Joe Biden was speaking in Arizona yesterday, Thursday 28 September, when a heckler interrupted him and had to be removed by security. Biden’s response left audience members laughing as the President continued with his speech.
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President Biden was speaking about protecting democracy as he honoured the late Republican Sen John McCain, with whom he was close. The pair have served together in the Senate for many years. He was addressing the importance of democracy and making some harsh comments about his opponent Donald Trump.
The climate activist president
The man in question, Kai Newkirk, is the founder and president of a climate activist organisation called For All. Newkirk interrupted the following part of Biden’s speech:
All of us are being asked right now: What will we do to maintain our democracy? Will we, as John wrote, never quit? Will we not hide from history, but make history? Will we put partisanship aside, and put country first? I say we must, and we will. We will. But it's not easy, it's not easy.
As the President paused, Newkirk took his shot: he stood up and demanded that Biden acknowledge the United States is facing a national climate change emergency. He referenced the fact that hundreds of Arizonans have died and urged Biden to fulfill his promises, including no drilling on federal lands.
Newkirk was swiftly escorted from the room by security, but not before Biden managed to get a few words in.
Biden’s hilarious response
The US President's initial stab at calming the man was very controlled:
Why don't you wait – hang on a second. I'll be happy to meet you after I speak, OK?
Newkirk did not ‘hang on a second’ and continued to shout at the President. Biden responded with a touch more sass:
I'll tell you what – if you shush up, I'll meet with you after this. OK?
His response had the audience chuckling as security removed Newkirk and Biden continued:
Democracy never is easy – as we just demonstrated.
Following the event, Newkirk has said he would have gladly seen the President after his speech and is ready to link up with Biden if the offer still stands.
This whole event has come at a good time for Biden as he has faces criticism over his age and confused communication.
Dagens: Joe Biden snaps at heckler
The Daily Mail: Biden tells climate protester to 'SHUSH' as he's heckled about green policy during speech honoring John McCain