A heckler interrupted President Obama’s speech on energy policy Thursday at Ohio State University.
The president, looking frustrated, stopped speaking and addressed the man
“Sir. I’m here to speak to these folks. You can hold your own rally. You’re being rude,” Obama said, as the crowd applauded.
The heckler was apparently holding up a book for Obama to read. The president said he would read the book, but asked the man to stop interrupting his speech.
“Sir, I’m trying to talk to these people. I’ll be happy to read your book. If you wanna give me your book, I’ll be happy to read it. But don’t interrupt my conversation with these folks,” he said, asking his staff to retreive the book. “Show me some courtesy, all right?”
Activists organized a protest Thursday outside the university, criticizing the president for throwing his support behind the southern portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The man did not appear to be associated with the Keystone protest, but a separate group of people yelled, “Stop the pipeline,” at one point during the president’s remarks.
“We didn’t tell people to interrupt the president, but clearly there is a lot of emotion around this issue, so I’m not surprised someone blurted that out during the talk,” said Jamie Henn, spokesman for 350.org, one of the groups that organized Thursday’s protest.
The Ohio speech was the final event in a two-day, four-state swing for the president meant to tout his energy plans and undercut GOP attacks over rising gas prices.
— This story was updated at 5:26 p.m.
— Amie Parnes contributed to this story.