AIDS/HIV | Barack Obama

Watch: Obama Heckled By AIDS Activists At Rally

Remember this? And this? Well it happened again yesterday, this time in Bridgeport, Connecticut where President Obama was in town to deliver a speech at the Democratic National Committee "Moving America Forward" rally. The group of  protesters erupted in a chant of “Fund global AIDS! Fund global AIDS!”

Obama countered them:

“Let me just say this — these folks have been — you’ve been appearing at every rally we’ve been doing,” Obama said. “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.” “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, because we’re trying to focus on figuring out how to finance the things that you want financed, all right?

After a few minutes, the protesters were escorted out of the rally by police. Watch video of the incident, wherein Obama seems to get more than just a little annoyed by the interruption, AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. I think the President has a point. I too am disappointed at the speed at which change for gay rights, health care, etc. are happening - however, the Republicans and their media arm (FOX NEWS) spew an unending stream of blatant lies and misinformation. If we're out protesting the President and his administration, we should be doing the same to the wingnuts in spades!

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 31, 2010 2:57:59 PM

  2. just like the code pink people stopped the war, just like the town hall people stopped health care reform. to heckle the president disrespects the office and undermines the message.

    Posted by: eb | Oct 31, 2010 3:14:09 PM

  3. Obama is absolutely right. Just wait until the GOP holds power. They will cut AIDS funding, health care benefits, etc. & wrap themselves in the noble endeavor of cutting spending.

    And that's only the beginning. The Culture Warriors will take aim on us & they have no problem with a scorched-earth policy.

    Lobbying Obama was appropriate, crippling him is something we will soon regret.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Oct 31, 2010 3:22:51 PM

  4. As much as I hate to admit, Bush funded more global AIDS releif than any president before. With his initial 15 billion President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief of 2003 and then the tripled renewal in 2008 (~45 billion). Besides, why would they go to a crowd of Republicans to say "you're not delivering on your promise." They voted for Obama and the promises 'he' made. Obama has far from delivered, so he is exactly the one that needs to hear from his voters that feel used by and undervoiced in his administration.

    Posted by: AK Alabama | Oct 31, 2010 3:31:00 PM

  5. Just you wait! LOL! Crying about the inevitable is just as useless, then...because the GOP is going to win back at least one chamber this tuesday (which is historically accurate). And let's not forget that the bush administration is responsible for lifting the hiv/aids immigration ban and UNPRECEDENTED gobal hiv/aids treatment and prevention programs...which Obama is now making budget cuts and continuing the '08 funding. Credit where credit is due, please. Of course, republicans are no option to democrats, who have proven to be no alternative. Instead of voting by party, vote by record and policy.

    Fear mongering won't save your asses, and further, it will just create a hostile environment that the democrats will use to scapegoat gays for the losses. And Obama isn't all THAT concerned with losing at least one chamber to the repukes...after all, it will greatly improve his reelection chances when the heat's off for his disappointing performance as a leader.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 31, 2010 3:37:28 PM

  6. I was at the rally, and I guess that I am more disappointed that Andy would lead with this sound-bite - which was a momentary glitch in other wise 30 plus minutes of inspiration by the President. People arrived in at the rally at 6:00 am to get to the head of the line - the Arena was filled to capacity and the audience's response was deafening. Could the President do better in regards to all LGBT issues? Of course. But as he says himself, the other side will do NOTHING. In these last critical hours before the election, why not share the President's real message, rather than give the sensational more airplay.

    Posted by: Brian | Oct 31, 2010 3:39:43 PM

  7. And why is Obama wasting his time in CT? Very telling...that election's all locked up for the democrats in that state, with richard blumenthal enjoying double digit leads over that teaparty moron mcmahon. Very telling, indeed...seems awful wasteful.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 31, 2010 3:55:47 PM

  8. @tank.... I am pretty sure that Bush did not lift the travel ban. I thought it was Obama. I may be wrong though.

    Posted by: J.P. | Oct 31, 2010 4:03:10 PM

  9. It would seem on the surface counterproductive to be heckling the president on the funding of Global AIDS and other issues relevant to the GLBT community, and neglect those who work much harder against us. But this is why Obama is getting so much of our unflattering attention.

    Plainly: he betrayed us, but not only us, but his entire base. It was moderates and the left that put him into office, then when he was elected, he totally forgot his base and has been governing just right of center ever since.

    Guantanomo is still open, and he has made it almost impossible to distinguish from his administration and the former administration by trying to play bi-partisan politics and electing the same people who were responsible for the financial meltdown, and by adopting the most profoundly offensive policies of the former administration.

    He gave us health care reform. but reform without any teeth, without a public option while making it mandatory for us to purchase insurance from the same corporations that have left millions of Americans without health care in the first place, and penalizing us if we don't.

    Even now insurance companies are already finding loopholes, ways of navigating around this toothless bill. In the end it is always as it has been, corporations are barely regulated, and American citizens are over regulated.

    He has done nothing to repeal DADT or DOMA, in fact the DOJ has done everything in its power to oppose the repealing of DADT, using language that has been as offensive and divisive as the former administration. Obama claims that the DOJ is bound by law to defend these measures, but in California Schwarzenegger and Jerry Brown refused to appeal Justice Walker's ruling.

    Experts also agree that even if it were true that the DOJ is bound by law to protect these laws, they need not be so diligent, that they could do so grudgingly. They could state to the 9th Circuit Court that they consider DADT to be unconstitutional and that it is with profound regret and great reluctance that they file their appeal at all.

    Did anyone seriously think this president would be a fierce advocate for the GLBT community, a man who stated that he believed marriage to be between a man and a woman?

    We have been told to be patient, that Obama had a lot on his plate with two wars and a financial meltdown. But we have already been patient long enough; and the fact of the matter is that our civil rights, any groups civil rights, would be more important than five wars and a full-blown depression. A country that does not value the freedom of all its citizens, is a country that is unworthy of the freedom they profess to value.

    Obama had the opportunity of going down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever. He could have been the next Lincoln,instead it is unlikely that he will even go down as one of the greatest African-American president, assuming we are around long enough to elect any more black presidents.

    So what are our options on November 2, and in 2012? That is what we must ask ourselves, and it is what Obama is asking. And that is the worst betrayal of all, how he has been playing the fear card, capitalizing on our fears of the right gaining a majority in both houses.

    But I'm not afraid. I survived eight years of Bush and I can survive whatever it will take to teach democrats that this gay man is no one's bit*h, that I will not be played or be manipulated and held prisoner by my fears, giving them my vote and hoping that maybe, just maybe they will do something to make me a little more equal in this country.

    And obviously I am not the only gay person who feels this way, which is why Obama is getting so much heat. We are proud, we are tough. If the pathetic, toothless democrats in Washington D.C. can take it, then so can I!

    God, do I even need to say it?

    I can take it because I am a gay man!

    Posted by: Ricco | Oct 31, 2010 4:04:43 PM

  10. I guess the way I see it is when Obama is able to counter with a message that's "here's what we're specifically doing" rather than mainly "the other guys would be worse," the protests should stop.

    Because one way is offering something specific and the other is just playing to the crowd. It's sort of like if a student challenged the facts a professor was presenting in a class at a big university. If the professor said "no, and let me show you why my way is specifically right," it'd be a whole lot more effective (and suggest that the professor actually knew what he was talking about) than if he said "I'm right and, yeah, well if you don't like it, try getting your facts from a community college. See how you do there!"

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Oct 31, 2010 4:05:14 PM

  11. Obama is the one who lifted the travel ban for hiv/aids related travelers this past October. AS for his campaigning in CT, the senate race as well as the governors race are tight, though leaning D, they are very close.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 31, 2010 4:37:56 PM

  12. It's a bit of a misnomer to say that "Bush spent more on AIDS funding that Obama does." It's an accurate statement on the surface, but ignores the fact that Bush did that with an economy which was largely intact and a budget surplus when he entered office. Further, he did it while running the general economy into the ground and leaving Obama with a lot fewer spending options and more hot button economic issues.

    Anyone can write a check. The challenge of a fiscally responsible President is to try and make sure there is money in the bank when that check gets cashed. Bush was good at the first, but hideous at the second. Obama's the opposite and that's working against him in public support because no one likes paying the bills.

    Posted by: Quakerjono | Oct 31, 2010 4:49:21 PM

  13. I would challenge the way some commenters make a connection between global HIV/AIDS funding and the so-called GLBT community, for three reasons:

    1) gay women have lower rates of HIV than any other group in the world

    2) domestically, about half of HIV/AIDS is among MSM, but in the countries to which "global HIV/AIDS funds" are directed, it is by far found mainly among heterosexuals

    3) the funding as it exists now is largely going to programs and governments that systematically discriminate against gay, bisexual and transgendered people, therefore those people are inordinately neglected by global HIV/AIDS funding compared to heterosexuals

    I think we need more HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment to begin with domestically and locally. But I wish that any money that is sent overseas would be tied to requirements to clean up human rights abuses and ensure that the money does not discriminate against anyone

    Posted by: gregv | Oct 31, 2010 4:50:50 PM

  14. What's the alternative to the Republicans or the Democrats. Silly me. There ISN'T one. Makes a bit of a joke out of the idea of American democracy. I'll not vote for either. This idea that the Republicans are worse than the Democrats is ridiculous, considering how rightwing Obama's Democrats are. Democracy is dead. The corporations run this country. And that's not about to change.

    Posted by: SteveC | Oct 31, 2010 4:58:31 PM

  15. It seems to me this demonstration was not about global funding, but money for people with AIDS here in the US. The current administration, and the Democrats in both houses, have cut back on drug assistance funding, the funding passed in 2003 under George W. & the Republicans. (Ugh--I know...I hate to admit it).

    No action on DADT, DOMA, now AIDS funding? As a gay democrat, I am not happy with the party. There isn't much of a viable alternative, but I wonder how much of an effect this will have on the mid-terms?

    Posted by: Baron | Oct 31, 2010 5:04:17 PM

  16. ....Ricco, you are my hero! Well said.

    Posted by: Baron | Oct 31, 2010 5:11:59 PM

  17. NO, Obama implemented lifting hiv/aids travel ban; Bush signed it into law. You don't get to choose your own facts.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 31, 2010 5:15:48 PM

  18. Fund global AIDS? What the fuck are these activists talking about?

    Maybe it's these activists who should fund it. In any case, it's a waste of money. AIDS is largely due to poor lifestyle choices which weaken the immune system, such as promiscuous sex, drug use, and poor diets.

    The AIDS activists are like the global warming activists: clueless and so yesterday.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 31, 2010 5:28:04 PM

  19. Yeah, because global warming's a hoax right, jason? Oy...nutbag.

    There is a strong element of accountability in seroconversion, but not when it's a kid born with it, or other scenarios in which a choice was not operative in the function.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 31, 2010 5:30:45 PM

  20. Gays won't DARE show up at a Rethuglican rally with this bullshit because they are fucking cowards! They will protest Dems because they know their safety will not be in jeopardy. But Rethuglicans will stomp on their heads, as we have already seen. So they fucking bitch and moan about Obama "throwing them under a bus" but get quiet when confronted about their own hypocrisy! They can't even protest about the RIGHT issues. They keep yelling about AIDS funding when it is already being addressed. They want to compare their movement to the Civil Rights Movement but they can't, because Blacks were willing to face firehoses and vicious dogs, while gays either don't want any bruises on their pretty faces or they just can't be bothered because they have "a life?" You are no fucking different than the people you criticize as "not doing anything." You don't want to be judged for your pussyism but you want all the benefits of REAL activism. "Gay Movement" my ass. You're just a bunch of whining privileged assholes, with only a few rare fighters among you who are actually DOING something for "the cause" instead of just making stupid pronouncements about withholding your votes. Yeah, THAT'LL work! Idiots.

    Posted by: M.E. | Oct 31, 2010 6:01:05 PM

  21. Liberals have to accept that fact that America is broke, get a clue.

    Posted by: MickkW | Oct 31, 2010 10:08:22 PM

  22. The assertion that the Republicans would do worse on AIDS than the current Democratic leadership is simply incorrect,” said Weinstein. “After all, it is Republican Senators Coburn and Burr who have introduced bills to solve the nation’s ADAP crisis and increase treatment slots for global AIDS patients--- bills which have stalled largely due to lack of Democratic support.

    Posted by: Roger | Oct 31, 2010 10:35:26 PM

  23. This is sounding more and more like an abusive relationship. "Who cares if I spit on you and smack you around? You have to stick with me because you got no place else to go."

    Guess what, Obama -- I sure as hell do, and I do NOT take abuse well, you two-faced SOB.

    Posted by: Kyle Sullivan | Oct 31, 2010 11:07:03 PM

  24. M.E, I love you so much right now. This is exactly how I've been feeling for the past couple of months.

    Posted by: Asher | Oct 31, 2010 11:45:16 PM

  25. I just don't understand how President Obama hasn't found a way to end all wars, give everyone a job, eliminate discrimination, find a cure for HIV ... like c'mon man ... you've had almost 2 years now to do so. Thats the change we expected.

    I thought everything you touched would turn to gold. Sigh ... I guess I will have to show my unhappiness in not going out and voting this Tuesday.

    So when I go to vote on Tuesday - I am going to vote for the GOP. I dont care about the fact that America's reputation was destroyed over 8 years, or the fact the economy tanked on Bush's watch or the fact the country become known for its soundbites rather than honest discussion.

    That doesnt matter at all! Im going to sit here behind my computer and pledge my support for the GOP. You remember those years right?!?!? Those years were grand - good times ... good times ...

    Posted by: Parsons | Nov 1, 2010 12:32:48 AM

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