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. Mad Dog Mike

    So, once again the "Tea Party' hijacks patriotism to further their agenda. They are the ones behind the shutdown that caused the closure in the first place , then they remove their own barricades and call themselves patriots. That's a kin to starting a fire and then putting it out and calling yourself a hero.. this veteran isn't buying it.

    October 14, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. Marilynn

    In a word, pathetic. Pathetic that people can't think and reason on their own. The good thing about 2016 is unless there is another person of color running for President, all this complete and utter nonsense will go away as a non-person of color will be in whitehouse. This is the bottom line, if they were conspiring from the first inauguration to not work with him then this will not stop unless a miracle from God occurs or lightening strikes them which ever occurs first.

    October 14, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  3. James

    Okay, so the GOP majority Congress decides to not budge and cause a shutdown, and the conservatives blame the President for memorials not open? Kids these days.

    October 14, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Grampa

    Yet more evidence that the conservatives have been radicalized into complete insanity. It's bellowing loonies like these that ensure democratic victories in 2014, 2016 and beyond. Rational republicans, the few that remain, have to be wondering how the inmates managed to take over the asylum.

    October 14, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  5. Rusty

    What would be really interesting is whether or not this Klayman guy actually served. I've found that most populists have a tendency to wrap themselves in the mantle of the warrior, while never actually doing any of his own fighting.

    October 14, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Gregg

    All politicians put down your bible!
    Quit "using" Jesus as a tool to raise money, oppress women, go to war............

    Unfortunately, the American people are sheep of the worst kind. All a politician has to do is say “god blesses America”, wear a flag on their lapel and you are hooked, (meanwhile, the politician(s), both parties, are sticking their hands in your pockets and pulling out wads of cash, whenever they want.
    The politicians have you so distracted with Repub. vs. Dem. or Religious vs. Atheist or rich vs. poor........you don't even notice.
    In fact, many politicians have the poor, lower class,middle class and the rich sending in money to their re-election campaigns! They already have millions you idiots!!!!!!!!!!!

    Their goal is to keep you focused on what does not matter so they can focus on what really does matter (robbing you blind).
    As a whole, the US citizens are blindly following whoever has the mic., even if it is right over a cliff.
    American exceptionalism, give me a break.


    Embarrassed to Be an American!

    October 14, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  7. rtkmd

    Tea Party quote that continues to take the cake: "Keep your government hands off my Medicare!"

    October 14, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  8. Good Grief

    This is so ridiculous! Ted Cruz urges Republicans to shut down the government unless certain demands of House Republicans are met regarding a law already debated, passed by both houses of Congress, upheld as Constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and now in effect. When Democrats don't comply, the Congress (not the President) fails to reach an agreement to keep our government running and so the government is shut down. House Republicans and tea party supporters hail this as a good thing on many fronts from stating there is too much non-essential government anyway to wanting to "stand firm" against Democrats. But then, as in this instance, they are mad when the government is closed! The government THEY shut down. Now they think the WWII memorial in D.C. is essential and shouldn't be closed (but head start is non-essential to them – don't see them protesting that). They are indeed mixed-up people who are hurting our country.

    October 14, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  9. Jack 2

    Hopefully one day soo we will have a effctive president. Obama hasn't the repect, knowhow or policies to do this country right. This presidency has been a disaster. This country won't make three more years of this joke.

    October 14, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  10. bleakerandbleaker

    I find it funny that they are all so supportive of vets "now". I was told by a tea party supporter in my area that my vet husband and me (gvt employee) were on welfare because we got money from the govt and that we were part of the problem. That was before Obama won the second time and I left the republican party that day. The tea party is funded and driven by rich business owners who will benefit from less govt regulation. Just imagine, no govt control on pollution, product safety, food safety, medicinal safety...love canals for everyon and dangerous products for everyone! But that's ok right? The business bottom lines will be good and the trickle down theory has worked so well up til now right? .. yeehaw...that's where this is going.

    October 14, 2013 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Anonymous

    This boils down to the fact that the Almighty's approval rating is down in the low forties. Better rally the troops, or the utopian society of a government that controls what everyone can and cannot do will be lost forever.

    October 14, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. Dean


    Top Ten Signs You're a Christian in Name Only

    Joey the only thing that can make you a Christian is "believing in your heart that Jesus is the son of God and your Lord and Savior and has paid for your sins and salvation". ................with the key praise being "believing in your heart".

    October 14, 2013 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I agree Tigerflower

    October 14, 2013 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. sonny chapman

    If this is what CHRISTIANITY looks like, then Organized Religions that have tried to teach the Message of Jesus as found in the Four Gospels has failed miserably.

    October 14, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  15. Bob

    It is any groups right to demonstrate, but when they removed barriers and took them from security, I would believe they were breaking the law. It is sad that a group is allowed to break the law in such an open manner. Sadly, the small group of Tea Party congressmen are holding the nation hostage in their attempt to overthrow the law, like it or not, Obama Care is the law. Trying to hold the nation hostage is self defeating. True, these Tea Party come from safe districts where, whatever they do, they will be elected, but the President was elected by all of us, not a small minority.
    Let us hope these obstructionists are defeated and saner heads are elected.

    October 14, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Dave

    What a steaming pile of poo this guy is to tell Obama to "get off his knees and put the Koran down". The Koran has no less legitimacy than the Bible. Few people take every bit of the Koran literarily. But even if they do, isn't it their right as citizens of this country? This crowd of intolerant Tea Bagger hate mongers are trying to portray Obama as something he isn't.

    October 14, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. lathebiosas

    What a shock, an old angry white guy who doesn't like Obama......

    October 14, 2013 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  18. mary

    Every U.S. citizen has had some type of government help. Whether its FEMA veterans getting healthcare disability SSI getting a studentn or house loan. Hell even Congress get a government check. Should we cut spending yes. And I bet you the people rallying behind BIG DADDY CRUZ AND HIS IDIOT SIDEKICK PALIN. Are getting some type of government aide. Back deep in the woods RED STATES they get a government check. CRUZ been in office 7 months name one thing he has done to help the country? Besides talking S- about ACA by the way which he has for life. You actually think he cares about the American people. P.S. THE ACA WAS STARTED BY THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND BOB DOLE BY THE WAY OR REPUBLICAN.

    October 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. Janet

    What next - is Moochelle going to comment again about 'all of this for a flag?" Pull up the video and see her. Be sure to note Oweasel's response, too.

    October 14, 2013 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. 2jivecrew

    Let's just start finally calling these Tea Party rallies what they rerally are........Ku Klux Klan Rallies.

    October 14, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. JP

    Obama isn't an American...but Cruz is?

    October 13, 2013 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |

    sO SAD,, wow.. alert alert , Cruz is Canadian, President Obama is American GET OVER IT.. TEA PARTY

    October 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. JB

    Does that fool realize how many muslim terrorists that the Obama admin is responsible for taking out? But oh yeah, he's muslim. I'm also guessing the folks who are getting taken out over in the middle east probably don't think he's muslim.

    October 14, 2013 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Chuck Norris

    Guys. do some research on this Larry guy and also Ted (Raphael) Cruz and you'll know why they hate muslims.

    October 14, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. lilgtogirl

    It is hysterical to me that the tea party people think that Obama is a Muslim. THEY are the ones that want god in everything, which is pretty much what shariah law happens to be. The tea party is the terrorist party in America.

    October 14, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. freedom

    What's different about this than Obama saying "they cling to their guns and Bibles." Just as offensive. Stop with the double standards – just because he's the first black president? He happens to be doing great harm to this country – doesn't matter what color he is or what religion he is.

    October 14, 2013 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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