives and thats why they are here today.....its Very Sad to see so many White Americans still carry racisism and hatred towards people simply because of their color.

    I will never vote for a Republican based on this affiliation...this has exposed the Republican Party to its fullest....they can be controlled by ONE Group of people and Money.

    And these people speak of God....Please -

    October 14, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. Jerry

    People, people, please keep in mind that this is all being orquestrated by the clueless Obama administration in order to hurt/punish the Américan populace as much as possible.

    Democrats are hoping that we put ALL the blame on the Republicans. So far, thank God, the situation doesn't seem to be garnering the results that Obama and his clueless followers were expecting.

    There is enough blame to go around. Why didn't Obama and HIS minions act before the situation got as bad as it has?! Why will Obama negotiate with Iran, Russia, etc., etc., etc., but not with the elected officials across the isle?!

    Mr. Obama, TAKE the reins of América away from Senile Reid and Bobble Head Pelosi and, for once, START being a real Américan and LEADING this wonderful country of ours!!!

    October 14, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Are you kidding me?

    The Kochs, Fox News, and the right wing have suckered these people into a delusional state of mind. The memorial is just a small element to this shutdown and they are using this prop to say that it's our presidents fault when they cannot not even look in the mirror to see that they are being played by the opposition party.

    This behavior disgusts me and I certainly will not vote for anyone who does not denounce this vile behavior.

    Guess I will be hitting the booth for primary elections to help eradicate this poison called the TEA party.

    October 14, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. Steven Gold

    Look at those vets, who get their health care covered and paid for, by tax payers. They are made they can't visit a monument for a few weeks, just because other people want health insurance too.

    October 14, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. Mark

    Good lord. When did the right in this country become quite THIS rock stupid, and this flat out crazy?

    This crowd of fascist pigs, that want to shut down the government rather than help poor people get health care, has the NERVE to invoke Gandhi and MLK? Do they have ANY idea what those two great figures stood for? I'll give you guys a hint, since you know nothing of history. They would utterly despise everything you stand for.

    October 14, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  25. rare_earth

    Tea Party.
    Westboro Church.
    Same.

    October 14, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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