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. Mama for Obama

    Actually, my mama's not for Obama. But I am...as Rob correctly identified above – there's an interesting generational issue dynamic in these early primaries, between the Boomer Dems and the X+Y Dems, and I have to say, it's kinda funny.

    Thanks, Canadian Stewart, for your comments, especially for pointing out that Barack has more elected experience than Hillary. (Though Hillary's supporters might be quick to point out that he's been planning that since his earliest years – as evidenced by a 5th grade essay. Heh.)

    And – Ron O – the Fox News Blog called – you're late for work. (they're impressed though, with your idea to infer that Obama is Muslim, which he's not. Sheer genius, you. A product of no child left behind, perhaps? Some words from Benjamin Franklin to think on...

    "They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    January 8, 2008 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  2. Anatoly

    This nicely sums up what Obama's change is all about:

    At Saturday night’s debate Hillary directly took on Obama’s false hopes and small change – and lies. Hillary later expanded on her comments.

    If you give a speech saying you’ll vote against the Patriot Act and you don’t, that’s not change.

    if you say you’re going to prevent members of congress to have lunch with lobbyists sitting down, but they can still have lunch standing up, that’s not change.

    If you say you passed the Patients Bill of Rights, but you don’t mention it never got signed into law, that’s not change.

    If you rail against the special interests…but you voted for Dick Cheney’s energy bill, that’s not change

    If you gave a speech — and a very good speech — against the war in Iraq in 2002 and then by 2004 you’re saying you’re not sure how you would have voted, and by 2005 six and seven you’ve voted for $300 billion for the war you said you’re against, that’s not change.

    She contrasted that her accomplishments she said had affected people, taking credit for the children’s health funding known as SCHIP and for getting health care for guard members and reservists, among other things.

    And she quoted Mario Cuomo: “You campaign in poetry but you govern in prose.”

    January 8, 2008 04:19 am at 4:19 am |
  3. Christina Sedor

    It is so sad that for some people, that is the basis of their vote...Not that I speak personally for or against abortion, and I recognize the right of the people to peaceable assemble, but this article calls to mind how I am simply aghast to see that we have been driven so far off track on the rights of the government that matters like abortion and gay marriage (rights that should belong to the state) have become the making or breaking factors of a candidate for election for the presidency. There is just an incongruence there that isn't being addressed. Somehow we have failed in maintaining the true functions of the federal and state governments. I'm sure at this point it's obvious I am a Ron Paul supporter, but I do feel that Mr. Obama handled himself with tact and sincere grace and I admonish him for his ability to respond so peaceably in such a difficult moment.
    Christina Sedor
    Ron Paul '08

    January 8, 2008 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
  4. Geoffrey in Canada

    As Lou Dobbs said last night CHANGE but to WHAT !.Obama never seems to say !.I thought his comment re the Bush problem with "nuclear" was inappropriate.Please USA do not crown another rock star Utopian .Think of the rest of the world, who have to stand by and suffer the consequences.Surely you can find someone with some experience in two years.

    January 8, 2008 05:09 am at 5:09 am |
  5. Angela

    Go Ron Paul!

    January 8, 2008 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  6. Laura

    Obama has been a senator for two years; he has not spent more time in the Senate than Hilary. Unless you are talking about being a state senator; a totally different gig. The man is pleasant, dispassionate and arrogant. I cannot understand his rise except of course, this is a society that increasingly puts more credence on charisma and who the media annoints a celebrity. I wonder why nobody is asking why the corporate media is choosing him for us. Quite frankly, Obama outspent everybody in Iowa; by a lot.

    Biden, Dodd and Edwards and yes the much reviled Clinton all had more guts, knowledge and passion than this guy, and yet....

    You can tell a lot about a person by their enemies. Hilary has a lot of them; a lot of them, in the right. So how much of an establishment "tool" is she really?

    Democrats have been bending over and taking it from the Republicans for eight long dreadfully disastrous years. If Americans fall, once again, for a manufactured media favorite with perceived charisma, because they "just like him" better than his opponent (not based on records or facts) hmm that sounds familiar.

    Finally, I smell a whole lot of sexism coming Hilary's way. Only one thing would surprise me more than America electing a black man and that would be America electing a woman.

    January 8, 2008 05:34 am at 5:34 am |
  7. howard

    Well, I believe he handled that pretty well. I am a registered republican, and have been for years, but no candidate has truly represented what I want. I think Bush did what he thought he needed too. Right or wrong, it's better than doing nothing. Having said that, I am actually considering voting for Obama if he wins the nomination. You can keep Hillary. I wouldn't vote for her for City Trash Collector. Not because she's a woman, but because she is exactly the same as the rest of them. She will say and do anything to get power. I guess when it comes down to it, any of them pretty much will. I don't want the job, so I guess I can't complain to much now, can I? Think about that before you start your useless incessant compaining and figerpointing. Oh, and I don't like abortion either, but it's your body, your choice! If I were a woman, I would want to have that same choice.

    January 8, 2008 05:35 am at 5:35 am |
  8. CanadianMetal

    All i'm saying is if you Americans end up electing a religious zealot like Huckabee again, i'll enjoy the destruction of your country. Because that's basically what will happen.

    The world is counting on you not to vote for a retard this time.

    For once, actually try.

    Thank you

    - The rest of the world.

    January 8, 2008 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  9. Ian, Paris

    To Ron O. – Are you seriously going to pull the Obama is a Muslim bit on us again? Do you think that we are all that stupid to belive that, even though it has been documented ad nauseum and detailed extensively by Obama himself that he is not nor has ever been a Muslim? Or are you simply showing your own ignorance?

    Comments such as yours regarding the third world is what made the US a target for terrorist attacks to begin with. Continuing the strategy of going to other countries with no provocation or proof that they have harmed anyone is not going to win the hearts and minds of the world, nor those that wish us harm – it just provides fuel to their fire. By the way, who was in office when 9/11 occurred? Who was it that ignored Clinton's turnover reports that Al Qaida was America's #1 concern? Who has done nothing to shore up the defenses of our ports, borders, and actually opposed the Department of Homeland Security before caving?

    We need to change the direction in which the US is headed – a fresh face with an objective view would be nice for a change. People with opinions like Ron O's want to continue the status quo and make me wary of our future and that of this country.

    January 8, 2008 05:37 am at 5:37 am |
  10. Larry

    I am "infatuated" with the idealism of Obama but not ready for commitment. Foreign policy experience is too important, and change can be more solid, less volatile and uncertain if the right person leads. Not just a generation thing.

    January 8, 2008 05:41 am at 5:41 am |
  11. MJ

    Actually, the President does legislate abortion... such as when Clinton vetoed the partial-birth abortion ban (or also indirectly in appointing Supreme Court justices). Congress was only a few votes shy of an override of Clinton.

    Slaveholders in the antebellum South also said the same of slavery and defied a President to change the law with the help of a northern-dominated Congress. It was legal and noone had a right to legislate change, the South said. Southerners called abolitionists religious fanatics too because they thought blacks should be given rights as human beings, not chattel.

    It is only a matter of time before, either through Congress or the Supreme Court, the rights of infants in the womb will be asserted (as they already are in certain instances such as when a pregnant women is assaulted resulting in her infant's death in the womb–the assailant can be charged with murder). If Barack Obama is truely the candidate who cares about all Americans, he should care too about the most helpless and at jeopardy of Americans who have been denied their full recognition as human beings under the law.

    It is this inability on the part of many candidates to embrace and protect all Americans that leaves many people with little choice in voting...

    If the Democratic Party is the party of the poor, the diverse, the forsaken... then why does it turn its back on the weakest Americans?

    I'm waiting for a Democratic candidate with the conviction and courage to stand up for what is right. Until then, I'll have to vote Republican.

    January 8, 2008 05:52 am at 5:52 am |
  12. E, Layton UT, Freiburg Germany

    Nicely, professionally and respectfully done, Mr. Obama. Acknowledge them, but also acknowledge that that wasn't the setting to immediately "fix the problem"... and for the lesson on tolerance and American Democracy. It gave me chills when I heard that. He kept his head on straight. Very nice...

    And for all you posting that say that Obama doesn't have any plans, peel your eyes away from the TV and do some research – there's a ton of info on the barackobama dot com site under issues (much more detailed info than the other candidates). His take on abortion is one of the most reasonable and thought-through takes I've ever heard on it, that in the long run would work very well.

    Very well done, especially considering the amount of sleep he's running on!!

    January 8, 2008 05:53 am at 5:53 am |
  13. JA

    The thing Obams does best is campaign. Great inspirational speaker potential...not so sure about leader of one of the most powerful countries in the World.
    Where's the beef???

    January 8, 2008 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  14. mark wilkes barre pa

    WHAT ? no one bum rushed the stage, threw pies or garbage at the speaker ? what kind of radicals are these bums ? could one of you lib radicals show these morons how to crash a speech ?

    January 8, 2008 06:17 am at 6:17 am |
  15. ROTW

    i agree with CanadianMetal above: Please elect a sensible guy/gal by looking at issues dispassionately and not based on media stardom or because he's likable!(mike huckabee,obama;altough Obama seems genuine). U may ask who the heck are u(an outsider) to say how to vote. Well I am just requesting you to vote for the right person because its not just americans but the rest of the world that have to suffer the consequences..Look at what bush jr. did!
    Rest of the world(ROTW)

    January 8, 2008 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  16. Lisa

    Does anyone really believe that these anti abortion activists would only go to Obama's rallies and not Clinton's if they were really from the right? Sounds like a set up to me. Especially when just the other day, Clinton was trying to say that Obama wasn't a pro choice candidate.

    January 8, 2008 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  17. Dan

    Two things I want to point out.

    What Obama did was classy and impressive.

    The people here verbally bashing pro-life supporters as Christian extremists are fools and drunk on their own political kool-aid. A person can have RESPECT for the sanctity of life and not be a "Christian wack job."

    January 8, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  18. James Cox

    Learn how to spell experience before you talk experince. Secondly, Obama did handle the 'organized interruption' the best way he knew how. He offered to talk to them afterwards but they didn't want that. They had one purpose and one purpose only, to disrupt the rally. I wonder if Hillary's people had something to do with that.

    January 8, 2008 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  19. Teddy, ND, IN

    For the Hillary supporter who called Obama a tag line candidate you should look at Hillary you is as confused about what she wants her tag line to be as she is on major issues. Its not about if you change you positions as you listen to the opposing view point and combine the best of their's with the best of yours because that is a good thing and that is what Obama is about.

    January 8, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  20. Dan

    WomanWithHope, did it ever occur to you that the young guy that took your promotion did it because he's smarter and works harder than you do?

    Experience isn't all it's chalked up to be.

    BTW, I'm NOT an Obama supporter but I do respect him and his vision of change and hope.

    Ron Paul 2008!

    January 8, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  21. James Cox

    Anotoly, I'm beginning to wonder if you and others are Clinton supporters invading the blogs. Your exact comment has been used on several blogs.

    January 8, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  22. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    "Michael – Stamford, CT January 8, 2008 1:58 am ET

    It seems like Senator Obama doesn't handle himself so well when faced with those that don't agree with him on the abortion issue. "

    .... just the opposite!! He handled himself very well!! He didn't let them take charge of the speech that others came to hear.

    I'm never sure why anti-choice people believe the rest of us should just roll over and play dead whenever they speak ... compared with the national and international challenges, abortion is such a minor issue – and someone wiser than I pointed out that if the GOP ever did ban Roe v Wade, they would have no issues to rile the radical base!

    January 8, 2008 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  23. Alice Newman Center Harbor NH

    a shout out to Ron ... who said "put any inexperienced moron" ...

    we already did that – his name is Bush Jr, the Shrub, Bush Lite and other nicknames that are not appropriate for a family newspaper.

    and gold stars awarded for those posting rational discussions of the issues
    and candidates rather than just blathering with personal attacks and e-mail rumors that aren't true.

    January 8, 2008 07:16 am at 7:16 am |


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