Hecklers Butt In as McCain Addresses Latino Group

By MichaelJames

Jun 28, 2008 12:30pm

ABC News’ Bret Hovell and Jennifer Duck report: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was interrupted repeatedly by hecklers as he and his likely Democratic presidential opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., separately addressed the National Association of Latino Elected Officials Saturday, at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

McCain was interrupted four times by protestors, three of whom were identifiable as CodePink members. Four separate interruptions (as opposed to the number of people protesting, which can vary) may tie a record for recent McCain events. In Denver in late May, McCain was interrupted four times during a foreign policy speech.

One of the protestors spoke in Spanish, then translated as she was getting hauled out of the room: "Your silence is consent to war crimes," she shouted at the crowd, which booed her.

Three of the protestors were women, one was a man.

Of the first protestor, a woman from Code Pink who frequents most of McCain’s stops in Washington, McCain quipped, "That’s a very familiar voice to me."

The woman was protesting the Iraq war, saying that she wanted a "peace candidate."

McCain also used the line he regularly does when interrupted by a protestor.

"The one thing Americans want us to stop doing is yelling at each other," McCain said.

Late in his remarks, a man stood up from what looked to be a part of the press section and shouted at McCain about the war. McCain barely broke stride, continuing to talk as the man was escorted out.

Generally, the crowd was very receptive to McCain’s remarks, which touched on many of the aspects of his stump speech and included a heavy dose of his opinions on illegal immigration.

"We must prove to them that we can and will secure our borders first," McCain said, speaking about those who opposed his comprehensive immigration plan, "while respecting the dignity and rights of citizens and legal residents of the United States."

The crowd was particularly supportive whenever McCain was interrupted, several times cheering after a protestor was pulled from the room.

Before Obama took stage later in the morning, a NALEO official apologized for the protesters, noting they were not a part of NALEO and didn’t represent NALEO.

Protestors at a McCain events are not uncommon; many people are opposed to McCain’s position on the war in Iraq. Especially in Washington, the likelihood of someone interrupting McCain is about as good as the likelihood of McCain addressing his audience with his signature appellation, "my friends."

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