April 20th, 2010
08:44 AM ET
13 years ago

Obama Heckled over Don't Ask Don't Tell

(CNN) - Call it another sign of the frustration by opponents of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" over President Obama's efforts to repeal the controversial military policy.

Protesters interrupted Obama's speech Monday night in Los Angeles at a fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and the Democratic National Committee.

As the president was praising Boxer, a fellow Democrat and three term senator who is facing a tough re-election battle this year, demonstrators in the crowd interrupted, asking Obama what he is going to do about the policy - implemented during the Clinton administration - that prohibits gays and lesbians from openly serving in the country's armed forces.

Obama, who has called on Congress to lift the ban, responded by saying: "What the young man was talking about was we need to - we need to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which I agree with and which we have begun to do."

Read a transcript of the incident after the jump:

THE PRESIDENT: She's (Sen. Barbara Boxer) passionate about fighting for jobs, jobs with good wages, jobs with good benefits. She's passionate about fighting for California's families. She is -
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell!"
THE PRESIDENT: We are going to do that. Hey, hold on a second, hold on a second. We are going to do that.
AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!
THE PRESIDENT: Here we go. All right - guys, guys, all right. I agree, I agree, I agree. (Applause.) Now -
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, no, no, listen. What the young man was talking about was we need to - we need to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which I agree with and which we have begun to do. (Applause.) But let me say this: When you've got an ally like Barbara Boxer and you've got an ally like me who are standing for the same thing, then you don't know exactly why you've got to holler, because we already hear you, all right? (Applause.) I mean, it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it.

soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. trish

    Heckling the position the President already believes in is unnecessary. Everybody need to take a deep breath. The President can't do everything. So please have more patience he is trying.

    April 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  2. Abdu Katuntu

    I admire one thing about President Obama.He is calm and seems to appreciate the fact that some people may not agree with him all the time.
    His response to the YOU LIE in the senate and this response,makes him miles apart from emotional leaders.
    President Obama you are a role model

    April 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  3. Ron

    The biggest spending President in history takes Air Force One, with only one passenger, and several Marine helicopters to California to try to raise money for Barbara Boxer. I'd like to know how much all of this cost the American taxpayers and I'd like to see the Democrat Party pay the bill.

    April 20, 2010 11:26 am at 11:26 am |

    After all wasn't he, "The President", himself participating in gay activities.

    April 20, 2010 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Kevin

    You've got to admit, he handled the situation like a pro...

    April 20, 2010 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  6. chuck burnz

    Great , heckle the PResident who is moving the ball forward for you more than his "own" People. If Black people yelled Reparations at every event they would be ushered out in handcuffs.
    I am done witht the left, Democrats, Gays. I am officially apolitical.
    When Black people can't afford to buy busfare to go and vote 2010 or 2012, maybe then Democrats will valeu our votes, when they no longer get them for nothing.

    April 20, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. alphonso

    those protesters are stipid and dumb.i guess they thought the president was a republican

    April 20, 2010 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it."

    And that's right – HOLLA at that ones who OPPOSE it!!! Please give President Obama a chance to do what he promised. Do you really believe it is not going to get done? Come on now, hold your HORSES!!! Jeez!

    April 20, 2010 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  9. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Do these people not know they will be called an unpatriotic mob, racists, bigots and demeaned and defamed by the libertards for disagreeing with the slimy corrupt clown the put in the White House?

    April 20, 2010 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. CNN only shows what it wants

    So if this was president Bush would the story been about his message or the fact that he got so flustered that he walked off stage? Funny how when it is Obama, that part is left out of hte story?

    April 20, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Angel

    go Obama go .Yes we can ,an yes we will ,kick those right right Republican aut of Office

    April 20, 2010 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. John316

    I agree.....that the hecklers should be protesting the conservatives and religious zealots who oppose lifting the ban....not Obama. Let's get real .....

    April 20, 2010 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  13. Arthur

    Obama does about as good a job of handling hecklers as I can recall seeing. End of story.

    April 20, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Jimii

    Why does the headline say "heckled" –

    It implies that someone was harrassing him for his stand on something. Sounds like pretty solid support to me. Yea, it is too bad the crowd is not better behaved but even CNN which, I very much support, is igniting more than deserved by having HECKLED in a headline with this as the story. Sounds like they are all on the same page to me.

    April 20, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    Protester: We want faster action.
    Obama: I know, but it is slow going to get anything done in Washington, especially when one party totally opposes everything you do.
    Protester: Ok, just want to make sure you know we want this.
    Obama: I hear you.
    Protester: OK

    April 20, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. AndyBlue

    Go Obama. America is lucky to have Barack Obama after the disgrace America was put through under the Bush years.

    Deffinately a role model for us all.

    April 20, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. ToughLove

    The military culture is different from the rest of the country...and needs to be, especially in times of war as we are in now. Shouldn't the military decide what is talked about and what isn't...what practices are allowed and which ones aren't? They know what they need to be able to put their lives on the line to protect our nation. They know what they need to be strong enough to take another's life in battle. They don't work at the mall, folks. If military leadership says the current policy is the right one...it should stay that way regardless of its political incorrectness.

    April 20, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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