Either President Obama is exhausted, or he's just pretty rusty on the campaign trail having not been on it since the 2012 presidential election. At a rally in Fayatteville, North Carolina for Hillary Clinton on Friday, Obama had had enough with his supporters when they tried to shout down a pro-Donald Trump protester. Despite yelling "hold up!" several times, he failed to rein them in, finally pointing at his audience in anger and scolding them for not staying "focused."
I don't think I've ever seen Obama get this fed up with his own supporters shouting down a protestor. Especially around the 51 second mark. pic.twitter.com/wb9Nsk4ntQ— Ben Howe (@BenHowe) November 4, 2016
The man with the sign was “doin’ nothin,’” Obama said, noting that besides being peaceful, the protester looked to be both elderly and a military veteran.
“We live in a country that respects free speech,” Obama said. “We ought to respect that.”
Kudos to the president for standing up for the protester's free speech rights, but shame on him for lecturing his own supporters like they're a bunch of adolescents. You call that leadership? No - and it certainly isn't a very encouraging tone for Clinton's campaign. The last thing she needs is more negative optics three days before Election Day with an FBI investigation and WikiLeaks hanging over her head.
The Los Angeles Times made this other pertinent observation.
And then, according to reporters who were there, the man was escorted out of the rally – despite that other part of the 1st Amendment, about the right of the people peaceably to assembly.