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

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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. Fur Ball

    A more appropriate heading would have been, The Million Zombie March on Washington.

    October 14, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. anonymous

    Those politicians who advocate civil disobedience are the same folks responsible for shutting down the government. Wake up people and stop believing anything these "tea party" terrorists have to say.

    October 14, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  3. Doc1

    Obama may or may not be Muslin – but he sure isn't Christian as he claims!
    Neither am I. Who says that being 'Christian' makes you a good person?

    October 14, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  4. glenview0818

    I am actually tired of the US bending over backwards not to offend anyone who hates us in the first place. If you look at highly successful industrial nations today, you will find a high degree of nationalism and extreme efforts to buy products produced in those nations. We are missing on all counts.

    October 14, 2013 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  5. No Crap

    The GOP... The party of pedophiles...the sad thing is how stupid theses people are at the rally. The republiclan party was founded on hate and racism, and all these people have been conned for decades into voting republican

    October 14, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. jimbo

    Put the bottle down, Mr. Klayman.

    October 14, 2013 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  7. Steve

    Really – sensationalism headlines by CNN. Maybe they should make the headline what the event was really about "Veterans and Spports – push back against Government Tierny"

    October 14, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  8. PushingBack

    This type of thing just makes me dig my heels in deeper against anything GOP related.

    October 14, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. Steven

    as for skin color your president is clearly prejudiced against Whites and has proven this over and over and over again, his coming out on the completely wrong side of the George Zimmerman issue was proof Positive of this and one of the most disgusting and Bizarre things ever done by any active president in your history !!!!!!

    & He should have 100% been Impeached for it !!!

    Just Mind Blowing he even got away with it to this point !!!

    He is Nothing less than a complete and total disgrace he and his liar phoney wife and everyone that still supports these 2 Jokers !

    October 14, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  10. carlos

    Why would any media outlet give these idiots ink or air time? They are utterly ridiculous.

    October 14, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  11. RE

    Excuse me Tea Baggers! What president referred to and seen with close ties to the Sadie's? Bush!! Who allowed the only plan to fly shortly after 9/11, yep Rallier the Saudi family in a private plane. Perhaps you fascist need to really go back to the past articles and video's before you justify your worthless position and the Corporatist you support! Wankers!!

    October 14, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  12. Andy

    I find it hard to believe there r people still hung up on this birth thing. Oh yeah Trump is. He's been elected twice by the AMERICAN PEOPLE. Get over it and move on to something worthwhile.

    October 14, 2013 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  13. blowme

    Conservatives ? I think the word "conservative" is lost on much of the republican party. The only thing republicans seen to conserve is there own place at the feed trough, and generally at the expense of everyone else.

    October 14, 2013 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  14. Jim

    I used to be a Dem. I'm in the middle now. If I were to vote today, I would vote for Rand Paul. I see things from both sides. I truly believe we have to cut spending. Those who don't share the same feeling, I believe, are living in a glass bubble. We are on the verge of becoming energy independent. In a few years, we could be, by far, the wealthiest nation in the world. While many consider us to be just that, we are living on borrowed money and borrowed time. Printing money is not the answer. I don't trust our current government to usher us to new heights that have never been experienced by anyone living today. While I don't believe the TEA party will get us there, I certainly don't believe the old farts that have been in government for decades will either. Bringing in change is painful. Young, talented politicians, whether they are from the left or the right, have great ideas and seem to share my sentiment. Some of the changes made by Scott Walker from Wisconsin were painful. BUT, he worked to bring both sides of the isle together on some pretty tough issues. I live about 1200 miles from WI, but admire the job he's done. This childish finger pointing and name calling is exactly why we need term limits and new blood in Congress.

    October 14, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  15. Rachael

    As a Republican, this disgusts me, truly. There are some of us out there that care and believe that we need to suck it up and work together, even if it is with the president's ideals. I can't believe that these are the types of people that we let speak for us. It makes me sick.

    October 14, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  16. joe the plumber

    Does any body remember pres Obama going to Saudi Arabia and kneeling down and also telling the prince he was just like them he understood them.

    October 14, 2013 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  17. Marie MD

    As soon as these brainless morons bring up the Quran and that our president is not a Christian, yada, yada, yada and all that bs they lose all credibility. Not that they have any.
    Being led by Rafael bin laden the new teaqueda leader and his reborn bimbo, the screecher from AK makes people run fast and hard Way from them.
    Now the veterans are their cause? How many definitions are there of hypocrites? Let's see, charlatan, fraud, hoaxer, phony, fake, swindler, con, quack, sham, but my favorite two are pretender and snake oil salesman.

    October 14, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  18. HamiltonAZ

    A true patriot like the man I know who fought the battle of the Pacific would be ashamed of this display. He would be more concerned about those people he was protecting than about some shrine to his service. He was humble and was happy with a simple thank you.
    He was not an educated man, but he would want the money for keeping open the shrines to be better spent providing aid to dependent children, to keep the CDC open in case a flu outbreak occurs.
    In short, he would have supported his president even if he didn't like him. He would have respected him. Because he was an American first and he sacrificed a lot to insure her future.

    October 14, 2013 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  19. eddieb41923

    People on this site have been conditioned to attack tea party patriot groups with insults and slurs. Rather than looking at these people with an open mind they attack them. They may actually be the only ones standing up for your freedoms.When did we become a nation that accepts dependancy as a form of Economy? a nation that is comfortable with a large portion of its population contributing nothing into the tax pool? There is no recovery going on here, there is 85 billion being pumped into the economy by the Fed per month, that is in no way an economic resurgance. Past presidents had real economies without going into 9 trillion debt. Think about it, we keep going without a true recovery our economy will collapse, and the guy in the WH is living in a fantasy saying we are in the midst of a recovery.

    October 14, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  20. PeterD

    And I thought President Obama is a Maasai Mara Zulu.

    October 14, 2013 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  21. NameL. M. Nassar

    I am confident that the President is not a Muslim. The Prez. has had issues with Congress since day one of his presidency. It all started, I believe, back when he talked about ending the war in Iraq, and when he said that all the agreements the US has brockered between the Palestinians and Israelis must be honored and implemented. I knew that was comming because they brought up the Monica Loinsky issue on President Clinton the day he brought Yasser Arafat to the Whit House. They don't want peace and stability, but they support occupation and the American people have to pay the price. Will we then wake up and put America back on the top where it belongs?

    October 14, 2013 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  22. luvUamerica

    Racism never goes away as long as we are so far off. These people are so ignorant. They hate the President because he is colored. So, they come up with all these ridiculous accusations. Must be learning from Fox and Rush Limbaugh.

    Funny that they cannot see who the problem is here. Their own people who they sent to represent them at the House.

    The WW2 memorial belongs to all Americans. It is a complete disgrace that these people are politicizing it and dirtying the sanctity of the sacrifice Americans have made.

    October 14, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  23. Shon Williams

    Obama never said he was muslim and never said he didnt like white people. No proof.

    October 14, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  24. faboge

    these are klansmen pretending to be Americans!

    October 14, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  25. Jason

    What really gets me is that the overt racism of the Tea Party is never questioned in the media. Here you have the founder of Freedom Works, a former Reagan administration official, making the statements that the President should "put down the Quran", that the President is a Muslim, and that the President should leave town. Even if you earnestly believe that the Barack Obama is a Muslim, no where in our venerated Constitution is there a religious test for the chief executive of our country. Stating that the President must leave because he is a Muslim IS a racist statement. That the followers of the Tea Party don't grasp this is sad. Finally, the statement that "he should leave town", thereby negating our last major national election, is anti-democratic and shows you exactly what these people want- a kingdom of the wealthy, by the wealthy, and for the wealthy. Nearly 66,000,000 of us voted for Obama (incidentally more than voted for all other candidates combined including Romney). Let's not forget that, shall we?

    October 14, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
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