Amid several hotly contested midterm races, Democrats have harnessed the supposed star power of high profile party figures for a series of campaign appearances, but at a rally last week in Arizona, things got a little uncomfortable for former President Barack Obama, who snapped at a heckler in the crowd, as Fox News reports.
Obama appeared Wednesday at a rally in support of Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly and gubernatorial hopeful Katie Hobbs, and that is when the testy confrontation took place.
As he mused to those in attendance about the Democratic candidates and the lingering economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, Obama’s words were halted by the sounds of a heckler.
The former president told the crowd, “The pandemic also highlighted, and in a lot of cases made worse, problems that we’ve been struggling with for years – an economy that’s very good for folks at the very top but not always so good for ordinary people.”
It was then that investigative reporter Drew Hernandez shouted in the direction of the dais, “Like you, Obama!” before being jeered by audience members. WATCH:
BREAKING: Today I called out @BarackObama for supporting @katiehobbs , a woman running for AZ Gov who has a history of discriminating against BLACK PEOPLE at the Democrats Rally here in PHX, AZ
Democrat supporters unleashed screaming in my face and deported me from the rally pic.twitter.com/1noTXduzZ6
— Drew Hernandez (@DrewHLive) November 3, 2022
“Set up your own rally!”
Clearly incensed that someone dared interrupt his remarks, Obama answered back, chiding, “Hold up, hold up. Young man, just listen for a second. You have to be polite and civil when people are talking, then other people are talking, and then you get a chance to talk.” Visibly exasperated by the interaction, the former president added, “Set up your own rally!”
Another Obama campaign appearance was disrupted in a similar fashion in recent days, when the former president’s remarks at a Michigan rally for Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were punctuated by shouts from another heckler.
When a disgruntled attendee took issue with one of Obama’s points, the former president replied, “Come on. This is what I mean, we are having a conversation. Sir, sir, sir, sir, this is what I’m saying. Look we’ve got a process that we set up in our democracy. Right now, I’m talking, you’ll have a chance to talk sometime later.
“We like each other, we don’t have to shout each other down – it’s not a good way to do business. You wouldn’t do that in the workplace. We wouldn’t just interrupt people having a conversation. It’s not how we do things,” Obama opined.
Pulling out the stops
With Democrat hopes of preventing a Republican wave on Tuesday continuing to diminish, party leaders have been pulling out all the stops, sending supposed stars such as Obama, President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Bill Clinton, and the like out to support floundering candidates such as Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman.
Despite Obama’s appearance in a high-dollar television advertisement in support of Fetterman, who once held a sizable lead in his race against Republican candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz, the GOP hopeful just this week pulled into the lead for the first time since announcing his candidacy. This time around, even a beloved Democrat icon such as the former president can stop what’s coming on Tuesday.