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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

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. John

    Put the Quran down. LOL. Right after you put your brain back in to your head. What an idiot.

    October 14, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. The Real Tom Paine


    In the history of the Republic has there been a President more disrespectful of our military men and women than Barack Obama? More than willing to send them off to die in Syria, but totally disrespectful of their love for the country and their values. If it wasn't for Biden I would support impeachment. The nation needed a leader, we got a "community activist" instead. Shame on us.
    Boy, a regular laundry list of the myths the Right has put out over the last several years. First off, Obama has not ordered an invasion of any country. No troops were committed to Libya, Syria, or any other new theater of operations.Second, what evidence is there to support the idea that our soldiers, sailors and airmen all share the same values, and that Obama finds it fun to disrespect the same uniform his grandfather wore (you know, his white grandfather), and by extension, the uniform, value,s and committment of the troops under his command? Answer, there is none. By the way, if Mitt Romney, or John McCain is an example of a leader, God help us. A person who equates personhood with a corporation, or a man who bounces from one side of an issue to another depending upon which way the political winds are blowing, all while complaining that the Democrats are to blame for everything wrong in this country is not fit to lead. Obama governs as a moderate because that is what the Country expects: sober, thoughtful judgement of a situation, not some ideologically-driven fantasy. I know its hard for the Right to admit this, but they do NOT have all the answers. People who are convinced the President rolls out a prayer rug multiple times a day and prays towards Mecca are the problem, not the solution.

    October 14, 2013 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. regulardudepolitics

    there is absolutely no negotiating or compromising with this type of hateful ignorant rhetoric......they will not listen to logic or reason or science or facts.....we are at an all time low in this nation......im truly discouraged about what kind of future my child will have with people like this having even the slightest of say in how our government is run.

    October 14, 2013 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. M Green

    Why not shut the White House down. Then move the Obamas and servants to Motel 6. Then also move Harry Ried in next door. Let stay there until they can work togather.

    October 14, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. clarence leblanc

    KKKlayman wrote an artile last year saying that if the President was a true leader he would lay waste to Iran with a first strike nuclear attack. Millions upon millions of dead men women and children. A year later...we seam to be turning a corner, without killing anyone let alone millions. He is the worst of what America has to offer and is a leader of the CINO's (Christian in name only). He is the GOP's problem mainly...as moderates listen to this garbage and those that would consider voting GOP...don't want to be part of this club.

    October 14, 2013 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  6. Ralph

    A Republican named Mr. Cruz started this mess, and that's a fact. Other Republicans followed him with their rants, and threats to shut our government down, and that is also a fact. They threatened our country, just so they could get their way, and that's a fact. If someone threatens to hurt our country, which would also hurt others in the world they would be in jail and on their way to prison, also a fact. This whole thing would have never started, if Republicans weren't such whiners and always want to get their way at any cost. They own this mess, Republican Congressmen shut the government down and to say they want to do this whole thing over in just six weeks in insane.

    October 14, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  7. Dorothy

    "Obama is a Muslim" "Obama was born in Kenya" Does the tea party really think it can push it's agenda with lies? If a tea party jerk told be the sky was blue, I'd have to fact check it, because they lie so much. Want to join the dialogue of Democracy? Quit lying.

    October 14, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  8. mklsgl

    Wonder what the Tea-Baggers will yell and dis-inform when the POTUS is a woman, a Jew, a Latino, a homosexual, or otherwise 'different' than a white, property-owning male of Euro-Christian ancestry?

    October 14, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Sophie Meyer

    So...these folks are complaining because Obama said that he was going to represent all Americans, and they feel that they're not being represented. Really? A small sliver of the electorate, calling for insurrection and anarchy – a small minority that uses derogatory comments and lies to besmirch the President – they're demanding respect? A small sliver who wants to nullify the will of the majority by nullifying this President and the last 2 elections demand respect? Seriously?

    October 14, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  10. Vic of New York

    Medical Science has in recent times discovered that "Conservatism" is a behavior triggered by a genetic mutation. It seems to bear out the "Zombbie" theories about Conservative destructive behavior. That said, if this truly is a medical condition, it would warrant an argument for medically necassary abortion.

    October 14, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  11. Anon

    Just shows how completely clueless and stupid these conservatives are they don't even realize it's THEIR FAULT that the gov't is shut down. Pull your heads out of your religious butts and GET A CLUE!!!!!!!!!

    October 14, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  12. Nazanin Sawez

    It's astounding how many people here equate being Muslim with being anti-American. I'm muslim, I was born in Afghanistan, and cry every time the Stars and Stripes is raised. I"ve pledged allegiance not just to this flag, but to this country. And I am proud to call myself an American Muslim woman of Afghan extraction.

    Saying that being a muslim is the same as being a traitor just goes to show how incredibly racist and ignorant some people are.

    October 14, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  13. Peruna

    Ever notice how liberals LOVE to claim how wonderfully tolerant towards all peoples, except of course for anyone that disagrees with them. Then they show their true colors as nothing but brutal fascists who want the expulsion if not outright death of anyone who does not bow before Obama and kiss his ring. You wonder why we on the right are a passionate as we are, because unlike the libs, we cherish liberty, and we know all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. (Thank you Mr. Burke)

    October 14, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  14. Anonymous

    I think the nation would be far better served, if instead of Obama putting down the Koran (and what fools they are for thinking he has it at hand) if these foolish hypocrites would put down their Faux News, and hear some truth for once.

    October 14, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. Sophie Meyer


    CNN you really miss the point of this march. You should look at it again. It was for the vets.


    And the organizers of the event – the vets – were disgusted that palin and cruz chose to bogart their event. Check their facebook page. Seems that palin and cruz and mr. "put down the quran" also missed the point by a mile.

    October 14, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  16. Carolyn

    If some people will finally get over the fact that Obama is not Muslim, we might finally get something done in this country. Some people are so in denial about being wrong in what they believe, that they can't come up for air and so what is right for their fellow americans. They should read more and fill their brains with the truth instead of sticking to ideas that were planted there by stronger willed people than themselves. Those strong willed people have their own agendas and are not for the public interest.

    October 14, 2013 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Larry

    Dangerous speakers rabble-rousing and spewing lies. Reminds of of how the Nazis came to power profeesing love of country and attacking those that they perceived as enemies of the state and different from true Germans. However once the Nazis got into power, the facade was thrown off and their true aim was realized...power for the sake of power. I'm not saying all tea-partiers are like this...but the ones pulling the strings are.

    October 14, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. A traveler

    The T party is breathing its own exhaust fumes.

    October 14, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  19. Rob

    Just more evidence to show why the GOP is the Grumpy Old Party.

    October 14, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  20. bill

    now imagine how the muslim world feels when the media only shows their "tea party" nuts on tv,

    October 14, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  21. Dorothy

    My mother always told me that I would be judged by the people with whom I associated. If you really are a non racist tea party supporter, then you will denounce the lies and the racism that many of your members espouse. You will not fly the racist confederate flag. You will acknowledge that President Obama is a Christian and a US citizen. Then maybe I will discuss real issues with you and quit calling your minority party a bunch of ignorant racists. Prove to me that you aren't. The comments made by people at this protest prove otherwise.

    October 14, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. danomite52

    Perhaps the t-baggers whould be holding their rally in front of the House of Reps?

    October 14, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  23. bluedogboy

    A perfect reason as to why Independants and Undecideds move to the left come election day.

    The Tea Party is the gift that keeps on giving.

    October 14, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Jack

    Klayman is a bigot and probably a card carrying KKK member! That's why I won't have anything to do with the them!

    President Obama is our President duly elected and doing a pretty decent job considering the 40 nut cases in in the House of Representatives(Horror's) and "no" he shouldn't resign! Klayman needs to claw back under the rock, he came out from underneath!

    October 14, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  25. jony3322

    Zoom into the picture, you can hardly see any other color people but only white folks. It was clearly a demonstration of minority white narrow mined people. This is not a conservative ideology group at all, but an extremist group only.

    October 14, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103