President Obama deflected heckling by AIDS protesters during a Saturday rally, suggesting they take up their cause with "the other side" that's opposed to funding.
A group of people interrupted Obama's speech before 9,000 in Connecticut chanting "Fund Global AIDS."
The president was quick to respond to the chorus of protesters saying, "You’ve been appearing at every rally we’ve been doing. And we’re funding global AIDS. And the other side is not. So I don't know why you think this is a useful strategy to take."
Obama was in Bridgeport as part of a four-state swing during the final days before the midterm elections, stumping for Rep. Jim Himes, who is in a tight re-election race, and the state attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who is seeking the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Chris Dodd, who is retiring.
"I think it would make a lot more sense for you guys to go to the folks who aren’t interested in funding global AIDS and chant at that rally," Obama said. "Because we’re trying to focus on figuring out how to finance the things that you want financed, all right?"
That led to chants of "Obama, Obama" as the crowd stirred and the president tried to calm emotions as the protesters were escorted out of the rally.
"It's very important to remember that an issue like global AIDS is very important," Obama said. "And the question we’ve got is which party is most likely to actually fund it in ways that help people around the world."
He then added that it will be difficult to move forward on many issues until "we get the economy fixed, unless we can put people back to work, unless folks feel more confident about the future."
"It’s going to be hard to move forward on all these initiatives."