‘You are screwing up my speech’: President Obama almost loses his cool with angry heckler at $32,400 a ticket Democrat fundraiser in California
- President interrupted during address to tech-leaders in San Jose, California on Thursday
- Riled that he was unable to finish his speech, the president kept calm
- Told his heckler that he would speak to him afterwards but he ‘kinda screwed up my ending.’
- Is on a three-day fund raising trip to California and met with Yahoo Inc CEO Marissa Mayer before the speech
- About 250 people paid between $1,000 and $32,400 to attend
By James Nye
President Obama was heckled on Thursday during a fund-raising speech in San Jose, California as he spoke to supporters about the need to cast their vote to ensure the Senate remains in Democratic control.
Reaching the end of his address to tech leaders, Obama was interrupted by a man in the crowd and without missing a step, told him that he should speak to him later because he was ‘screwing up the end of my speech.’
The heckler was excitedly shouting about his freedoms as a voter, to which the president replied he completely agreed, ‘although, why don’t we talk about it later because I am just about to finish, you and me, we’ll talk about it.’
Scroll Down for Video
Let me finish: The president responds to his heckler, asking him to quieten down so he can finish his speech
Undeterred and seemingly uninterested in the president’s offer, the heckler continued to throw the president off, who shot back about how much he ‘wanted to hear’ from him.
In one amusing aside, the president, keen to complete his final message, told the man that despite his rude interruption, ‘I love you back.’
The president then finished up by telling the heckler that he was keen to finish but that he ‘kinda screwed up my ending.’
Addressing the tech leaders, the president warned his supporters to dig deep in their wallets to fund Democratic candidates and feel a sense of urgency about congressional elections in November or risk further gridlock in Washington and a failure to move on their priorities.
Love you back: The president said he was more than happy to speak to the heckler afterwards – but he was disappointed to be thrown off the end of his address
Obama was the headline speaker at four California fund-raising events, raising his two-day total to five. His last was a Silicon Valley event in San Jose co-hosted by Y Combinator President Sam Altman and Yahoo Inc CEO Marissa Mayer. About 250 people paid between $1,000 and $32,400 to attend.
During his remarks, Obama struck at the heart of the issue that Republicans are using against Democrats in their campaigns: The Affordable Care Act, the Obamacare law whose troubled rollout has given Obama’s political opponents much grist for criticism.
Republicans have mounted a strong effort to seize control of the Senate from Democrats and are also trying to build on their majority in the House of Representatives. Obama said the effort must be stopped in order to prevent more gridlock in Washington.
‘The reason that we’ve got gridlock right now is because you’ve got a party that’s been captured by folks who are on the wrong side of the issues,’ he said.
‘You kind of screwed up my ending!’ Obama deals with heckler
Free speech: A man shouts at President Barack Obama as Obama speaks at a Democratic National Committee reception in San Jose, California on Thursday
Obama, whose own job approval rating under 50 percent is weighing down Democratic prospects in November, said Republicans offer nothing more than their vow to repeal the healthcare law.
‘If that’s all they’ve got, then they shouldn’t be running either chamber, They shouldn’t be running the House. And they sure shouldn’t be running the Senate,’ he said.
The tech industry has raised questions about the scale of the National Security Agency’s surveillance under the Obama administration, but there’s little sign that Obama is losing support in Silicon Valley.
Obama made no mention of these concerns in his luncheon speech attended by 65 guests who paid up to $32,400 per couple for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Obama told them that majorities of Americans support the direction that Democrats want to take the country, such as on raising the minimum wage and making sure women receive equal pay as men, but that they have ‘lost faith that we can actually make it happen’ because of Washington gridlock.
Great start: U.S. President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer at a DNC fund raiser in San Jose, California
Important message: President Barack Obama speaks at a Democratic National Committee reception in San Jose, before he was heckled
Obama needs Democrats to do well in November to allow him to advance his agenda in his last two years in office, in 2015 and 2016.
But most political analysts believe Republicans will build on their House majority and stand a decent chance of winning the Senate.
Obama has been using fund-raising speeches to warn of this outcome, saying Democrats need to avoid getting distracted by media attention on the 2016 presidential election to choose a successor to him.
Obama said in La Jolla that Democrats need to gain seats ‘in order for us to not simply play defense but to actually go back on the offensive for the American people.’
Source: Daily Online Mail