Code Pink co-founder interrupts Obama's counterterrorism speech

McClatchy Washington BureauMay 23, 2013 


President Barack Obama delivers a speech on his administration's counterterrorism policy at the National Defense University located on Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., on May 23, 2013.


"Code Pink" peace activists have heckled George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton, Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney. Today, its co-founder Medea Benjamin interrupted President Barack Obama's counterterrorism speech several times before she was escorted out of National Defense University.

Obama responded to Benjamin, "Part of free speech is you being able to speak but also you listening and me being able to speak." He also said, "I'm going off script, as you may expect here. The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to. Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said. And obviously she wasn't listening to me and much of what I said. But these are tough issues and the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong."

BuzzFeed's Rosie Gray spoke with a Code Pink coordinator who says the organization was unaware Benjamin planned to heckled the president. Gray spoke with a journalist who said Benjamin had a press pass.

Obama was heckled in 2009 by U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who shouted "you lie" during a speech to Congress on health care.

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