Obama to heckler in Arizona: ‘Set up your own rally’
Former President Obama on Wednesday told a heckler at a Phoenix campaign event to “set up your own rally” after the individual shouted and interrupted his speech.
Obama was discussing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the lives of Americans when the heckler shouted something and stopped the former president mid-speech.
“Are you going to start yelling?” Obama asked, before the crowd began booing. “Don’t start yelling.”
It’s unclear who the heckler was and what he was upset about, but Obama channeled the incident into a discussion on civility.
“You have to be polite and civil when people are talking,” Obama said. “Then you get a chance to talk. Set up your own rally. Come on, man.”
When the crowd finally quieted down, Obama told rallygoers that the interruption was an example of “what happens in politics these days.”
“We get distracted,” he said. “You got one person yelling and soon everybody’s yelling, you get one tweet that’s stupid and suddenly everyone’s obsessed with the tweet. We can’t fall for that.”
Obama was campaigning for Arizona Democrats running in competitive, high-profile races, including gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs and Sen. Mark Kelly.
During his speech, he warned about the rising dangers of political violence and urged Arizonans to head to the ballot box for the midterm elections to preserve democracy, which he said has been threatened by recent events.