President Obama’s campaign event Tuesday in Wisconsin was interrupted by an immigration demonstrator, the second time in the past two weeks the president has had to pause his remarks to address a crowd member protesting his decision not to take executive action to slow deportations.

The president acknowledged the protester advocating for immigration reform but told the crowd, “She should be protesting the Republicans who are blocking it in Congress.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama drew applause from the crowd at the rally for Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke, and it appeared that security escorted the protester outside the high school gym.

The president responded similarly when a protester disrupted a rally for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown earlier this month.

Obama has come under fire from immigration activists after breaking a promise to unveil new executive action on immigration at the end of the summer. The White House now says the actions will be unveiled after the midterm election, arguing that a rollout before voters head to the polls would risk politicizing the issue. Last week, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Obama had not made a final decision yet on what those executive actions would be. 

But the president spent the bulk of his speech encouraging supporters to vote.

"If you just sit home and complain, then of course, nothing is going to change,” Obama said. “I can’t change it on my own.”

He encouraged the Milwaukee crowd to vote early and even took a swipe at his hometown — and home to many of Wisconsin’s great sports rivals.

“You can only vote once,” Obama said. “This isn’t Chicago, now.”

The president clarified that he was just “teasing” Chicago and said “that was a long time ago.”

Obama also looked to draw contrast with Republican Gov. Scott Walker, saying Burke “doesn’t put political ideology first, who isn’t thinking partisan first.”

He said the GOP was “like a broken record: They just keep on offering the same worn out tired theory of the economy.”

For the president, the event appeared a welcome escape from Washington, where headlines are dominated by the Ebola crisis, unrest in the Middle East, and the likelihood his party could lose control of the Senate next week.

The crowd of more than 3,500 warmly received the president and Burke, who's embraced Obama despite how close she’s running in the polls.

"I know you’re all fired up to hear him," Burke said of the president. "I am thrilled that he is in Wisconsin to help us out." 

Crowd members included “West Wing” actor and Wisconsin native Bradley Whitford, who said he was hopeful the president would help boost turnout among African-American voters.

“It is a Democratic disease: apathy around midterms,” Whitford said.

The president admitted he was happy to be back in the Midwest and away from Washington, citing meteorological reasons.

"I was saying it's good to be back in the Midwest, because it's a little too warm in D.C. Those of us from the Midwest like it a little bit nippy,” he said.

— This report was updated on Oct. 29 at 2:09 p.m.