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. rednecks

    You folks are just embarrassing and a laughing stock

    October 14, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. Dizzy

    Well, Obama sure as hell isn't acting like a Christian...what else are we to assume?

    October 14, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. necks

    You folks are just embarrassing and a laughing stock...

    October 14, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  4. Steve Levine

    The protester is probably wayyyyy too stupid to understand that the stance of Republicans on most major issues (such as gay marriage, abortion, women's rights, providing health care to all, etc...) is MUCH closer to that of Muslims and those that follow the Quran than the views of President Obama and the rest of the Democrats. Maybe HE is the one that needs to put down the Quran.

    October 14, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  5. stower

    Curious where did he call Obama a Muslim? Putting down the Quran was a euphemism for
    stop your love affair with the Muslims and their extremists. Saying a person owns an
    object such as a bible or Quran doesnt label them as such. Does anyone here doubt
    that the pres owns or has in his possession a Quran-and a Bible-and a Torah

    October 14, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  6. ForCryingOutLoud

    This stuff is so crazy, you can't make it up! The nuts are at it again (still?).

    October 14, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. jack2

    You can take the Kenyan out of muslim land but you can't take the muslim out of the kenyan.

    October 14, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. rgxx

    CNN – please stop putting your spin on how the event turned out – just report exactly what happened without your slanted commentary. thank-you.

    October 14, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. deadlikeme

    Any time someone says Obama is not "their" Presient – you are talking anarchy. These people are in denial that there wasn't enough people to think like them and vote in McCain or Romney. If they don't like it, they can all move to Alaska and start their own country. It's certainly big enough. You know, I didn't like Bush's policies, but I never said he wasn't my President and ignored whatever agenda he promoted.

    October 14, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Wake up!!!!!!! Wake up!!!!!!!! wake up!!!!!!!!!
    Take a look at your pocket books and tell me how you are doing. Oh I forgot your driving a brand new cadillac on your welfare checks " Guy drake 1970 welfarte cadillac"

    October 14, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Jackie

    I hope everyone remembers this supidity when it comes time to vote. If we just keep re-electing these idiots, then we deserve what we get!

    October 14, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Kristin

    unreal. I loath tea baggers with a passion.

    October 14, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. JohnRJohnson

    And not a single moderate Republican in Congress has stepped forward to condemn this kind of extremist rhetoric.

    October 14, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. mercfan

    The sad fact is, when they continue living in denial, they are never going to be able to change what's wrong with the GOP in order to get another candidate elected President. The Tea Party pulls too many votes away from a middle of the road Conservative – because they are not Conservative enough. So they woudl rather see a Democrat in office? Talk aobut cutting of your nose despite your face.

    October 14, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. Tobey

    I can't stand idiots that have to bring up the Quran to attack Obama. I never voted for Obama and completely disagree with most of his policies and his ideology, but bringing up the Quran makes us look like idiots and fools, it weakens our dissention. We don't like it when libs attack our personalities and assassinate our characters, so why do we exhibit the same practice in return. Stay on topic, argue the policies and principles. If not, then it's just a back and forth meaningless game of name calling!

    October 14, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. weedouthate

    the only peaceful uprising that should be going on is for righteous citizens with courage to reveal the conceal of hatred, who are demonizes others We need to weed out his hate, by holding symbolic ceremonies rooting out hatred one weed at a time

    October 14, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. jen2gone

    This is typical of the media: to point out one poor example and play it up, and this is why the media is no longer trusted to deliver news.

    October 14, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Nino

    Those clowns (Teabaggers) are drugging the USA down.....and they are proud of it!!!!

    October 14, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. rock

    no need for these people in society. go back to your caves! in caves you sit watching fox news which has a deluded version of the news. not aware of what really goes on in the world because they sit in their caves, and then they judge what should and shouldn't be. this is their right, but seriously learn the true facts before you go out in public and embarrass your nation. Merica!!! no its America.

    October 14, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  20. bcrunner

    Bow you black man!! Bow to the white racists!! How dare you think you are a ligitimate president!! You upitty black person...

    October 14, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  21. GuyAnoyn

    god bless america...

    October 14, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. McShannon

    Four people in picture are old enough to be NAM veterans the rest came with Rallier obviously.

    October 14, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  23. Andy Carr

    Thanks Tea Party... for digging your own grave. All the country needs to do is kicking you in as you roll down into oblivion. Just like it was during the last presidential election.

    October 14, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  24. SW

    This is the typical mentality of the average teabagger - completely ignorant, utterly racist, and absolutely incapable of rational (or independent) thought.

    October 14, 2013 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  25. Al Thomas

    All I ask of our government is consistency. Barring vets and allowing illegal aliens is proof to me of the Dems betrayal of the US. Other examples: Vets won't be paid, but food stamps will. Prison guards won't get paid but prisoners will. Inconsistency & favoritism seems to be the hallmark of this entire battle, and Obama's presidency in general..

    October 14, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
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