Bush’s Independence Day speech interrupted by anti-war hecklers
Like I said earlier this week, the idiocy never stops, not even for a holiday:
(CNN) — President Bush traveled to the home of Thomas Jefferson Friday to help swear in new U.S. citizens as part of Independence Day celebrations.
“When you raise your hands and take the oath you will complete an incredible journey. This journey has taken you from many different countries and has now made you one people,” Bush said at the naturalization ceremony at historic Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“From this day forward, the history of the United States will be part of your heritage. The Fourth of July will be a part of your independence day and I will be honored to call you a fellow American.” he said.
Bush was heckled several times, with some people yelling “War criminal!” One man shouted, “This man has brought fascism to our shores!” About nine people were removed from the ceremony.
“Impeach Bush. Impeach Bush. Amend the Constitution,” shouted another protester, prompting both cheers and boos from the audience of about 3,000 people.
Bush appeared to depart from his prepared speech to reply: “To my fellow citizens-to-be, we believe in freedom in the United States of America,” eliciting loud cheers.
Here’s video of some of the hecklers, which included some members of Code Pink. Make sure to watch closely, as the heckler dressed in the Uncle Sam suit gets smacked down – literally – by an attendee of the event:
On a more serious note, the LAT’s “Countdown to Crawford” blog wrote about Bush getting a little emotional during the speech:
The president’s stated purpose was to welcome and attend the swearing-in of 72 new citizens from 30 countries, including one from Burma. But his voice showed emotion when he talked about spreading freedom to other countries, one of his stated rationales for the war in Iraq. Quoting Jefferson as saying that the principles of the Declaration were universal, Bush said: “We honor Jefferson’s legacy by aiding the rise of liberty in lands that do not know the blessings of freedom.” Without mentioning Iraq, Afghanistan or the war on terrorism, he added, “And on this Fourth of July, we pay tribute to the brave men and women who wear the uniform of the United States of America.”
More from the speech:
“This is a fitting place to celebrate our nation’s independence,” Bush said. “Thomas Jefferson once said he’d rather celebrate the Fourth of July than his own birthday. To me, it’s pretty simple — the Fourth of July weekend is my weekend birthday.”
Praising Jefferson’s achievements — a well-read man whose book collection formed the basis of the Library of Congress — Bush noted that although Jefferson was the nation’s first secretary of State, second vice president and third president, he hated public speaking. Alluding to his own reputation for muffing a speech line from time to time, Bush said, “It seems Jefferson got away with only delivering two public speeches during his presidency.” Pausing for the laugh, he added, “I’m sure a lot of Americans wish that were the case today.”
His birthday is tomorrow. Happy 62nd birthday, Mr. President.
Related: Bush honored our troops, as well as new American citizens, today in his radio address.