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. Lucasfilms

    Well, I think he has put the Quran down. I just saw a picture of him working at a food pantry making sandwiches, and I don't thin that would be very easy to do with a Quran in your hands. You could get peanut butter or mayonnaise all over it, and I don't think that would sit well with the world's Muslims.

    October 14, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. cedar rapids

    ‘falcon partiot
    President Obama. YOU are the President of the Unites States of America. YOU are accountable for everything done by the government of the United States of America. YOU are responsible and accountable for EVERYTHING that happens by all members of congress – Democrat or Republican. YOU are accountable for the shutdown. YOUR government is causing this. Not just the Republicans, and not just the Democrats. YOUR government. The moment you blame YOURSELF, and NO one else, is the moment you might just gain a bit of respect.
    NO TRUE AMERICAN would have let it come to this.’

    Wait, he is accountable for what congress does? Since when? There is this whole checks and balances thing, remember?
    You guys need to make your minds up, one minute you are claiming he is a dictator, trying to control everything and the next you are saying its his responsibility to control everything.

    And there have been shutdowns during the administrations of Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush senior, and Clinton. I guess none of them were ‘TRUE AMERICANS’ either.

    October 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  3. Minh Tran

    Zoom into the picture so you can see what color of these people is.

    October 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  4. texasnotea

    The tea party message is a lie! . It is and has been a lie from the very beginning of the tea party when it was formed AFTER Barrack Obama was elected President the first time. If the tea party message was valid and had any credibility,they would have formed the party WHILE Bush was still President and spending America into Oblivion. The tea party is the result of white republicans who got mad mad mad because they lost and a black President won. They just cannot deal with it. If ANYONE BUT a black man had won,the tea party would not exist all today. Now to attract new members they lie about spending figures and NEVER MENTION ANYTHING truthful when it comes to the President.They are nothing more than a cult of bigots who hide behind a false message to advance racism.

    October 14, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  5. Ronald K. Lewis

    this message is for Palin, Cruz, and the two faced bigot named Larry Claymon of the Freedom Watch, this later gentleman (excuse me Idiot) is one of the reasons we are so divided now, not to mention Palin and CRUZ these folks are the archtects of the shutdown impasse, Mr. Clayman's should have a Quran or anything else close at hand shoved down his throat. These three people and all like them put our government in the state it's in and that's the facts and they call themselves conservative REPUBLICANS, good luck with that one.

    October 14, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  6. knklhead

    I give you Exhibit A of the Tea-Party .. Angry white men who aren't terribly bright and racist. YOUR PARTY were the ones SMILING and drunk with giddiness that they figured out a way to shut down the government! And Palin and Cruz are protesting the government CRUZ shut down? Seriously? Are you dumber than a four-year-old?

    October 14, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  7. twalk

    @Jeff gadsby ; Goodbye America since 2001!!!

    October 14, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. Hogan's Goat

    See, he wants to be taken seriously, and that's why he said the most jaw-droppingly stupid thing he could think of. It certainly reflects well on the professionalism of Sen. Cruz and Half-Gov. Palin, doesn't it?

    October 14, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. Mike

    Why would it matter if Obama was a muslim? Did something happen to "freedom of religion" that I don't know about? Sad that people fall for this rather than do some reading and see the truth for themselves.

    October 14, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  10. Alireza

    Poor, uneducated and illiterate people! They have no clue what they are talking about. They don't even know who is responsible for the government shutdown. They have no idea what the heck Quran is. They are just like a group of sheep that don't even know who their shepherds (Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz) are.

    October 14, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  11. Mensaman

    It's just a dig at Obama. I doubt you could find anyone who believes he's a card carrying Muslim. He identifies and Christian and most everyone takes him at his word. A Muslim sympathizer, more likely. It's just that this group is frustrated at Obama's failures in healthcare, foreign policy, losing 9 million jobs and gaining only 7 million (mostly part time).
    People are hurting and they have had enough – with all of Washington.
    No one can challenge the fact that either side could have stopped this madness three or four times now in the process. We have a president who was very late to the table and doesn't know how to negotiate or compromise.
    Leftist trolls might think the Right is "stupid" or "racist" but they accuse people when they have no argument.
    Obama was the big mistake here. I wish the media would report it instead of giving him love letters for below par work. It might wake him up and help the country.

    October 14, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  12. jakeinlove

    Typical Tea Party rant. Typical Tea Party irony that he would bring up the Quran when the America that I live in is based on freedom of religion. So sad that they're so blinded by their hatred they don't even see this.

    October 14, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  13. Maria

    This is so disgusting! Hello, he is the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, kindly show some RESPECT.

    October 14, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  14. sly

    Ho ho ho - no one lies better than a Republican.

    Anyone else notice that when Bush turned a record SURPLUS into a record DEFICIT, 100% of Republicans voted to increase spending and raise the debt ceiling.

    100%!

    There is no crisis – just 35 treasonous Tea Billies still trying to win the Civil War.

    October 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  15. Anthony

    This protest has nothing to do with the tea party! It is veterans wanting the barricades taken down around their memorials. The government has no right to block veterans who have given their lives to our country from visiting the memorials. The government is PAYING to have the barricades put up, that means they are going out of their way to make veterans feel the effects of the shutdown. To me this shows that they don't care about our veterans. I am a veteran and i find it discussing that the government would even think to put up barricades around memorials.I think we need to get rid of everyone who is in office and elect nothing but independents. This party vs party bs is whit is tearing this country apart.

    October 14, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  16. JC

    "Our veterans should be above politics. Enough games."

    The pot calling the kettle black.

    October 14, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. BobJustBob

    These people do not rely exclusively on lies, they just as frequently resort to hypothetically bizarre situations that can and never will occur.

    October 14, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Hank

    Hmmm...can you say liberal media bias? Every one is racist!! Blah blah blah

    You select one person out of thousands? How about we go back and look at a few left-wing rallies when Bush was in office.

    October 14, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. william blinn

    And yet some people still say this Presidents term was a "sucess"

    October 14, 2013 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. radar8

    Anyone the tea party doesn't like gets labeled with hated terms like communist, socialist, Muslim, The ironic part is that most of the people calling names don't even understand what they truly mean. It's embarrassing for me to know that people in other countries see these ignoramuses and think that we're all like that.

    It some of these extremists had their way, they would bring back McCarthyism. They think that waving the flag and they're guns make them real americans. They couldn't be farther from the truth.

    Sinclair Lewis had it right when he said "When fascsim comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross".

    October 14, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. jp

    "What a maroon! "- B.Bunny

    October 14, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Larry in Houston

    bottom line is this : the 2014 mid-terms will tell the tale..... remember, it's not like the presidential election, where it all depends on 5 or 6 states, who will be declared the winner. ALL of the states will be able to get involved, on who's going to be THEIR representative, in the D.C. Capitol -

    all these groups – and all these rallys – doesn't matter – it's all going to be resolved @ the voting booth, in 2014....period. I wouldn't go to any of those rallies, or any of those gatherings, if you paid me....and I would say the majority of the people in the U.S. feels the same...It's the radicals (on Both Sides) that are always on the "fringe" and seems like they stay there, continually.

    October 14, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Independent-minded

    I think calling them wackos would be offensive to wackos.

    October 14, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  24. Janice

    The tea party is in sighting terrorism and racial profiling and their comments are dangerous to say the least. They have an agenda that has nothing to do with governing the country. They are wanting to destroy democracy . They have no place in politics and they need to be forced out. Let's remember Hitler

    October 14, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  25. Bryan

    I was there. We were hijacked by the Tea Party. It was unfortunate.

    October 14, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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