October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
10 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. Samuel

    What would have happened had the protesers were blacks?

    October 14, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Herby Sagues

    Pathetic. Why do morons like these get any press time?

    October 14, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  3. KTM

    The Tea Party wing of the Republican Party shuts down the government and then condemns Obama for not paying government workers to open monuments. Oh the irony! Congress (not the president) failed to pass the continuing resolution to fund the government programs/policies THEY already agreed to. You people are truly ignorant. Is it on purpose? Are you even aware of it?

    October 14, 2013 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  4. VEW2012

    This guy is a jerk of the first order....where does he get off insulting our President. The Teatards need to go they do not represent Americans they only represent an uneducated minority or malcontents that can be stirred up by people whose agenda is not helping America. Namely the Koch brothers and their evil cohorts.

    October 14, 2013 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  5. Herby Sagues

    But one thing about this incident gives me hope: the comments on this forum. There's common sense in America. It just doesn't get reported much.

    October 14, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Kelly Bailey

    What news – there are some extremists and wackos out there. Who knew? I don't see CNN making a big deal every time someone on the left says something that would make progressives and Democrats look silly. But every time someone on the conservative fringe says something extreme, it gets excessive coverage – with the implication being that Republicans and tea partiers are a bunch of extremists and idiots.

    October 14, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  7. drp146

    If these Tea Party right wingnuts are unhappy about monuments being closed, then they shouldn't have elected the people who engineered and brought about the government shutdown in the first place. We can thank Ted Cruz for one thing however; He will be remembered as the guy who brought down the Tea Party and the gutless Republicans who bowed to the will of these extremists who don't represent America.

    October 14, 2013 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  8. Duke

    If these people had a point, even a legitimate one, you bleww it entirely when you let this one moron speak. One Aw crap!! wipes out a thousand "attaboy!'s"

    October 14, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  9. Charles

    Dumb & dumber were the main attractions infecting the clueless and the gullible, what a miserable group of miscreants.

    October 14, 2013 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. 2L

    The Tea Partiers will continue to have a hard time persuading us of their legitimacyas long as these loose cannons keep saying stuff like this. Why is it not obvious to these nut jobs? Stick to policy issues or continue dragging the Repubs down with you.

    October 14, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. sayer

    What Ideas have the tea party put forth on healthcare and spending? Its easy to criticize and blame but hard to solve problems.

    October 14, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. William York

    Give me a break! These people need crawl back into the hole that they came out of!

    October 14, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  13. McShannon

    A man gets up in front of a gathering with a microphone and speaks and everyone near him is accused of agreeing with the speaker. Rallier is a rebel with a losing cause based on his bigotry.

    October 14, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. midwestmatt

    These pukes are swimming in the pool of sedition. Time to charge them, try them and imprison them for the rest of their lives. They are against America, NOT for it. They are attempting to overthrow the electoral process by subverting the will of the people through physical and verbal threats, abusive machinations of Congressional processes and outright lying. They're criminals. Charge them.

    October 14, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  15. Uthor

    That kind of foolish rhetoric hurts much more than it helps. Whatever cause these people think they are promoting suffers, because an intelligent person just shuts them out of their mind, and dismisses them as kooks. It might be appealing to their own core group, but most Americans are smarter than they seem to think.

    October 14, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Scott

    When you have to base your political power on preying on the beliefs of the stupidly racist then you probably should not be in politics.

    October 14, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Chuk

    Let me understand this, so Cruz advocated gov shutdown but now calls part of consequence "Enough Games?"

    October 14, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "A Canadian, a Quitter, and a Con-artist" walked into a rally in DC......
    You made me smile. Thanks I needed that.
    These people put our country to shame.

    October 14, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. deb

    "Sane Republicans"...if there are any of you left – I beg of you to please reclaim your party!!! These teaparty nutcases are ruining our country. They call President Obama a Muslim but NONE of his policies support this lunacy.

    October 14, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. mikey2014

    This guys an IDIOT. Also offends a large group of AMERICAN to boot.!!!

    October 14, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. VEW2012

    Ned.... I agree completely...we need to ban the Fascist teatards.

    October 14, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. dan

    Why media reports this? – TO derail the attention from a failing gov and president.. So people smart like most of you you would interpret – that it is the t party's and GOP's fault that the government it is shout down. This country is going downhill pretty rapidly – toward morally bankrupted-liberalism/socialism – the worst form of communism. Let'
    s start with – Don't spend more than you have and don't make the people dependent on the government. Many feel that is not worth it to have a business or own a house anymore. Let the government take care of me.... (I came from a country were the government was in charge- don't want to experience that again....)

    October 14, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  23. Paul Stoker

    Rallier and the "confederate flag guy" are a dream-come-true for certain media types. Who are they? Were they interviewed by the media as a logical follow up to their fascination by their words and symbol? I don't like what they did, but I'd like to be assured that their represenatations were sincere and that they are persons who could be spotlighted based on residence, job history and voting registration. Appreciate any details.

    October 14, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. Steve

    This type of talk and assumptions are exactly what is wrong with these cave dwellers.

    October 14, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Joihn Brady

    Shame on the do nothing but whine in the Whie house. Ah, remember when we had a leader there?

    October 14, 2013 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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