Election 2016

President Obama Sticks Up For Free Speech Rights Of Trump Supporter

It was a small, but meaningful gesture.

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Obama defends Trump supporter's free speech
Screenshot/C-SPAN

President Obama defended the free speech rights of an elderly military-attired man who stood up and held a pro-Donald Trump sign as the president was speaking at a Hillary Clinton campaign rally at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina earlier today.

When the Trump supporter made his presence known, the crowd shouted and chanted at him, completely ignoring the president's repeated admonitions for calm. For more than a minute, Obama looked visibly distressed at his inability to restore order, repeatedly shouting "Hold up! Hold up!" and finally "Everybody sit down and be quiet for a second!"

Eventually, Obama wrangled the crowd's attention and told them, "You've got an older gentleman, who's supporting his candidate. He's not doing nothin'. You don't have to worry about him," adding, "First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we got to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we got to respect our elders. Fourth of all, don't boo. Vote."

It was a small but meaningful gesture from Obama, who earlier this year also told gradutating college students, "Don't try to shut folks out, don't try to shut them down, no matter how much you might disagree with them."

To be sure, Obama hasn't always been a stalwart defender of free expression. He and his administration have supported draconian speech codes on college campuses, leaned on Google to censor videos, and been particularly squishy about defending the American concept of free expression at the United Nations, to name just a few knocks against Obama's free speech bona fides.

But considering the censorious tendencies of both Clinton and Trump, Obama scolding a large group of passionate supporters—and reminding them that "we live in a country that respects free speech" and that there's no need to shout down divergent opinions—is a truly refreshing gesture, if sadly fleeting.

As the president said of the man who reportedly only stood and held a sign (hardly an overly aggressive act of protest), "you don't need to worry about him."

Go to about 11:40 in the C-SPAN video of the event to watch the disruption and President Obama's reaction:

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  1. What a great guy he is!

    1. So brave! So handsome!
      : tingle up leg:

  2. The rabble rouser in chief spent the last 8 years stirring shit up to pass his left wing fantasies.

    Blacks against whites, gays against straights, women against men, rich against poor. Don’t support Obamacare it’s because you want old people to die. Don’t support gun restrictions it’s because you want children to die. When people believe their opponents are evil they feel justified in violence. If you could stop Hitler you should. Sure, he didn’t believe the shit he said, he just wanted the useful idiots to believe it for the moment. And they did.

    But new he stands there like Erkel saying “Did I do that?”

      1. Total microaggression against poor Steve.

        1. Wasn’t making him wear those suspenders enough?

  3. I’m going to guess political calculus over genuine desire.

    Cause you know what the headline would be.

    Obama stands by while crowd heckles/roughs up veteran.

    1. That’s pretty much what I was going to say.

      He was backed into a political corner, cameras rolling, so he said the right thing.

      He wants to suppress free expression *without* creating footage making him look bad.

      1. ^100% this. Cameras were rolling.

        What does he do in the privacy of his office with his pen and phone?

        “To be sure, Obama hasn’t always been a stalwart defender of free expression. He and his administration have supported draconian speech codes on college campuses, leaned on Google to censor videos, and been particularly squishy about defending the American concept of free expression at the United Nations, to name just a few knocks against Obama’s free speech bona fides.”

        He is a master manipulator. That is really his only significant skill.

  4. Calm down everybody, this guy isn’t a problem! I’ve got a phone… and a pen!

    1. I’ve always imagined being President would be like having a Death Note.

      Pen, notebook, enemy eliminated.

      1. yup. outside of Japan they call a Death Note a Disposition Matrix.

        1. Instead of the standard heart attack though, the standard is a hellfire missile to the face.

  5. Harmless old guy holding a sign and the natives were getting restless. An opportunity for some ostentatious magnanimity…ah, WTF, might as well grab it. Why pass up a little Sister Souljah Light? That prick has never uttered a genuine word in his life.

  6. WHAT A DICK! WURST PRESIDENT EVER! THIS GUY LIED SO HE COULD INVADE AND OCCUPY A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY FOR A DECADE.

    1. Yeah Bush.
      The old and tired excuse for your parties warmongering.

        1. american socialist|11.4.16 @ 11:59PM|#
          You mean the Green Party?”

          No, asswipe.

    2. Yeah, he did. It’s called Afghanistan…

    3. I suspect most Libertarians hate Bush. So I’m a little confused by your point.

      Also, “he did it first” is the excuse of a 5 year old.

    4. american socialist|11.4.16 @ 11:30PM|#
      “THIS GUY LIED SO HE COULD INVADE AND OCCUPY A SOVEREIGN COUNTRY FOR A DECADE.”

      “Afghanistan War: Obama’s Vietnam”
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..07214.html
      No. he’ll only get 8 years. Slimy bastards like FDR are no longer allowed to play American King.

  7. Spirit Cooking

  8. I am pretty sure you’ll soon hear Obama bravely speaking out against the drug war, admonishing the waste in government, and suggesting that America should be “smarter in choosing its fights abroad”. Its amazing how wise and brave politicians become when they’re no longer actually in power.

    1. “I am pretty sure you’ll soon hear Obama bravely speaking out against the drug war, admonishing the waste in government, and suggesting that America should be “smarter in choosing its fights abroad”. Its amazing how wise and brave politicians become when they’re no longer actually in power.”

      In SF, we have the junior example of the “Big Dig”; a subway which a (thankfully dead; shame that witch didn’t die earlier) political operator from Chinatown traded to Willie Brown the demolition of the Embarcadero Freeway; neither of them having any idea of the disruption which would be caused but the subway. Willie got the votes and his retirement benes.
      It is now in the 5th year of construction, with no predicted end in sight, and several years ago, Willie blew off any opposition, saying: “We cut a political deal and that’s all that matters”. This is the same Willie who championed the Bay Bridge which only quadrupled the budget.
      In his current role’ as a newspaper columnist, he is loudly telling all and sundry to vote against all tax increases.

      1. Because you know, the most underserved transportation corridor in the city is … King Street to Chinatown.

        Seriously never got the premise of the central subway, except that Chinatown has a lot of political power.

        1. ^ Definitely a chink in that premise.

  9. Sorry Obama. To little. To late.
    Your party are the ones who are firebombing Republican offices, vandalizing private property, colluding with the media, to run opposition candidates that your party candidates will be easier to beat, and paying mentally ill people to pick fights at your opponents rallies, in order to make them look bad.
    The only reason anyone voted for you in the last two elections was, because you are black.
    Your corrupt, Chicago Politics are a fucking disgrace.
    Go Fuck yourself.

        1. Why don’t you go have a pity party over at Breitbart over how you’re being treated by the big bad MSM?

          1. I am the Black Market.
            I will make, and sell the weapons that you collectivist fucks will use to kill each other.
            =D
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADrWgBZeXqY

          2. I’m watching Real Time right now, and they’re all bitching about the mainstream media being responsible for Trump.

          3. american socialist|11.5.16 @ 12:01AM|#
            “Why don’t you go have a pity party over at Breitbart ”

            Gee, asswipe, why don’t you try to find a brain-cell?
            Fucking ignoramus.

      1. Obviously I am a Trump supporter.

        As a Pirate I have been called. Deplorable. Despicable, and Unprincipled.

        I accept these negative attacks upon my person as a badge of honor.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5P5Tz3VH94

      2. That’s right AM SO. Trump! Build that wall for me.

    1. you are black

      Unless one uses racist one-drop logic, he is no more “black” than he is “white.”

      In fact, he is so culturally white (Hawaii – 1.6% African American, and I get the feeling not too many of them weren’t at Obama’s prep school…) that a fair assessment would render him “white” but… yeah… one drop racism is good when Team Blue does it!

  10. Don’t you worry about him. We’ll take care of him after the show.

  11. I’m going to stick up for the liar in chief on this one. He did the right thing. I can’t read his mind so I will simply accept it as a proper and decent action.

    1. He’s kind of pathetic in the video since he comes off as a middle school principal, but his sentiment is in the right place, which I can respect.

      The problem is that he’s a politician

      1. This coming from a guy who used the IRS to shutdown political opposition.
        Fuck Obama.

            1. When Kek wins the election, this song will play

  12. I’d like to take this opportunity to exercise my First Amendment right to tell Barack Obama to go fuck himself.

  13. Yeah, in PUBLIC. To con gullibles like yourself.
    I bet he gets an IRS audit starting next week.

  14. We’ll miss Obama when Hillary Clinton moves back into the White House.

    Yes, it’s that bad.

    1. We’ll miss George III when Hillary moves in.

    2. There was hope that Obo was preferable to Bush; only turd (here) claimed that to be true in a very short time.

  15. As click-bait, I’m getting “Steve Irwin’s last words are painful to read”.
    Maybe, I’m guessing they are along the lines of:
    “I’m pretty stupid and happy to prove it!”

    1. “Arrrbb blurb blurb blurb!” doesn’t seem so difficult to me.

      1. “Crickey! Look at this venomous barb in my chest!” ::looks around and there’s no camera crew::

  16. It is hilarious that if you search for “spirit” on Google, the second suggested result is “spirit cooking.”

    Also cooking: Hillary’s goose….

    1. So… where did you get the idea that California is only 5% advantage Clinton, as opposed to the over-20% reality that all polls show?

    2. Spirit cooking is some really gross shit. It does fit the general vibe that they are going for. I still think the Hilldog pulls it off. Unfortunately. I’d like to lose that bet.

    3. Spirit cooking is some really gross shit. It does fit the general vibe that they are going for. I still think the Hilldog pulls it off. Unfortunately. I’d like to lose that bet.

    4. Spirit cooking is some really gross shit. It does fit the general vibe that they are going for. I still think the Hilldog pulls it off. Unfortunately. I’d like to lose that bet.

    5. Spirit cooking is some really gross shit. It does fit the general vibe that they are going for. I still think the Hilldog pulls it off. Unfortunately. I’d like to lose that bet.

      1. Very spooky. I only posted that once…

  17. You all have lost your minds.

    I almost hope Trump gets elected so you can have the Duke society, Brownback economy, Duterte justice, Putin elections and Lindbergh foreign policy you all seem to be salivating over.

    But it’ll be great because Hillary will be locked up just like Manafort’s old client locked up Timoshenko. And your taxes will be lower. Fuck freedom and democracy, I gotta get paid.

    1. You say those things like they are bad

  18. Facts worth repeating:

    In a 2007 research, Gunnar Heinsohn from the University of Bremen and Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, found out that some 11 million Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, (0.3 percent) died during the six years of Arab war against Israel, or one out of every 315 fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent who perished were killed by fellow Muslims.

    According to Mssrs. Heinsohn and Pipes, the grisly inventory finds the total number of deaths in conflicts all over the world since 1950 numbering around 85 million. Of that, the Muslim Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict were at 46,000 including 11,000 during Israel’s war of independence. That makes 0.05 percent of all deaths in all conflicts, or 0.4 percent of all Arab deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    link

  19. If the Spirit Cooking thing is interesting, it’s interesting because it shows the media’s double standard.

    They take Trump’s braggadocio on a tape from 11 years ago as if it’s a literal confession, but they take there pages in the Washington Post to explain that not everything in every Podesta email should be taken literally.

    http://tinyurl.com/ju9hzuw

    Fuck ’em all!

    1. P.S. The explanation makes ’em sound like a bunch of frickin’ weirdos, too.

      This isn’t what Hillary wants people talking about.

      P.P.S. Fuck Hillary!

  20. In 630- “Then, along with his companions Muhammad visited the Kaaba. The idols were broken and their gods were destroyed. Thereupon Muhammad recited the following verse from the Quran: ‘Say, the Truth has come and falsehood gone. Verily falsehood is bound to vanish.’ ”

    “In 1009-10, Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah ordered the destruction of all synagogues and churches throughout Palestine, Egypt, and Syria, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.”

    “In June 2014, it reported that ISIL elements had been instructed to destroy all churches in Mosul.[20] Since then, most churches within the city have been destroyed…”

    See a pattern?

    1. Well yeah, ISIS has always claimed to be a return to Islam’s dirt farming, goat herding, child fucking civilization destroying roots.

      1. You mean the 20th Century?

  21. It’s kinda spooky how the comments here COMPLETELY DIE after like 10pm PST…

    1. Well, at 10 pm, it’s time to screw.

      It’s all part of the libertarian breeding agenda.

      If single member districts mean we can’t win an election, then we still have two potentially successful strategies we can run in parallel:

      1) Win hearts and minds through persuasion.

      2) Out breed the competition.

      It’s 10 pm. Gotta do your libertarian duty and screw, screw, screw, screw, screw, screw, screw.

      We’re fucking our way to freedom!

      1. I’ve been doing it wrong. I got the screwing part down but thought birth control was the libertarian thing too. My bad.

  22. “You’ve got an older gentleman, who’s supporting his candidate. He’s not doing nothin’. You don’t have to worry about him,” adding, “First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we got to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we got to respect our elders. Fourth of all, don’t boo. Vote.”

    I feel a small tremor of horror inside when the supposed ‘Leader of the Free World’ (a phrase that’s always bugged me by the way. He/She is the highest ranking elected official of 1/3 of the equally powerful(in theory) branches of government, not a God-King), is as inarticulate in an off the cuff situation as I am during my semi-regular drunken politically motivated rants.

    Granted, I generally don’t face the daunting task of not make an ass of myself with hundreds of people staring at me while cameras are rolling. Then again, I’ve never aspired to be in that situation. You would think the president might be prepared for such an event at this point.

    1. Much worse. This is intentional inarticulation. This is pure manipulation.
      This one trait alone disqualified him from ever receiving my vote.

      1. C’mon, man… He’s not doin’ nothin’!

      2. This is intentional inarticulation.

        So much this.

        1. I’m not so sure

  23. OT: Could Hildog be charged with Obstruction of justice in some jurisdiction other than federal court? That would seem a way around the criminal DoJ.

    1. New York maybe?

  24. Remember Nixons Saturday Night Massacre and the aftermath? There were some people of integrity on both sides of this aisle. Can you name even ONE proggie with integrity today?

    1. Tom Hayden. Until the formaldehyde starts breaking down.

    2. Who’s the chick they occasionally post about on Reason that goes after social justice derptards and feminazis but it’s a total prog. Always going on about how great Diane Frankenstein is.

      1. Camille Paglia

  25. Anita Dunn is turning over in her grave right now.

    1. Her coffin is in a mausoleum now. She was tired of having to climb out of her grave every night.

  26. The comments on this post certainly demonstrate Obama Derangement Syndrome is still a thing. Jesus, he absolutely handled the situation correctly here, give him some credit.

    Trump would have egged the crowd on and Clinton wouldn’t have bothered to even comment while the Secret Service escorted the guy out.

    1. We should credit Obama for once every blue moon remembering that freedom of speech exists? Fuck that. The old guy was defended so Obama could do his “aw shucks, folks” routine. Fuck that (again). Obama doesn’t give a flying fuck if the old guy is ever seen or heard and if he could shut the old guy down without getting any backlash, he damn well would.

      Cynical much? Yes, very much.

    2. I would expect any adult to do the same thing.

  27. I am not an Obama supporter because I consider him to be as racist as any redneck in the country, but that said he by far not the worse President we have ever had. Like it or not Progressives have their world view just the same as Conservatives do and both are equal wrong in my humble opinion. I don’t believe any government can remain noncorrupt. At least I haven’t found one yet. People holler about the Constitution but I wonder if anyone has ever bothered to actual read it. The document written by our founding fathers has been dead and buried since the early 1800s. And what makes everyone think it was so special in the first place considering only 3% of the population fought for Independence. I would give my life defending this country but the key word is defending. Dying so oil company can take someone’s oil or so Haliburton can rebuild a country we destroyed to me isn’t defending my country. It is my opinion we need to start over. It would only take about a dozen large bulldozers to straighten out most of our problems by leveling the 10 Sq miles called Washington DC.

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