October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
9 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. rh

    This guy needs to think before he speaks. If your going to make a statement like that and ask the pres to step down; one you need to know what it is your talking about and two learn to say it without make yourself out to be ignorant! It is not just the pres that is not doing his job the entire system is broken! We do need to think about who we are electing to office, but I dont think an honest person could surive washington poltics! I dont have the anwsers, but I wish we could find someone that does! I do know it not this person!

    October 14, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  2. Tom

    It is simply amazing that so many supporters of the conservative right don't realize that their representatives have been getting rich and supporting corporate America at their expense. I suspect many tea party supporters are working class people so how can they not realize that republicans have lowered taxes on the rich, pushed to eliminate organized labor, given tax benefits to corporations, etc, etc, all at the cost of American jobs and the ability to earn a living wage. And now they support those same representatives in their effort to eliminate a law that seeks to provide healthcare for those that can't or won't pay for themselves. Are they just uneducated? They can't all be rich corporate executive? Someone help me understand why they support the people that have hurt them the most.

    October 14, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  3. carole kaufman

    What kind of reporting is this. "Fewer than a million " means that there was a substantial number there. Other news outlets stated that there a few hundred protestors (at most 400) Talk about skewing the numbers. It is also interesting that CNN didn't show all the confederate flags and signs saying that Obama is a muslim and should be impeached. This was important because it would have given the viewers a prospective of the participants. Is CNN trying to outdo Fox in being "fair and balanced?

    October 14, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. peavey

    You are morons.

    "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

    You are dangerous morons.

    October 14, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  5. Bob

    So when the Tea Party's smoke and mirrors fails to work (now that most people know their a phony political group created by Fox News and the Koch Brothers) they have to resort to their usual fear-baiting with the birther and Muslim claims again. What's next? Maybe dig up Joe McCarthy's corpse and accuse him of secretly being a Communist.

    October 14, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. LR

    Typical liberal media bias. Attack and ridicule conservative voices who cry out for fiscal sanity and limited government, so you can deflect and hide the poor dismal state of this country's economy and lack of jobs. Obama and the democrats have been in power for five years now, and they own mess!!

    October 14, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  7. Saboth

    Fact of the matter (no spin here), is Boehner and Senate Dems had already come to an agreement to keep the government funded and to resolve the debt ceiling. They negotiated back and forth and Dems gave concessions and they all agreed. The issue was *settled*. At the last minute, Boehner reneged on that deal and demanded more concessions. So now you have some background on why Dems "won't negotiate". Negotiation was over, everyone was in agreement, and Republicans went back on it in some kind of bonehead power-play move that messed up the entire deal, along with our government. This mess is 100% Republicans' fault.

    October 14, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Randall

    If people would only take 10 minutes to do some online homework about their president, they'd find out that both the president AND HIS FATHER, are CHRISTIANS. His father converted from Islam to Christianity BY CHOICE.

    Americans of all peoples, should know by now that you can't assume an American's religion just by their name. Many people with "middle eastern" sounding names are not Muslim. Some with typically American names, are not Christian.

    If you want to oppose Obama because of his policies then fine. Debate those. But stop with this absurd attempt to paint him as an Al Qaeda terrorist.

    October 14, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Daniel Maddigan

    If the tea party republicans really want to honor the Americans who gave life, blood and family in defense of democracy they should allow that democratic process to occur in the House of Representatives.

    October 14, 2013 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  10. Goby Dillis

    Yeah, Because the democrats are actually responsible and will continue to try to pin it on the GOP as long as they think the people believe them. It seems to me delaying ACA for 1 year wasn't that hard of a concession to make to fund the Government. With all that political circle jerking it’s hard to make out who the facilitators are, but with all that aside. The Democrats are continuing to renew the NDAA as they have the majority and they continue to attack the 2nd, the 4th, the 10th and the 16th amendments and that is all it takes for me to stay independent with full 3rd party leanings. Any party other than the 2 fruit baskets will do. It is amazing that the public can't seem to hate these fools enough just to keep voting them in. It’s just that dumb.

    October 14, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. steve-0

    Tea party=psycho

    October 14, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Marri

    Wow, what a biased tone in this article. You wonder why CNN's ratings are tanking. Of course Obama is a muslim & a muslim sympathizer. He is the most anti-God & anti-American president we have ever had. Have some of you forgotten about the Homeland Security report put out shortly after obama came into office-"Conservatives, Christians, patriots & military just released from service are a threat to the security of this country". Look it up! Let me know if you still think obama is pro-America?

    October 14, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Wake up People!

    Oh Goby please. Give it a rest. They wanted a year to continue to look for ways to destroy it. President Obama already gave them 3 and what did they do? Nothing.

    Typical Teapublikkkan.

    October 14, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. mike

    So not only are these teanuts exploiting veterans for their own political hackery, but they are also protesting the shutdown that THEY created. Wow. The idiocy and hypocrisy knows no bounds....

    October 14, 2013 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  15. Jon

    Another Tea Bagger brain surgeon! We say to him "Pick up a book, you half-wit!".

    October 14, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. mike

    Accountant1967, having heard the whole story, it's clear that this IS the GOP's fault. Perhaps you should take your own advice and learn more.

    October 14, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. ellamvaram

    Here we go again, my friends, rubble-rousing at it's best, and ignoring the issues that is causing so much havoc among the innocent citizens of this Nation. This is not the time to bring up an old adage of the Republican Party; about who President Obama is or to whom he was born and where he was born, etc. Come on Mr.Larry Klayman, much do you know that you could speak the way you did when refering to Obama's religious beliefs or his faith affiliations. You said that he (meaning, Obama) should drop this whole thing about "Allah". Do you know who "Allah" is? If you did, you would degrade "Allah" this way. Larry, every language has a word for the Supreme Being, we call, "God", and "Allah" is the Arabic word for the very same God you worship, if at all you do worship a God. You are not exhibiting any intelligence the way you spoke at the Rally you all had, but utter ignorance and sadly, down right bigotry. Go on, you are digging your own grave, if I may say so.

    October 14, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Deej59

    I love all the ultra-cons commenting about how this is a liberal lie. It's on video. And it's a very strong example of the hysteria that drives the Obamahate. The Tea Party endorses boobs like this guy. Palin certainly shares his fondness for malicious lies, as she kept trying to scare people into thinking he was a terrorist in 2008. I agree with Jon King, who said this is a small percentage fringe, and that the vast majority of Americans roll their eyes at this kind of garbage. It's just that you see more of those people in comment sections.

    October 14, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. Cult of Personality

    How many Marlboro cigarette buts were left on the ground after they left?

    October 14, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  20. ellamvaram

    Let's not only condemn Larry Klayman as a "bigot", every single one of them standing there and applauding the things Larry was saying is subscribing to his 'theories'. So, let all of them beging digging their own graves.

    October 14, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. navaJohn

    These are the kinds of people that people like Cruz represent. How did such arrogant, hateful and ignorant people get so intrenched in our government to cause the harm being done? Nothing but lies and hatred from them. GOP, you have a wart on the end of your nose and it isn't going away on its own. YOU, GOP, have to take your party back and let government work again as it was intended.

    October 14, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  22. Ordnry1

    This message is for Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.
    Mr. Klayman, you need to have your head examined. IT IS THE GOP WHO SHUTS DOWN THE GOVERNMENT. IT IS THE GOP WHO MADE DEMANDS AND THREATS EVEN BEFORE NEGOTIATIONS CAN BEGIN. SHAME ON YOU TED CRUZ AND THE LIKE. THE WORLD IS WATCHING AND DISGUSTED AT YOUR ARROGANCE AND SHAMELESS BEHAVIOR. And, for you, Mr. Boehner, your weakness shows that you shouldn't be the speaker of the House. I don't care if President Obama is Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish or even Atheist. The majority of the United States citizens elected him to be our President. Get over it. You Republicans lost the election and you will lose again in 2016 and it's your own doing.

    October 14, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  23. No place for hate

    A political debate or skirmish is one thing but for a handful of hateful morons to grab attention opportunistically is another. Those people should be ashamed of themselves, but then again they have no conscience. There was another idiot waving a confederate flag. Where is the name of decency do these animals come from? Get a life.

    October 14, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  24. David/Ohio

    Does Larry spell his last name with one K, or three?

    October 14, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. Here comes Palin again

    Here comes Sarah Palin again, always ready to fan a flame. This woman is a complete disgrace. Thank goodness she no longer holds elected office. Her remarks, as usual, are divisive and represent the worst of dog whistle politics. She is truly a complete moron.

    October 14, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
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