April 20th, 2010
08:44 AM ET
12 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. BLM

    I truly believe the president has much more important issues to deal with, such as jobs and the economy..then to waste any more time on this silly issue.

    April 20, 2010 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  2. Patrick

    Good Job, Mr. President.
    Biting the finger that feeds them. If they want it so much why are they not on the streets like the teabaggers?

    April 20, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  3. will h.

    Nice to have a president that doesn't get all freaked out about hecklers.

    April 20, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. steve

    I can't believe that we're willing to compromise the integrity of our country's military by 'pleasing' a group of individuals who comprise of only less than 1% of our population.

    April 20, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  5. Peggy Lucas, Middletown, Pennsylvania

    I support "Don't ask, Don't Tell". This is American the land of the free. We have freedom of choice. The Party of No should realize that if and when we get to heaven, not only will we have immigrants, but also gays and lesbians in heaven. God loves and forgives everyone whether you are gay or not.

    April 20, 2010 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  6. Paul Brown

    Barbara Boxer = Everything that is wrong with politics!

    April 20, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  7. Jerry - Florida

    Good for the protester. I am definitely proud of you for standing up for what you believe is right and not being intimidated by the "Bully-in-Chef". I just hope and pray, for the good of our country, that other people have the sense and dignity to stand up to this reckless administration. People are sick and tired of the "Lying-in-Chief's" lies and bullying. Besides the people that paid so much money to kiss the Presidents rear side, someone has to step up and tell "truth and nothing but the whole truth."

    Stay tuned!

    April 20, 2010 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. RMc

    This is so stupid. The President has said he's working to repeal it. Then someone interrupts him to demand that he repeal it, which he's already doing. "I mean, it would have made more sense to holler that at the people who oppose it." Exactly!
    Wow, how refreshing to have an INTELLIGENT President!

    April 20, 2010 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  9. John

    Obama is a fraud. He has let down the gay community in a big way. He thinks he can throw us a fewq crumbs and we will continue to support him like we did in the last election? He can forget about it. We have the majority in congress and we have the white house and once again gays are left out in the cold. If he really cared about gays he would get a civil union law past that gives gay couples the same rights as married couples when they enter into a civil union. I intend to vote for someone other than Obama in the primary and if he gets the DEm nomination then I'll stay home on election day. I have no more rights under Obama than I did under Bush so what;s the difference. Thanks for letting me rant.

    April 20, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  10. Reggie

    President Bush was heckled all the time. Obama needs to get used to it.


    April 20, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  11. Anonymous

    God, I LOVE this president!

    April 20, 2010 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  12. Rush is to far left

    Gays and Lesbians should not be allowed to have anything to do with children. Children should not be taught that such a lifestyle choice is good and acceptable. Gays and Lesbians should be isolated from general population.

    April 20, 2010 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  13. Johnny DC

    Plant. Anyone who doesn't see this for the stunt it was is kidding themselves.

    This president is more of a joke in one year than Carter was in four years, and that's impressive.

    April 20, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  14. gt

    drip... drip... drip... another american tradtion is being undermind by this left wing presient... i bet not one of those protester ever served this country,,,

    April 20, 2010 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  15. Darnell

    Look at stuttering stan...completely lost when somebody forces him to speak about things not on the teleprompter!

    April 20, 2010 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  16. Seth

    Does this mean that all pro homosexuals are rude, angry and dangerous? Of course not. No more than any 'one' person in the tea party who may have been rude to a black representative.

    Funny how MSNBC lumps all people together (when it is the opposition). You can paint us with a broad brush, because we are
    Independents, Democrats and Republicans.

    We are only dangerous, in that We will defeat liberal Democrats in 2010, peacefully (as always), and with the mighty power of our VOTE.

    Conservatism....logical...truly American Values.

    April 20, 2010 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  17. The three faces of Obama

    Pres. Obama tends to agree with his audience.
    Whatever audience he happens to be talking to.

    April 20, 2010 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  18. Kathleen

    It is time to change "Don't ask, Don't Tell." These men and women are dying for our safety. Hecklers, Hecklars! Who are they Tea Partiers and Evangelicals? They CANNOT run the Country! But they think they have already. THEY are counting on Dems. not showing up at the polls during the Mid Termsm which is usually right. That's what happened in Massachussettes, Scott Brown. Virginia, Bob McDonnell, and Christy. THE TEA PARTY WON AND THEY NOW THINK THEY ARE RUNNING OUR COUNTRY! Sick.

    April 20, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  19. gary

    Obozo is the most incompetent clown we have ever had for president, and that includes carter. He's the gift that keeps on giving in politics as November is near, and the dims will lose both the house and the senate. Keep up the good work, obozo.

    April 20, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  20. Sniffit

    It won't happen; gays are extremely racist and they do not have the ear of the President.

    April 20, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  21. willard bullock

    I am not trust of presdient obama that he keep dangerous

    April 20, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Vic of New York

    We live in an impatient world. However, I'm beginning to believe that this man (this President) means what he says.

    That's one man's opinion – me.

    April 20, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  23. jm for sc

    It is amazing how every one expected President Obama to sign every bill that concerns every one the first day he took office. I have never seen such ignorance in all my life.

    Give the man some time.

    April 20, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  24. Alan

    What, a seditionist at an Omama speech? Why wasn't Homeland Security called and the terrorist arrested! Bill Clinton warned us, just this last weekend, about these kind of homegrown terrorist that are popping up. I am sure this guy listens to CNBC and was incited to violence by what he heard!

    April 20, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Brian

    I think this is a good example of a liberal wing nut. Where the hell has he been? Does he not see (albeit slowly) that things are already in motion to repeal the policy? I guess stupidity allows him to preach to the choir.

    April 20, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
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