Protesters Yell At Summers, 'He's a Toxic Mess'

Protesters calling on Obama's top economic adviser to resign disrupt his speech.

ByABC News
April 9, 2009, 3:05 PM

April 9, 2009— -- Larry Summers, director of the National Economic Council, predicted today that the country's economic "free-fall" will end within months and ignored the interruptions of protesters at a speech this afternoon in Washington.

"I think the sense of a ball falling off the table -- which is what the economy has felt like since the middle of last fall -- I think we can be reasonably confident that that's going to end within the next few months and you will no longer have that sense of free-fall," Summers told the Economic Club of Washington.

"How strong, how rapid the turn will be -- that's a less clear question," he noted.

About halfway through the session, as Summers fielded questions from moderator David Rubenstein of the Carlyle Group, two protesters walked onstage with a large pink banner that read "We want our $$$ back!"

"Larry Summers is part of the problem," they yelled. "He's a toxic mess!"

"You should resign!," they screamed.

As the protesters stood there barking at the former president of Harvard, Summers sat calmly and silently, unflinching, until the protesters were escorted out of the hotel ballroom after a little over a minute onstage.

Once they were gone, Rubenstein asked him, "When you were minding your own business at Harvard, when you were a university professor, have you ever had second thoughts about coming back to Washington?"

Quipped Summers, as the screams of protesters could still be heard from outside the ballroom, "You know, David, there are moments that are more pleasant than others."