Marco Rubio Heckled by protesters
Published: June 19, 2015
Marco Rubio Heckled by protesters, Marco Rubio didn’t plan to debate immigration Thursday when he delivered his stump speech to a crowd of social conservatives in Washington. Then a pair of hecklers stood up.
“Protect DACA!” one shouted repeatedly, referencing President Barack Obama’s executive action permitting immigrants who came to the country as children to remain without fear of deportation. While the Florida Republican waited, the protesters were slowly edged out of the room by wary attendees and staff, who slammed the door once they were safely on the other side.
Outside the event — a summit hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition at the Omni Shoreham Hotel — a larger gathering of protesters continued chanting until the right-leaning crowd drowned them out with applause for Rubio, one of four Republican senators running for president. Until that moment, Rubio had largely stuck to a script he’s delivered before, but the protest seemed to energize him.
“In America, people have the right to interrupt speeches. They have the right to be rude. They have the right to be wrong,” he said, earning his best applause of the day.
Speaking after Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul noted that it should have been him who faced the protesters’ ire, asserting that he was supposed to speak first.
“I feel kind of shortchanged. Are there any protesters left?” he asked wryly. “If there’s anybody left, we can start with the protest.”
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