January 7th, 2008
09:25 PM ET
11 years ago

Protestors disrupt Obama rally

ROCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - A group of about a dozen anti-abortion protestors interrupted one of Barack Obama's New Hampshire rallies Monday night.

The group shouted in unison, "Abortion is abomination," forcing Obama to pause in the middle of his speech.

When the noise erupted, Obama first paused and looked up into the balcony where they were standing.

"Alright," Obama said, attempting to squelch the commotion. "Alright."

The rest of the crowd soon got angry with the protestors.

"No need to boo. We appreciate [their] point," Obama said, adding that he'd be happy to talk to them afterwards but that shouting "isn't going to solve anything."

The whole incident lasted about two minutes before they were escorted out by police.

Before leaving the room, one protestor yelled, "True change is ending abortion!" Change has been a major theme of Obama's campaign.

Once the audience calmed down again, Obama said, "Let me just say this, though... Some people got organized to do that. That's part of the American tradition we are proud of."

"That's hard, too, standing in the midst of people who don't agree with you," he added.

- CNN's Chris Welch

soundoff (202 Responses)
  1. Tony P

    The final comments noted from Sen. Obama are what give me hope that his presidency may be right for America: "Let me just say this, though… Some people got organized to do that. That's part of the American tradition we are proud of."

    It was American zeal for their country and it's proper governance that so impressed Alexis de Tocqueville when he wrote about democracy (not the political party) in America. I can support a candidate that is excited to see Americans being Americans.

    January 7, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  2. Ishrat Ahmad

    Finally with the election year dawning in Amerca there is a great urgency to choose the right leader.The damage done by Bush's presidency and that smeared its image can only be undone by one single person;Hillary Rodham Clinton.She truly personifies experience and with her steely resolve can make America once again the nation it once was.
    This is a hope shared by many human rights activist across South Asia.Notwithstanding the fact that she went alonh with Bush in its war against Iraq,time has now come where it can be safely concluded that through Bush's manouevering of facts many democrats at that time, in fact voiced ,similar opinions.
    I would very much like to see Clinton there !

    January 7, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  3. Evan, Roseburg OR

    This is a perfect example of what we need more of in politics. A leader who won't will listen to everyone, even the radicals, and be willing to have open discussions with people that disagree. Maybe if we had more politicians like Obama, people like that wouldn't feel like they needed to yell themselves hoarse in order to be heard.

    January 7, 2008 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    I love the fact that he can be so gracious to people who disagree with him so strongly. That is how a good leader leads.

    January 7, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  5. San Francisco, California

    Obama's typical speech messages:
    "….stand by me and we will change the country and the world…".
    " The country needs a real change…."
    "…folks, change is what this country need right now!",
    "…we don't want the same people in the white house, we need change"
    "…I am an agent for change, help me implement change…"
    "…this is a revolution for change!"
    "…..if you vote for me you will be voting for change"

    Notice the lack of content. Notice the repetitive term "change". Notice the lack of willingness to point to any realistic records for change. Notice the lack of details to the changes that he is proposing. Most importantly, notice how broad the definition of 'change' is and how VAGUE it is. A vote for Obama is a vote to confirm that you this country can not be bother with specifics. A vote for Obama is a vote to say…"don't ask don't tell"…..A vote for Obama is a vote for ignorance. The country is at a cross road, we need a Woman who has defy the odds to get where she is now….a woman who has done the tough battles….a woman who knows what it really takes to make change happen and know too well that talk is cheap.

    January 7, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. billy sayles

    I think that Iowa and New Hamphire is giving Obama a false positive. I also wonder why the media is not as harsh on him like they are on the Clinton campaign. So far there is no scruntiny. I believe that he's being set-up for a huge fall. I'm very proud of the way Hillary is handling all of the negative press. Her and Bill can't even say good morning without some type of ulterior motive reported by the pundits. I can't wait to see how Obama handle the same treatment; then we'll see who has the stamina to be president. The Democrats have to ask the question do they want to make a social statement or win the white house.

    January 7, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  7. AJ, IL

    Looking more presidential every day...

    OBAMA in '08!

    January 7, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  8. bymyside, Long Beach, CA

    This is exactly what we need in a President.

    Obama '08


    January 7, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  9. Bradley S.

    Some people's nerve. Tsk tsk. Don't those protesters know that abortion isn't the greatest problem this nation faces? And I personally disagree with that one protester: keeping abortion legal allows for freedom we otherwise wouldn't have. I mean, nobody's forcing you to keep or sacrifice a premature lifeform.

    I am Bradley Schaubs, I am pro-choice, and I think it's great to have your own opinion, but please don't force it on others. Let them make their choice, for only they can be satisfied with the end result.

    January 7, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. Karen, NYC

    Courtesy of the Hillary Campaign I'm sure.

    When the tough gets going act like a dayum fool!

    I’m surprised Broom Hillary fans didn’t jump off the balcony to gain attention.

    January 7, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. Victor Pierre

    U-N-I-T-Y that spells unity....... No one can stop change not even anti-abortion protestors can interrupted or stop what the people wants. Which is change,,,

    January 7, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. 64 Boomer, Va.

    Well, I have to say that Obama has some class. Not only did he address the protesters, he said to them that it takes a pair of cahunas to stand up in front of a partisan crowd and make your point.
    Is that not more american than you can be?
    More times than not, most candidates pander to the home crowd, and jump on the pile when protesters single a person out, however Obama acknowledges the protesters, and says that it is what america is about, speaking out against what you believe.
    They will never vote for Obama, but you have to give the guy credit, he acknowledges the protesters, but has his own view point on how things should be.

    If you listen to his 2004 DNC speech (iTunes) he gives a great oration on what we want as a great nation and how we should proceed.

    Personally I have been wafering between Clinton and Obama for the last few months, however I find myself leaning more towards Obama because of his straight up open and honest conversation with the american public....., i. e. no spin

    January 7, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  13. Dave from Silver Spring, MD

    Hillary/Barack would be a deam ticket - experience and competence plus inspiration and a real possibility of bringing America together. It's unlikely to come about but I'll enthusiastically support support either of them, or Edwards, or Richardson as a most welcome change from eight years of Bush/Cheney. Ugh.

    January 7, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. Hunt

    Obama handled that well.

    January 7, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  15. BLS in WA

    this is the way we can put civility back into our discourse. thanks to obama for modelling it.

    January 7, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  16. Ken

    There is no real "change" in Obama's rhetoric. Obama reminds me of G.W. Bush when he was running in 2000. Cliche: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. I'm not going with the inexperience again. Whoever the nominees are, I'm going with the most experienced and one who has the record to show for.
    G.W. Bush said in 2000 he was all about change but look at what has happen to this country:
    1. war in Iraq, because Obama kept voting to authorize $300 billion to fund the war. We need a fighter, someone who is willing to stand up against the status quo. Obama had several years to prove that he was the agent of change but chose not to because he has no back bone.
    2. America's reputation is ruined around the world because we, as americans, put the inexperienced in the Whitehouse
    3.list goes on.
    We Need someone with a clear record on National Security, Foreign policy experience, and real accomplishments.

    G.W. Bush didn't got this country in a turmoil because he's a republican but because he did not have enough experience to lead this country.

    January 7, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  17. tv

    i really think OBAMA has given respect to these ppl that decided to be rude and interrupt his speech...not only did he tell others not to boo them..but he also said he loved america for that ability to organize...i appreciate the fact that he is able to apprecaite ppl's differences...go OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 7, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  18. Mike

    Great job by obama!

    Also Womanwithhope I think you totally missed his point, he was saying we need to listen to people who disagree with us even though it might hard to do so at first it makes all better in the long run. He was praising them for organizing their protest. He was saying he admired their courage for them to do that when the entire crowd disagreed with them.

    January 7, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  19. Matthew, Bethlehem, PA

    Someone obviously has some issues [Womanwithhope]...Doesn't sound like she has ANY hope at all.

    January 7, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  20. k.

    I find it very admirable that Obama was able to be so polite and realistic about it. It's very difficult dealing with that–I can imagine. This is just another extension of how incredible a candidate Obama is. The ability to be able to be diplomatic in the face of adversity is exactly the change this country needs!

    January 7, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  21. pam

    It's this kind of grace & dignity that will unite our country & make solutions possible. As long as people only shout & name-call, they won't talk to each other and until people talk, there won't be solutions, We NEED this man & his grace & dignity.

    January 7, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  22. dodgersangelsfan

    Obama has my vote. Listening to his Iowa victory speech made me think I was listening to RFK.

    January 7, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  23. Lulz.

    LOL at WomanWithHope.

    January 7, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. dodgersangelsfan

    Thinking of RFK makes me think of Ed Muskie and his teary eyed implosion to his campaign. Looks like Hillary had her Muskie moment.

    Only question remaining for the Dems is who will be Barack's Veep. Edwards? Richardson? Kucinich? Okay, I threw that last name out there strictly for the laughs. I like Richardson, if Hillary wouldn't do it. You would get the midwest and the southwest, blacks and hispanics. That would be one hell of a ticket.

    January 7, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  25. Christine Grace, Overland Park Kansas

    obama showed some class with how he handled that situation. i'm not so sure other candidates would have responded with such tolerance.

    and please, WomanWithHope, just because a young man took your promotion does not give you a valid reason to justify Obama's response. i admire the fact that he had no influential or wealthy family members to usher him into political world (*cough hillary/george w. bush cough*) he has faced opposition but managed to make a name for himself. statistically, a person like obama shouldn't have succeeded. a young boy whose father abandoned him, multiracial in a world that doesn't know how to deal with it, moving around to new places at a young age – he obviously had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get where he is.

    and in a world that is rapidly changing, i don't know if experience is really relevant or helpful for a President. times change. what worked five years ago won't work now. we need a President who has no baggage from the past, who will be able to make decisions objectively without worrying about how it would affect a family member's legacy. we need a President who is able to think fast, make decisions wisely, command respect and inspire trust and confidence from the people.

    January 7, 2008 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
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